The MAD's, A Workout and Bed

The MAD Blog awards were held on Friday, I was lucky enough to have been able to go as I was helping out with some live blogging and corralling the guests in the bar area before letting them in to the actual ceremony. It was a great evening full of lovely people, some of which were convinced I was drunk despite several tweets confirming that I'm Teetotal! Honestly I really am just OTT most of the time and like to make other people feel relaxed by having a laugh with them and of course having a laugh with all the lovely people that I know in the British Parent Blogging Community and it's thanks to Sally that I was able to be a helper this year. Thanks Sally!

Lovely Vic and I were sharing a room (we're used to it now having done it once before but honestly it seems like we've done it many many times more!) and with giggles over how many layers of spanx I was wearing and catching up on gossip it was well after 2am that we finally went to sleep and when I woke up at 6am with my body telling me "GYM TIME!" I almost said a rude word. Instead I gave myself a lay in before getting dressed and heading to the Hotel Basement to have a work out all on my own.

I was in the gym for just under an hour and worked up quite a sweat on a Treadmill, a Cross Trainer, a Recumbent Bike, a Rowing Machine and using some free weights along with an Exercise Ball. It was a good work out and I really enjoyed it, despite the lack of sleep, lack of wifi connection in the basement and only BBC News 24 for company.

Everyone that I spoke to that morning was surprised that I had actually been to the gym, I think because they only read here what I do, they haven't actually seen me and seen my determination to do this. I got some great compliments about how good I was/am looking (thanks Becky) and it's really made me eager to be my goal weight before the next MAD Blog Awards in 2013 so that I can show all my online friends the new me... plus I kind of said I might turn up next year in just a bikini and a hat!

I'm off to bed now so that I can get up tomorrow morning for the gym. I'm thinking that if I can do it on just four hours sleep I can do it tomorrow too.

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A 14 Mile Bike Ride

With Flyfour having been out on his bike almost every day since we brought it (14th July) there didn't seem to be an evening that went past that I didn't feel he was implying that going out on a bike was a much harder workout than what I was doing at the gym. Eventually we decided that what we needed to do was go on a bike ride together.

We decided on part of Cycle Route 51 as you can join the route about 1 mile from our house and we could cycle down to Winslow, a nearby Town about six miles away. Flyfour told me that it was a straight route after the first big hill and so once my bike had been given the once over and my helmet found we left my mum in charge of the children and set off.

I'm not going to lie, the first mile killed me. It's all uphill and Flyfour was taking it slow for me but I still lost my temper with him at one point (when he was trying to explain about using different gears because he knows all about different gears now he is such an active cyclist) and I realised I had to stop beating myself up about having to stop a couple of times and start enjoying this time alone with Flyfour.

We carried on and the ride got easier, (a lot easier considering that Flyfour's definition of straight after one big hill isn't my idea of straight after one big hill) and a few miles later Flyfour asked if I wanted to turn around and go back. I didn't I was going to cycle the whole route even if it killed me! After an hour we got to our destination/half way point. I was so proud of myself for having made it that I didn't care that Flyfour had taken pity on me and had gone at half his normal speed.

PippaD after cycling seven miles to Winslow

Flyfour said he was proud of me too, I had just done my first "proper" bike ride and ridden just short of seven miles and was about to do the same back (but with a slightly bigger loop round our road to make it up to 14 miles) and as he said that was nothing to sneeze at. The return journey was a lot easier as it was mostly down hill and I knew the route having just cycled it, but I think the biggest part of making it easier was the psychological aspect as I knew now that I was heading for home.

With the weather turning, I'm not sure how much longer I'll manage to go out on my bike as I'm not one for cycling in the rain/snow/sleet/hail/cold/British winter and I don't think that Flyfour and I are going to get a chance to go out together again until Spring is well and truly established.

What I do know though is that cycling outdoors is a hard work out. I wouldn't say it was harder than going to the gym (there I get an all body work out but would have to cycle up a lot of hills to get the same effect on a bike), and I wouldn't say it was easier either (the ride really tested my stamina) but I am sure that Flyfour and I could agree that it is a different sort of workout and one that I'm sure I will try to keep up.

