Bend it like Fitartist

I yoged again 🙂 We had a different teacher this morning and, at first, I thought ‘Oh no, she’s putting on weirdy floaty chanty whaley music’ but actually she was very good and, once I’d stopped being distracted by the fact that the beautiful white walls are already scuffed after just one week, I had a good old stretch and even drifted off in a relaxed state a couple of times. Her class wasn’t as ‘sporty’ as last week, more ‘relaxy’, but I really liked it.

To get there I decided I would run. I got some gorgeous new shoes in the post this morning and couldn’t wait a moment longer to try them out. Now, I know you’re supposed to ease gently into minimal running shoes, but I was just too eager, and I decided one mile to yoga, a bit of bending and stretching then one mile back is quite gentle enough.

Cute shoes

Cute shoes

As I set off I was stepping gingerly along, afraid that I might heel-strike and do myself a mischief but, once I’d got over the initial weirdness of it all, I remembered that I strike with my mid-foot anyway, and didn’t really need to adjust much. The fronts of my lower legs started aching quite quickly, so maybe I was tensing up a bit, but I guess that comes with time. I felt much lighter and springy, which seems odd when you consider that these shoes have very little in the way of cushioning – the spring was all my own! I will keep you updated with my ‘barefoot’ progress as I try them out further this week. In the meantime, here’s a picture of Hector’s Lego Daft Punk for Travelling Hopefully, who has been enjoying the pumping beats at the gym:

Daft Punk as seen by a six-year-old

Daft Punk as seen by a six-year-old

You may wonder what an very-nearly-six-year-old is doing listening to Daft Punk, well they look like robots and they sound like robots, so what’s not to like?!

Real life robot

Real life robot

You may also wonder where I’ve been hiding for the past few days. Well, I have run – I did the 10k section of Peter’s class on Saturday. This was a one-and-a-half hour session with very many press-ups, a gruelling up and down hill section and a forty minute run – when he said ‘And now you will run for fourteen minutes’ I thought ‘Oh that’s ok’, but then I realise he had in fact said ‘forty’. It was hard-going but really good stuff. I have also been to the gym and I have stood around cheering on fellow runners at Hilly Fields Parkrun, something I always consider to be running by proxy…



I know, I know, I’ve been neglecting the blogging bit of Juneathon, so I am going to quickly move on and try and distract you…

I’m a bit giddy, having just enjoyed this delightful little film on the Guardian Running Blog.

Click here

It makes me want to run up and down a hill right now, he makes it all sound so easy and so inviting (especially that bit about a free beer at the end of a race). It does look a little like an advert for Inov8 though… The closest I get to fell running around here is Hilly Fields. We do have lots of good, challenging hills in South East London, but there is something magical about that hill they run up in the film.

So, back to my Juneathon. On Friday I went and did a trial session at the shiny new leisure centre, and there I was, with just one other person in the lovely big gym, with all that brand new equipment. It could be very tempting to have a go at everything and overdo it, so I reigned myself in a bit and stuck to what I normally use, with a few added extras just because. Saturday morning I went along to the running group of a friend/gym instructor/personal trainer. It was a beginner to 5k session and it was really good to see how you can ‘go back to basics’ and still get a really great workout, I was pushing myself as much as I would in a more ‘advanced’ session, and certainly felt the burn.

I have become slightly obsessed with the new gym and did a really intense session there yesterday but, as it’s now ‘officially open’, it was much busier. It’s right next to the train station, so I’m guessing it will be popular with commuters and there was a steady stream of people looking around while I was there. Every time I embark on a Juneathon or Janathon challenge, I say I will start doing yoga as part of my programme of activity, well today I actually did! Yup, I slowed down for an hour and got my head to touch my knees. It’s been a long time. I can see that I have a lot of work to do, but the teacher was lovely and I can see myself heading there every Tuesday for some one-to-one with a mat.

And breathe.

Keep up! Keep up!

I don’t feel like I’m keeping up, not with the running, but with the blogging of the runs. So, I have a few bits and bobs to add to the Juneathon mix.

Monday was a muddle of a day, only managed a little one because the little one was not in the mood to be rushed about in a running buggy and we had to wait in for the arrival (and then quick hiding of) a certain birthday present.


It was one of those running errands/popping to the post office sort of runs. Tried to make up for it with some quality pressing and sitting. Up, that is.

Juneathon Day 22

Sit-ups: 75

Press-ups: 25

Yogi-press-ups: 6


Time: 19 minutes 20 seconds

Distance: 1.75 miles

Average Pace: 11.03

Best Pace: 8.35

Calories: 179

Yesterday was hot, hot, hot, so I decided to leave it until a bit later in the day and wanted to combine the run with a trip to the paddling pool. Now Hector and I have been to this particular park many times, but normally much earlier on and we often have the playground to ourselves so it was a bit of a shock to be there around school kicking out time and be surrounded by screaming kids, chavs and ice-cream wielding toddlers, high on sugar. Hector just looked around for a while, trying to take it all in, then I quickly put on his swim suit and kicked off my hot running shoes. It was delicious to dip my toes in the cold water but Hector wasn’t so sure and pulled his legs right up as I tried to put him in! He played for a while around the edge, pouring water from his watering can and eventually acclimatised and asked to go in properly. I spent a lot of the time feeling disgusted at the pissy smell around the paddling pool and feeling sad at the children playing with empty crisp packets and corner shop bags in the pool, but H seemed happy enough. After a bit more of this oddity we headed home…once I’d cleaned a big purple bird poo off the running buggy, those birds are rather colourful in their excretions at the moment!

