Charity, Cycling, Health, Lifestyle, Nightrider, Uncategorized

Today I was supposed to…

…go out on my bike!

I really need to as I am taking part in Nightrider London in June and I haven’t been out on my bike since I completed it last June! I keep meaning to I really do, I’ve even written it in my diary on the days I know I’ll have time to do it and to date I have not been out on my bike on any of these so called scheduled days. That’s 8 times I’ve not been out in the past 6 weeks but so far bad weather (I am most definitely a fairweather cyclist!) and something better (sitting here on my laptop among other things!) has got in the way. I now have less than 4 weeks to get fit enough to cycle 60k (a little under 40 miles), oops.

Am I worried? Not really! Worryingly I think I should be more worried! However I have done the 100k ( a little over 62 miles!) Nightrider course the past 2 years so I figure if I can do that then the 60k should be easy peasy lemon squeezy!!! How can I say this with such quiet confidence? Because last year I went out ‘training’ on my bike the grand total of 3 times and the furthest I did was 27.72k, yes on the night the 100k of Nightrider nearly killed me and if it hadn’t been for my hubby doing it with me I might have given up. Actually, I wouldn’t have given up because I’m a stubborn old cow who doesn’t like to be beaten, but hubby being there definitely helped get me passed the finish line before the deadline. He by the way is one of those annoying people who is sickening fit no matter how little exercise he does!!!

Nightrider 2014

The Pact for Autism team at Nightrider 2014

I’m the one in the middle and my hubby is the one on the far right.

Two years ago when I did Nightrider for the first time I did it on my own but I ‘trained’ 7 times in the 8 weeks leading up to it and managed 60k the week beforehand.  On the night I’m not saying it was easy, I had done no hill training and London is anything but flat especially in the northern and southern suburbs where a lot of Nightrider takes place, but I managed it reasonably well allbeit walking up many of the hills! Plus I felt sick after the first 20k (that’s when I realised that the Lucozade Sport I was drinking was a bad idea!), was freezing in the early hours of the morning after the second 20k and then my arse was beyond uncomfortable for the last 20k.

Nightrider 2013

Me after Nightrider 2013 with my medal and bacon roll!

But it was the best feeling in the world, I don’t consider myself to be ‘sporty’, yes I go to the gym a few times a week because I have to in order to not look like a Teletubby! But, as you’ve probably gathered by now, most of the time I’ll use any old excuse to get out of doing anything above and beyond that. I love the idea of doing stuff…I love the idea of running the London Marathon and every year watching it inspires me but in reality I hate running and the most I can manage is a pathetic 5k. Last year I ran the City of London Mile and I joke that it was harder than Nightrider (but I’m not really joking, I’d rather cycle 100k than run a mile plus I would look and feel better at the end of it too!)

So this year they’ve introduced the shorter 60k route and my friend Sarah said she’d do it with me if we did the 60k and not the 100k, as if I was going to say no to that! My eldest daughter has also just registered and we three are doing it to raise money for my friend’s charity Pact for Autism. Now the thing I am worried about is that my daughter is an athlete and the sports co-ordinater at a girls school who runs for the fun of it every day on top of everything else she does with the girls and Sarah (a teacher in her 50’s) runs 10k’s and despite hardly ever cycling (other than a spin class every week) has already done 60k in training! So I really do need to get on my bike asap so that I’m not holding them back!!! I’ll let you know how the training goes once I get started and of course how the Nightrider night goes.

I hate asking people for sponsorship but this charity is dear to my heart so if anyone would like to sponsor me, no matter how small the amount I would be truly grateful, you can do so here and many many thanks to anyone who does.

Age, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Perimenopause, Uncategorized

The big five-O!

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I am 50! That’s fifty! As in half a century! The big five-0!

And I’ve no idea how I got to be middle-aged, it just kinda crept up on me!

I don’t feel it, most of the time, then I wake up with a dodgy shoulder, knee or hip for no apparent reason, plus I knick my hubby’s glasses to read some really teeny tiny writing that I swear I could have read unaided only last week but I’ve been doing it more frequently over the last few months! Getting old sucks, and yes I agree 50 ISN’T OLD, I shout it at the telly every time one of those 50+ life plan adverts comes on, okay if you’re under 30 then you probably think 50 is old, but let me tell you it’s not, only you don’t realise it until you’re here!

So about a year ago, 6 months before I hit the big five-0 and the menopause took over my life I decided that I should change my lifestyle to counteract all the crap that was starting to happen to my body that I seemed to have no control over.  I started going to the gym more and trying different exercise classes like Bodypump and Bodybalance, then I read an article on Sarah Wilson and her ‘I Quit Sugar‘ lifestyle and it really made me think about what I was eating and this year I discovered Hemsley & Hemsley and Deliciously Ella. 

Wow, what a difference it’s made to my life. Now I’m not on a diet, I have a healthy eating lifestyle. Oh hark at me, ha ha! But it’s a big deal for me because I’ve spent the last 20 years going from one diet to another and now while I allow myself to have crap occasionally, it is only occasionally and I just don’t crave crap like I used to! And boy do I feel better for it, I don’t feel 100% yet but I’m so much closer than I thought possible.

I also spent the last 20 years joining the gym only to un-join when I got bored with whatever class that was ‘in fashion’ at the time. I’ve also swum a bit and run a bit, but I generally hated it (I still hate running), got bored and usually gave up before I saw any benefits. I then hated myself, ate a packet of biscuits/crisps/chocolate/ice-cream in fact any old crap I happened to have to hand to make myself feel better, alas the feeling was short lived!

One constant over the past 10 years was Pilates which I did on and off because someone recommended it to me following a severe bout of sciatica but I would sometimes go weeks or even months between going. Then about five years ago I arrived early at the gym to do Pilates and a Zumba class was taking place, it looked like fun. It was very popular, it took me about four weeks to actually get a place but, guess what, I’m still going! It was a miracle, hallelujah, I had found an exercise class that I actually enjoyed, nay loved. It nearly killed me to start with, I’d never sweat so much or looked so red as I did after an hour of Zumba but I picked the routines up quickly and it wasn’t long before I’d made friends and had moved from hiding at the back to the front of the class and at one point I was doing up to three classes a week! Three years ago I bought a bike and signed up to do Nightrider London, a 100k cycle round London at night, to raise money for a friend’s charity PACT which I have just signed up to do again this year. More recently I’ve discovered the joy of yoga which I have dabbled in occasionally over the years but never enjoyed before.

I try to do at least 5 different classes a week which alongside eating healthier means I’m seeing real changes in my body and fitness levels and finally feel like I’m in control.

I will be sharing my journey to a healthier fitter me here but it won’t all be health and fitness and I will be writing about a wide variety of subjects that will hopefully inform and inspire you including some of the things I did during my very eventful 50th year.

Namaste,

Debra