Tag Archives: running

Green Exercise

I’m all about being green. In general. Recycling, upcycling, air miles, composting, you get the drift. But I’m also all about Green exercise. Getting outdoors, into the non recycled air.  And for me, that’s one of the benefits!


In general you are pretty limited in the gym. Sure you can adjust the incline, but nothing beats the undulating terrain of the outdoors. Working out outside promotes “muscle confusion,” which can help your body burn more calories.  Very cool. And it’s totally cool to be green.

Continue reading

I love a good fartlek….

As you know I have a serious love/ hate relationship with running.  I love it when I’m finished, but hate that I can never seem to run as fast or as far as everyone else.  I tend to be prone also to injury, so feel sometimes that I am starting from scratch all over again, everytime.  So after much trying of different types of running training, I now combine a number of methods that seem to keep me in the game, injury free, and motivate me. Fartlek being the main one.


Fartlek (meaning speed play) is the first.  Similar to interval training, it was designed in Sweden by Gösta Holmér in 1937, he was the coach of a cross country running team who were not doing particularly well.  Sessions should be performed at an intensity that causes the athlete to work at 60% to 80% of his or her maximum heart rate. This means (hopefully) that the body will not experience too much discomfort while exercising. An athlete should also include a good warm up at the beginning of the session, and a cool down at the end of the session, to improve performance, minimize post-workout muscle soreness, and most importantly for me; to decrease the chances of injury.. So hence it’s the model of choice for me.  The “Fartlek” intervals can vary in length, and speed.  When I’m starting off I’ll do a walk/jog interval, then if I’m feeling “in the groove” I’ll do slow run, fast run intervals.  My ultimate aim is to decrease the number of walk/runs. Fartleks are a great option for people that run for their health because the fat burning portion makes it a very efficient exercise.

Waterford Greenway

The Greenway is fab in both good and bad weather

But still running by yourself can be quite lonely.  I use to run with music, but after a particularly long injury break I started back running and simply forgot to put the music on.  It is also safer for when I’m running on the road. I really envy the people who can run with other people.  I just can’t.  Firstly I’d be embarrassed as I run SO SLOWLY.  And then I’d struggle to chat- and for anyone who knows me- seems impossible.  So I just run and retreat inside my head. And it’s free. With money tight -a gym, or fitness classes are completely out of the question, so I strap on the runners and use some of the roads and tracks around my area.  The Waterford Greenway is an amazing running/ walking/ cycling “way” that runs from Waterford to Dungarvan along the old route of the railway.  it’s 46kms of safe running and we are lucky to have access to quite a few entry points.  If that doesn’t get you out running or walking nothing will!

I do have a machine companion however, I’m one of those annoying people who share their exercise on social media.  The main reason is for support, even if noone “likes” it, I still hope that there is support out there for my lonely feet slapping runs 3-4 times a week in my endless journey to increase my fitness and decrease my weight.  Although over the last few years those priorities have changed in emphasis.  My health, both mental and physical are more important to me now than ever.  Too many friends have gone, too many people take their lives for granted.  I’m determined not to be one of those.  And sure I like the scenery.

Balance in my life

I’m all about balance. And sometimes need to tattoo it to my forehead so that when I have time to look in the mirror I see it.

In baking there has to be a balance- sweet v’s salty, texture v’s taste, colour v’s content.  And we instinctively do this.

For me to feel balanced in my day to day life I need to feel I have a handle on what’s going on around me.  And sometimes that lurches to one side if I’m tired, or particularly at the moment when my health is not so good.

So I gave myself a good talking over the last week as I wallowed in self pity for the running I’m not able to do and all the tearing about like a mad thing that I am doing.

You need to be kind to yourself- and no that’s doesn’t mean chocolate for lunch- merely give yourself a break.

Balance won’t feel right if you are cruel to yourself getting there.

So my aims for March.

  • Enjoy some fresh air- be it a walk, a run, or riding my horse- as often as I can
  • Allocate non essential to-dos to the back burner- the windows absolutely don’t need to be washed (what’s another year??)
  • Get more sleep
  • Increase my plant food intake- this gets easier as the weather gets better- salads aren’t high on my agenda when it’s freezing cold outside
  • Making time for family/ friends

What are you doing to help the balance in your life??