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Sophia, Blood and Olympic Hearts

When I woke up this morning the first thing I thought was "Yay! My butt doesn't hurt after yesterdays 14 mile cycle ride!" and as nobody else was awake I snuggled down under the duvet to read some more of my book. It wasn't until Flyfour woke up about an hour later that I realised I had lost my voice. Still, if losing my voice was going to be the worst thing that happened today it was still going to be a great day.

The entire family set about doing their various Sunday morning tasks. Eating breakfast, playing with toys, catching up on TV, reading emails etc before I went to the gym. The Cycle ride the day before had blown away a few of the cobwebs of a cold and so I was hoping that a quick trip to the gym might do the same for my voice.

It didn't.

In fact coming out of the gym a random woman held the door open for me and said "Hello Sophia!" and was acting like I should know her and that she was annoyed that I hadn't said Hi to her first. I hoarsely whispered that my name wasn't Sophia (at least it wasn't when I went into the Gym) and also I was very sorry but as I had no voice I couldn't really talk. Random woman carried on a conversation about how much I looked like Sophia and how another woman was also convinced that I was this Sophia woman that I almost said I was just to get her to shut up. Seeing as the only image that I can find on Google Images, of a woman who looks a little like me and is called Sophia in my home town is of an Escort, I'm pretty glad I didn't!

Flyfour and Tops went out to the City Centre to do a few bits and pieces whilst BB and I stayed at home. I started preparing the Sunday Roast when I managed to slice a chunk of the knuckle of my right thumb off. I knew that this wasn't good and before the was any blood grabbed a plaster from the box in the kitchen, stuck it on and went to the sofa explained to Big Boy what was going to happen and not to be scared and then passed out.

After coming back round the first time (A personal best of passing out ten times) I got BB to get me the phone so I could call Flyfour. He should have been home as he was only supposed to be gone an hour and I knew that continuing to pass out was eventually going to get BB scared. Flyfour arrived home, took one look at me, one look at the blood still bleeding out of my wound and called an ambulance. Luckily we live three minutes away from the Ambulance Station and they were with us only moments after Flyfour finished his call with the 999 operator.

After Flyfour explained that I always pass out when I see blood and that was the only reason he seemed not to care about my very pale colour, the Paramedics established that I was conscious, able to respond and took a look at my thumb whilst I screamed into a pillow (it hurt!). They bandaged me up and gave me permission to exaggerate my cut (I sliced right through and it was only hanging on by a single bit of flesh *WINK*) which one of the paramedics said she would have left uncovered if it wasn't for my phobia. Apparently they didn't have a plaster a suitable size and so gave me one that covered almost all of my thumb, however seeing as I could see the smaller plasters in the medical kit I'm pretty sure they were trying to reassure me that it wasn't as bad as it actually is.

A Well Bandaged Thumb

Whilst I was being bandaged up the other paramedic had been taking my pulse and blood pressure. He looked a little worried and asked me;

"Have you ever been told that you have a slow heartbeat?"

Luckily both I and Flyfour have on several occasions been told that I have a slow heartbeat and he was reassured enough to not drag me off to the hospital for an ECG to discover why my heart rate was so slow, he measured it at 43 beats per minute (I'm normally around 48) and said I had a heart rate an Olympic Athlete would be proud of. Taking my blood pressure he again said that this was the blood pressure of someone who was really fit!

I took this as good news, who doesn't want to be told that internally they are fit? It also made me realise that even though my blood phobia isn't actually really gone (Boo Hiss) that once the excess fat I am carrying is gone that I will actually be really healthy.

I can't wait to be really healthy.

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Swimming and Saunas

Last night I had an early night, I'm still not quite ready for getting back in the early morning and late night gym routine (even though I love it when I'm there) and so the plan was to have an early night and then go this morning. Even if I just went swimming, it would be enough that I could say I had exercised.

