On to new things…

So I finished my last day at work last Wednesday. It was definitely a bittersweet. I’ve worked there for over five and a half years. I remember joining and being this timid, terrified girl…unsure of everything, so quiet and afraid. I walked out of there on Wednesday confident, self-assured and ready for my next challenge. I’ll miss so many of the people I worked with but I’m looking forward to working with a new bunch of people and hopefully making some friends!

I had Thursday and Friday off, which was just amazing. I haven’t had a proper couple of days where I literally have nothing planned for ages. I decided to do a day of sorting schizz out in the spirit of new beginnings and all that. I also agreed to help my parents sort out their garage and under-the-stairs cupboard (a blackhole for shoes, bags and coats).

My dad took off the Friday as well and hired a skip which helped the situation. I mean, I love my parents but they just seemed to hoard so much junk. I’m not even joking when I say we took FOUR black bags of shoes to charity. Who has time to wear that many shoes?? And their garage is just full of random rubbish and charity-shop worthy items that for some reason my parents thought to keep hold of. NO ONE NEEDS THREE TOOLKITS. This is probably one of the main reasons I’m not a sentimental person when it comes to physical things and mementos. There are few items I’m irrationally attached to. All about that minimalist lifestyle (leggings aside of course. You can NEVER have too many leggings. Honest).

Found some rather hilarious old photos of my sister, mum and I.

AnnaTheApple childI mean, those hair styles…

As I was still not running it meant I could have some lovely lie-ins and then go to the gym at a more reasonable time than I usually would. I was given an Amazon gift voucher from work as part of my leaving present so I decided to buy and download some movies I’ve been wanting to see so I could make time on the elliptical machine far more bearable.

Cardio entertainmentI’ve got through Get Out (really creepy but really good) and the Lego Batman Movie (very funny). It’s actually a really good way to stay motivated on that god-awful machine. It also makes me keen to get back on it as I’ll only allow myself to watch these movies on the elliptical machine. Happy days…

On Friday night I went out to a fantastic burger place for some food. I’d heard that The Rockstone pub in Southampton literally did the best burgers around and so was fairly excited to go and eat stupid amounts of food, and of course spend time with good company.

I ordered the “BBCK” burger which was a 10oz burger with Brie, streaky bacon and a cranberry chutney. I also upgraded my fries to bacon dust fries. I mean, seriously.

The Rockstone BurgerMy partner in crime ordered the “Ban Ki-Mmm” which had Korean pork belly amongst other treats on top. I did get a little food envy on seeing his but mine was SO tasty it was only very brief. He upgraded to sweet potato fries. I have to say, usually I’m not a huge burger fan (I prefer more toppings/protein to carb ratio…), but this was heavenly.

We were both more than happy (and fairly full) on finishing our burgers. By the way, they were impossible to pick up. I did try but failed miserably. 10/10 for effort…not so much for getting covered in sticky cranberry-ness. Though we were full we decided to forgo the pudding on offer at The Rockstone and instead go to the handily located Sprinkles just down the road. Just a small pudding, eh? 😉

Sprinkles sundaeI got a cookie dough based sundae (zomggggggg) and he got a baked skillet cookie with ice cream. Mine contained hot cookie dough at the bottom, chocolate and vanilla ice cream and vanilla gelato as well as cookie pieces and molten white chocolate and regular chocolate drizzled on top. Dear god it was good. I couldn’t quite finish it all. For once my stomach said no. But I gave it my best stab! I prioritised the best bits!

So my time off was pretty damn good. I did manage two miles on Sunday to test the leg out… it felt OK but I’m not entirely convinced. More updates on that soon. Things are going pretty well right now (let’s ignore the small car accident I had Tuesday morning *sighs*, again more on that another time!)

My blogging is going to be a bit off-routine for a bit while I find my footing in my new job and adjusting to a new routine. But in the words of Lego, EVERYTHING IS AWESOME

What’s your ideal burger?