Juneathon Day 23

Sit-ups: 70

Press-ups: 20

Yogi-press-ups: 5


Time: 22 minutes 16 seconds

Distance: 2.06 miles

Average Pace: 10.48

Best Pace: 8.01

Calories: 222

Juneathon days, two of ’em

Oh well, I was doing so well on the blogging on the same day as running thingie, but lost track yesterday so now feel all behind and befuddled. Anyway I did run yesterday, just a little local parks effort after feeling dreadful on Wednesday (no idea what was wrong, just felt awful). I did, however, tackle the yogi press-ups whatnots that Nadine told me about at the weekend. Hmmm, how to describe them…Get yourself into a downward dog position (triangular, bum in the air) but with your weight resting on your forearms instead of your hands, and have your hands clasped together. From here you exhale and do a press-up – of sorts – and inhale as you ease back into the starting position. Oh my! I felt it in my triceps, abs and thighs. Nadine said she uses this on her students as a build up to/preparation for headstands. I shan’t be going that far.

Today I eventually got out of the house. Hector really loves playing in the garden, well, I suppose we have made it truly special for him with all the space to ride his ‘bike’, push his trolley and run up and down and then there’s the wonderful sandpit. It does mean he takes some persuading to get out of the house. We did get out though, but not until about 4pm and it involved a trip to Ambala to get some savoury deliciousness to accompany the curry I made for dinner. Oh, if you haven’t tasted Ambala’s samosas, you haven’t lived! They are melt in the mouth gorgeous. This did mean negotiating the plodding pedestrians on Turnpike Lane, but we managed just under three miles.

When the curry has gone down a bit I will attempt some more of those Yogi Press-ups. Not sure if I’ll get to blog tomorrow, maybe late on, as we are meeting up with some family types.

Juneathon Day 18

Press-ups: 20

Sit-ups: 60

Yogi Press-ups: 5


Time: 30 minutes 35 seconds

Distance: 3.27 miles

Average Pace: 9.21

Best Pace: 8.18

Calories: 364

Juneathon Day 19

Press-ups: tbc

Sit-ups: tbc

Yogi Press-ups: tbc


Time: 29 minutes 30 seconds

Distance: 2.77 miles

Average Pace: 10.40

Best Pace: 8.08

Calories: 336

Bend and stretch

This week Hector discovered his toes. As we use re-usable nappies, he is rather bulky in the bottom department, so can only really engage with his toes during nappy change time. He is loving it! Every time we take off his nappy he reaches straight for his feet, and yesterday he managed to put them in his mouth, much to his – and our – delight.

We went to yoga yesterday and I did some gorgeous stretches but Hector got a bit frustrated towards the end for some reason and wasn’t too keen on letting me enjoy the relaxation bit. Hmmmmm. I came away feeling way too stressed for someone who had just done a yoga class. I noticed that he was doing his own little ‘bend and stretch’ sequence whilst I did mine, something he has also developed in the past couple of weeks: when we do a nappy change, I like to do ‘kick-kick-kick’ and ‘bend and stretch’ with him and he has started doing in by himself now. A little future yogi?!

This afternoon we are going to go swimming, his first proper swim in a big pool. How exciting!

Feeling godess-like

We made it to our mums and babies yoga class this morning. I was in two minds because Hector fell fast asleep about fifteen minutes before we were due to leave the house, so I had to distrub him to put him in his sling 😦 Luckily he fell back into his deep slumber and woke only when I set him down on the yoga mat. He was in good spirits throughout the class, looking around at the other babies, intrigued by them and their mummies! I felt great, really working into some delicious deep stretches and I focussed hard on using my (well padded) stomach muscles to support my back, which has been feeling a bit tight. We did some good stomach exercises, including a sort of ‘bicycle legs’ action; I really felt this one! Hector enjoyed the focus on him and even let me enjoy some relaxation at the end – I needed this after a very long night: Hector decided it would be fun to play and giggle at 2.30am and not settle back to sleep for a couple of hours. Tsk.

Still here…honest!

Blimey, I’m finding it hard to keep FitArtist updated these days, what with the demands of being a mum and my addiction to Facebook. We did make it to our Mums and Babies yoga last week and had a lovely time. The timing was all just perfect really: Hector woke up as we got there and was in a very bubbly mood, looking around at the other babies and generally being rather chilled. I had a chance to do some good stretching and then he was ready for the baby stretching/kick about bit. He did, however, stop me from enjoying the relaxation at the end by deciding he wanted to watch everyone else trying to relax! We will be going again tomorrow morning, so I hope things work out as well this time.

Yesterday we went to our first baby massage session. This is run by health visitors and is free, so I have waited ages to get a place but it was worth it. There were about 8 pairs in the class and we all knelt on the floor with our wriggling babes in front and set about giving them a lovely/loving massage. Hector was really into it (possibly because we do this regularly at home anyway) and wasn’t at all shy about getting his kit off in front of the other babies! It was great to pick up some proper techniques and learn some tips for various situations such as teething and tummy ache. I’m looking forward to the next session.

Hmmm, as for the running…we did make it out again one more time, but my resolve and eagerness has been somewhat quashed by two bouts of a food poisoning type thing. I was really knocked back by it and certainly didn’t feel like running (actually, I foolishly went out after being sick and regretted it afterwards!). So, I need to gear Edward up for another attempt at getting out, probably not so easy now the weather has taken a turn for the frosty.