Then for one reason and another I didn't go to bed at the time I had planned and I didn't have a good nights sleep and by the time I had woken up it was too late to go to the gym and be back in time to do all the other things I do in the morning. When my plans for today fell through I knew what I had to do, I knew that a lunchtime swim would help me get back in the swing of things. So I went to the Swimming Pool intending to swim 300 meters, just slightly more than the 250 that I had done with Flyfour on Tuesday morning and when I had swam this I knew I could carry on and so I ended up doing 500 meters and then having a fifteen minute Sauna.

I feel great this afternoon, really great. It's like the water has given me my mojo back and so I'm thinking a daily swim will give me more inspiration. I've found a plan similar to the Couch to 5K plan for swimming it's called Zero to 1 Mile and so that is my goal on November 2nd (or as close to I guess November 5th seeing as I'm away on November 2nd) I plan to swim 1500 meters and I'm hoping to swim it in about 35 minutes.

As I can swim a 25m length in 40seconds when I'm concentrating I think that it is possible, I just need to make sure that I keep at it!

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Tuesday morning saw Flyfour and I drop the children off at school and then head off to the Swimming Pool at the local gym. We had decided to take advantage of both children being at School and go swimming together, something that we hadn't done sans children since I was pregnant with Top Ender back in 2003.

It had been a few days since I had been to the gym (I've lost my mojo) and I was intending to go to the Aquafit class on the Tuesday morning but with Flyfour agreeing to go with me this was an opportunity to push myself a bit more, I like competition, I like knowing that I'm faster or stronger than someone and Flyfour doesn't mind competing against me so we figured that this would be a good way to get back into me doing daily exercise.

We decided that as Flyfour was kind of skipping work (he was going to stay late to make up for going in late) we would only swim for a half hour and so getting in at the deep end we set off down the 25m pool. Flyfour has been going out on his bike every night for up to an hour, (and for long rides at the weekend) and his fitness is really improving. He would tell you himself, but as he doesn't blog you'll have to take my word for it!

I've found it rather harder to see that my fitness is improving on a daily basis, I mean I know I can go on the machines for harder and longer but I still get out of breath running up the stairs and I doubt I could go on a bike ride like Flyfour does on a daily basis but I realised as soon as I was half way down the pool that I was fitter than the last time I had gone swimming.

I was easily out swimming Flyfour and yes I was working hard and my breathing showed that, but it felt good and easy and I wasn't stressing about my heart rate or how much longer I "had" to exercise for as I was enjoying myself.

Swimming is easy, it's a total body work out if you use a variety of strokes (I alternate lengths between breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly which I'm rubbish at!) and it helps improve strength, cardiovascular fitness and endurance all of which is rather handy for someone like me who likes to see their fitness improving in measurable amounts.

We swam for just under half an hour and with breaks to chat at either end and to let other swimmers get out of the way we managed to swim 250meters. It isn't going to help me burn enough calories to lose weight, but it is helping me to enjoy exercise again.

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Going Going Gone - Wordless Wednesday

Day One

Start of Month Two

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Just A Few Options

Big Boy started School today, which means whilst I'm still a stay at home Mum I'm a stay at home Mum that doesn't have any children to look after until after School. So I have a few options about what I can do.

I could get a job. Do you know of any that the hours of work are 9:30am to 11:30am and then 12pm to 2:30pm?  Also I'd rather like to be able to just look at Pinterest and sit on Twitter and Facebook all day. No, neither do I know any jobs like that.

I could have endless coffee mornings, without the coffee of course and seeing as I don't have any friends available during the day without the friends too. Not, really a coffee morning is it?

I could clean the house. Let's move on from that shall we.

I could blog. Well, I do that anyway and I don't think that I could drag it out all day.

I could go to the gym and work out and work out and work out and work out. Well, maybe in a couple of weeks but for now I think that being at home is best for me. I need to be near in case BB needs me at School or rather the teaching assistants need me at school.

I could de-clutter the house. Again let's move on from that shall we.