Me, myself and my GPS

You would think, as an “orienteerer” that I would instinctively know location and direction at all times. Sadly not. Unless either up a mountain, or in a forest- I can’t seem to find my way out of the proverbial paper bag.

So I rely on several GPS devices.  Firstly the Garmin in my car.  Can’t go anywhere without it.  And that’s not to say I’m good at using it either.  But between us we’ll find our way.  I’m ok if I have the address to plug in, or have the location stored in Favourites.  But if I have to actually locate it on the map.  Nah. I canny do it Captain.

Continue reading

My 30 day challenge- Day 22

So near and yet so far.  For various reasons, mostly because after all the stress of the last year, and because food blogging is bad for your waistline…. I decided to give myself an exercise challenge.  Take 30 minutes exercise a day outside of the normal dog walking/ horse riding/ farm checking routine.


So the initial plan was to try to run most days.  But time is always an issue in our house, between the day job, the baking and the family commitments.  That meant the only way to fit it in during the week was by getting up a half hour earlier.

I love Snapchat (j3n1p) and love seeing the snaps of @healthyfitbella getting up early for her spinning classes. She said one of the only ways she can get up and get out the door so early is by getting her gym gear and leaving it right beside the bed, laid out.  And this is what I do too.  No excuses like not finding socks.  And at that time of the morning (I go at 06.30) my brain hasn’t kicked in yet, so the internal arguments only 0ccur when my runners are on me.

30 Day Challenge

30 Day Challenge

Days 1 to 10 were a breeze. I went away day 14 for a mini mini break with some friends so those days were a struggle as I was so tired.  Day 17 I felt I was finally starting to get some pace, mind you that was the day I really was feeling rotten and every step on the way out was a struggle.  But I try when running to concentrate on the moment, not on the bend ahead or on the finish line.  Just the moment.  And really it’s about the only time I do this.

My better half is also doing the challenge with me, but is a natural runner.  Just seeing him lope along makes me a bit* green with envy.  As I go nowhere fast.  Sure it’s the taking part that matters, isn’t it??

So what now for the next 8 days? And after that?  Well, we’ll see.  For now I’m just living in the moment.


January is supposed to be THE month for getting fitness/ healthy eating/ new you on track.  I think I just need to do nothing- or maybe just  a short holiday…

Christmas is a mental time of year in the day job, and this year has been to a whole-new-level-of-hell worse than usual.  So by the time Christmas day comes I just want to hibernate for a month.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas, the lights, the food, the family get togethers.  I promised myself in December, that as soon as Christmas day came and went I would get out walking- and eventually running again.  I’ve joined groups on facebook to help motivate myself.  But it just isn’t working.


And I’m not sitting at home every evening watching TV.  Or eating takeaways every day of the week.  But I just can’t get back into it. I actually do not have one single spare minute.  I look around at 11 o’clock each night and go- right what’s next??

On a positive note I have started back riding again.  Missy is back after her operation, and we are both “enjoying” the exercise every day.  So I suppose that’s something


Missy and I in the arena

So where to now? I’ve lots of orienteering competitions coming up. And will need to be fit for both running physically and running mentally.  And I’ve vowed this year to step it up with my horse- no injury excuses. We’ve started off really well, but if I can’t last for longer than 30 mins in the saddle it’s not much use. So, where too from here? I really want to look as happy as I am in this picture-

The after run glow!

It’s going to be hard.  But nothing worth doing isn’t hard.  My father in law will be in New Zealand for the next 3 weeks.  My plan is to walk all the dogs each morning as a start.  Food diary is underway.  To be honest, my diet is good, too good- too much.  So portion sizes need to be tackled. And I soooooo love to eat and cook.  *sighs*

So a little help and advice would be appreciated.  And I’ll let you know how I get on…


PS I did my first parkrun in Tramore on Saturday and was ABSOLUTELY thrilled to run the whole 5km.  Slower than some people walked it- but I did it!!!!!!