Rants and Raves #16

This week honestly has been going on forever. It is just dragging by. Saying that though I don’t want things to speed up either. I’m a big believer in enjoying every day – whether you’re at work or not. There’s no point just living for the weekend as that’s only two days after all!

I have a few rants and raves for this jolly Thursday anyway…

Rave: First and foremost, this is the biggest rave I’ve had in a while. Alfie got a haircut. This is him beforehand:


All cute and scruffy. Malting everywhere but rather rugged and handsome.

Then after three hours at the groomers (his hair was gently pulled out – as is the way of Westies. I hasten to add that it’s painless, it just comes out very easily) he turned into this:IMG_2609 Honestly, when I first saw him I couldn’t stop laughing. Like proper belly-ache laughter. He just looks so naked!! He doesn’t look like Alfie at all. But he is adorable. He looks like a puppy again. He’s so small!


I couldn’t stop cuddling him. I also found it funny that the groomer asked if I wanted his eyebrows and beard doing (I said leave them). How cute.

Rant: Trying not to get too stressed or sad about house moving stuff. There’s so much to sort, pack, give to charity, sell…I feel exhausted just thinking about it. Sorting through certain items as well is hard and I’ve just sort of grown a thick skin and have to get on with it. Sentimental items are not being kept and I’ve just got to move on. My flat is going to be my space, my world and my new life. My new start.

On a more amusing note, I took some Xbox and PS3 games to Game to sell. A massive stack of them. Some of them were even special editions.


And the money I got back? £23. Wow. Split that in half and it’s time to go shopping! Ha.

Raves: I ran after work on Tuesday night around Basingstoke [AKA Amazingstoke ;-)] and did my standard hilly route. Well, there really is no other route to be honest as Basingstoke is just hilly in general. I got to the usual really nasty hill (12% incline for over 0.2miles) during the first mile and really went for it. I’m keenly aware that there’s a Strava segment for that hill and I’ve been trying to whittle down my time for it. I actually don’t know specifically where the segment  ends so I just power up the entire thing and then keep powering even when I’m over the hill. It’s good practice anyway but it is HARD work.

(The blue line is my pace)


And I beat my PB by six seconds! I’m third on the leader board and that’s probably where I’ll stay as the ladies above me are amazing (1:34 compared to my 1:48. I mean wow). Anyway 4ish miles in the bank with a good load of hills.


Speaking of hills, I’m mentally preparing myself for Cheddar Gorge marathon in just over TWO WEEKS. As I did Cheddar Gorge half marathon I have the elevation data handy (it’s two laps of the half). For fun and games I decided to compare it to my most recent hilly half marathon (Stansted Slog).


They both look tough but I can’t work out which is worse. I’m thinking maybe Stansted as there are more sharp inclines, whereas there are a lot more long inclines for Cheddar and generally a nice bit of downhill from miles eight onwards. Who knows. Well I will soon find out!

Rant: I stayed at my parents house over the weekend and when I got back from my long run I was freezing so had a cup of tea, a shower and then finally had breakfast. By this point it was almost 11am and I was ready to eat. Like the standard idiot I am I was rushing and being too quick and as I got the porridge out of the microwave it slipped from my hands and was thrown all over the floor. My parents thankfully saw the funny side as they’re used to my clumsiness but I was devastated: my breakfast!! Why am I so incapable of not dropping things all over the floor? When it had cooled down my parents let the dogs eat it (gross). They gobbled it up within seconds! (Obviously I cleaned the floor afterwards as well though – and the fridge door…).

Rave: I’m really enjoying reading the New Rules of Lifting for Women. Cathy brought it to my attention and I’m really grateful.


She questioned why I was doing 30 repetitions of strength training exercises like squats and deadlifts, explaining that doing less reps at a higher weight would be more beneficial in terms of building strength. After having a read and doing some more research of my own, I found that interestingly the more reps you do the more muscle hypertrophy you’ll achieve (i.e. making your muscles bigger aesthetically but not necessarily corresponding to actual strength increases).

It’s like I’ve seen the light. I’m not sure I’m going to follow the plan to a T in the book but I’ve dropped my reps and increased the weight I’m lifting. And I’m finding it a lot more enjoyable. It is hard obviously, but mentally it’s easier to think “OK only 8 reps (or 15 as you start with in Stage 1) to go” rather than 20 or 30. And you get a great burn!


It does mean venturing and staying in the male-dominated weight section though. Most of the time I would pop there, grab my dumbbells (because apparently outside this area 10+kg dumbbells don’t exist. And on that note, I can’t believe there are even 1kg dumbbells available). But at 5.30am it’s hardly heaving. Plus no one really cares because people are doing their own thing – it’s all just a mindset.

And a last rave: I saw this and thought, yes 100%.


What are your recent rants and raves?

Have you ever moved house? Any tips on packing/sorting/not imploding with stress?

How do you strength train? High reps/lows reps?