I could garden, take care of the weeds and the flower beds. The garden needs a major overhaul and even with my gardening for dummies book I don't think I could manage them all on my own in the last few days of Summer.

I could watch TV, catch up on Soaps and let my mind rot whilst watching Jeremy Kyle. I used to watch too much TV, I don't really go back there again.

I could become the domestic goddess that I know I am, baking cakes, pies, biscuits and goodness knows what else. Although I think if I did that I might find my family getting sick and tired of all my culinary disasters that they had to stomach!

I could start crafting again, sewing and sticking and weaving and knitting and painting. Although I wasn't that good in the first place, so I doubt that this hobby would be a good one for anything other than creating a mess in my clean living room (it will be clean we just don't aren't talking about cleaning it!).

I could read, I love to read. I could get through the entire library in a couple of months and that could be fun and educational and I could be transported to hundreds of different worlds with just a few pages of an authors words.

I could paint my nails or work up on my make up skills. Vic would be very proud of me for this one.

I could write the book. The book that I know is inside of me (and not because I ate it), about lunches or about being a family or a fiction book with a story I've thought about for a long time.

I could put my plan together for taking over the world, I could be in charge in just five short years...

I could make sure that my secret plan goes ahead, my plan that I shared only with Flyfour. He knows that I was right, that my plan was a great idea and that it is perfect for me. I just need to work on it.

The thing is now that Top Ender and Big Boy are at School I could do all of these and more. I just need to decide what.

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The Old School Crush

I've just got back from shopping with my Mum, we went to her local supermarket instead of mine (Mine is bigger and has a better variety of food) which is in the town which I grew up in. Unsurprisingly walking around this Supermarket means I bump into a lot of people I know. People who taught me, people who babysat me, people I babysat for, people I went to school with...

It was a person I went to School with that I spotted in Tesco today. I had a little bit of a crush on this chap when I was younger and my knowledge of the way they hold themselves in public has apparently not faded as even without looking directly at him I knew it was him, just from the way he walked. I say I spotted him, but I think that he actually spotted me first as I only became aware of him after I realised I was being followed (I'm like a spy me. Razor sharp senses) and they were pretty bad at doing it. Maybe it wasn't all in my head when I was younger and he had a crush on me too?! The first thing I thought was;

"Do I look alright?"

Do I look alright? For crying out loud I'm overweight, almost double the age I was when I first knew him and I didn't shower after the gym today because I'm going back there this afternoon. On the plus side, I am wearing flattering fitting clothes...

Seriously how stupid is my internal voice? It's been a good Fifteen years since I left school and last thought about this chap and as you know I'm not on the market, I'm very happily married to a wonderful man (it's okay he doesn't read this blog so you know I'm not lying!) so why did I think that?

Then again what did he think about me? He must have been interested as why else would he follow me round the supermarket? Did he have an internal dialogue going making me to the answer to his life's quest? Did he think;

"Oooh look there's Pippa. I remember her from School as I had a massive Crush on her. Doesn't she look fantastic? I'll follow her around for a bit and find out if she has a Mr Pippa. She obviously has children as those two with her call her Mum. I could adopt them, I could be their Dad. How can I bump into her and start a conversation? Let me follow her down the crisps aisle even though I already have some in my trolley..."

I was trying to think what to say if he approached me. I decided in the end that I would recognise him but pretend I had forgotten his name.

"Hi Pippa. Remember me?" he would say
"Oh Hi! Yeah, erm... sorry I've forgotten your name" I would say

And then I would have the power because he remembered my name and it would seem as if I had forgotten his. I'm not sure why that would matter, but it seemed like the best idea at the time.

As soon as I got home, I thought I would Facebook Stalk him. See what he was up to, follow him round the virtual supermarket but his profiles locked (the git) and we only have a couple of mutual friends, neither of which I could ask to use their account to nose around his. I'm actually quite gutted.

So, all I know today is that some childhood crushes don't go away, they might fade but they always linger.

But I've just had a thought. What if he wasn't following me round the supermarket? What if he was actually following my Mum?

Oh please don't let that be it.

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