What’s your ideal sundae?

If you use cardio machines, how do you motivate yourself to stay on them?

A change

How good does Friday feel? I love that great feeling of counting down the hours until freedom I can go home and enjoy the weekend, knowing that tomorrow is Saturday (=no work). Not that I don’t like my job – I love my job. But nothing beats that Saturday morning opening-your-eyes-after-a-long-sleep feeling and having the rest of the day to amble along. Ahh bliss

Last post I mentioned that I was in quandary regarding exercise and running. Once I start thinking about something I can’t stop. It’s annoying, especially when I want to sleep. In the end I had to do something to switch things up. I wrote that post Tuesday night…so Wednesday morning when I got up run my usual 5 miles I changed my mind. I still got up and still went out to run but I only ran 2 miles. Two miles??! Not worth getting out of bed for maybe? Well, after researching a bit before I found that if I put some hard-core (for me) intervals in the run it would work me harder than just running for 45 minutes. OK, so intervals aren’t a new thing. I’m behind, I know. But still, I thought, 2 miles is not even half of my usual run – how could it possibly do anything?

Two miles later and I’m pooped. Absolutely shattered. I was sweating like a beast (sorry, not a pleasant image I know).

15.08 run

I hit 2 miles around 15 minutes. I was VERY chuffed with this pace. OK, I was very chuffed about 10 minutes later after I stopped dying. I had still gotten up super early so still had some time left to workout (like 25mins). So I did 10 minutes on the rower.

15.08 rowing

Check out my amazing little rower that Ben persuaded us to get. [Pssst! Can just see our washing hanger – don’t we have the coolest mini-gym in the world??] It didn’t rock my world, I’m not gonna lie. It’s not the best rower in the world to be honest and I wasn’t feeling it. But anyway, I then did about 100 squats with dumbbells. I was dead after this!

15.08 weights

Check out that hottie…. Confused smile I was a sweaty mess. More so than if I had just done 5 miles. And the next day my legs were in some serious pain (and still today!) And you know what, I really enjoyed it. It has really showed me how samey things had become and how my usual running had just stopped taxing me. I mean, yes my runs are hard and I do get puffed out, but not in the way that I was on Wednesday. I felt invigorated. Even though I hadn’t run as far, I felt like I had worked a lot harder.

Then yesterday I did my usual strength training. But I decided to push myself a bit more. Usually I waste a lot of time deciding what move to do next. Instead I searched and found a strength training video on YouTube (by a lovely trainer called Sarah. OK you might already be familiar with her, I’m such a newb!) I did a whole segment just on my arms, following what she was doing. So I managed:


OK, it might not seem a lot but it was tough for me. I generally just due a range of random weight movements without really focusing on anything. All on my arms/shoulders was tough!!

So I’ve decided to change my weekly workout. I’m going to focus much more on strength training and a lot less on cardio. Even typing that sentence worries me. I’m a cardio girl. That’s what I do, you know. This is quite a big thing to suddenly drop my miles in running. There’s always that insecurity with stopping cardio and gaining weight…a stupid insecurity based on no rational thought…But it’s definitely an insecurity I have (and unhealthy one I’ll admit).

But I know it’s probably a good thing. I can focus on building up my muscles (not massively! I’m not inspiring to be a body builder!) just to look stronger, feel stronger and be more happy with myself. If I’m honest, I feel a bit cheated with running. Don’t get me wrong, I love it and this is really tough to reduce it, but it isn’t giving me what I want. I don’t feel toned, I don’t feel like I’m building any muscle. And for the effort I put in and the miles I run, it’s not fair!

This is what I plan for a typical week:


I really feel positive about this. I no longer dread my workouts and feel bored by them. It will really help me focus on what I want to achieve because it’s not longer just mindless running.

Whew! Sorry. I am so glad to get that out of my system.

What are your views on cardio and strength training?

Any tips from anyone?? Particularly over nutrition…