Monday, 16 June 2014

Weekly Workouts - WC 8th June

So last Sunday I still had my first 4 miler to complete for my long, slow, easy run... And I did it!
I wasn't looking forward to the run because in the past I've stuck to running in the building compound on weekends.
One round of the compound is just under half a mile, but it's full of kids playing, cars and bikes buzzing past, stray dogs tripping me up and potholes. I feel like I'm on the hamster wheel when I run in the compound, and that takes some of the fun out of my runs.
As I've enjoyed running home from work, I figured that an outside run would be best, so I set off on a new route and it was fun! 

The monsoon has arrived in Mumbai. It's still been hot in the day as we've only had a few showers so far, but it's feeling a little cooler at night and the wind had picked up.
I haven't run in the rain yet, but I must do soon. In just two weeks time I run my first 5k - Monsoon Madness! There's a strong possibility that it will be a wet race, so I need to practice in the rain. 

I'm super excited... It's just 2 weeks until my first 5k! I've been feeling a little under the weather this week so haven't pushed it. I was out for a while month earlier this year when I got ill with bronchitis, so decided to take it easy mid week. Also work has been very stressful, with many projects on the go all at the same time. 

My weekly workouts:
Sunday: 4. 03miles - I did it!
Monday: 3.12 miles - added a new loop on the way so didn't have to run in the compound
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Hectic day... Left work late so ran direct route home = 2.45 miles
Thursday - Saturday: Feeling blah = Rest
Sunday: The Nike 'Rise & Shine'/' Welcome to the Grind' commercial inspired me to get my ass into gear - I went for my first run in the day-time, as it was cloudy and cool when I took Coco down for a walk... Unfortunately it got sunny and hot when I was running, and despite me having plenty of water I became dizzy so thought it was best that I cut this one short = 2.23 miles

Let's see what next week brings!
Happy Running...

Tell me:
  • Your fave motivational videos? 
  • Tips for making sure you get your runs in?
  • Any ideas about how to nip a cold in the bud? 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Weekly Workouts - WC 2nd June

I can’t believe it’s June already – this year has been flying by! The good news is I’m still on track with my New Year’s Resolution (for the first time ever!) to make 2014 a healthier year.

Last week I went for my health check-up and I was weighed again. This time I weighed in at 52.6kg, so I guess I’m still losing weight although I’m eating plenty.

On Monday/Tuesday we had a few rain showers – the monsoon is on its way! I completely missed both as I was at work during the first shower, and the second one happened in the middle of the night. These showers cool the temperature for a few hours and then the humidity rises making everyone turn into a sticky, sweaty puddle. Not ideal weather for running.

I ran home from the office on Monday and Thursday. I am really enjoying these runs as they feel like I’m running for a purpose. I’m not sure it’s safe to run home during the rains. This is nothing to do with traffic, but because the roads and pavements are SOOOOOOOO bad in Mumbai (we actually have pot-hole and pavements campaigns in the newspaper where you can send photos of the many danger spots that cause problems).

Wednesday was intervals day, and I’m not sure of the final distance I ran as my Nike app only tracked 14 minutes worth of the 30 I did.

I attempted to get up and run early in the morning today – massive fail! If I’m going to run early, then I’ll have to significantly change my sleeping habits. Unfortunately they are based around my working hours and the fact I need a few hours to unwind once I get back from the office.

My mixie is working well. Love its ability to grind up flax seeds to add to my food (good source of omega 3 for a veggie like me). I’ve used it several times to make smoothies, and it did a fab job for my pav bhaji.

The Abs challenge is well underway. I realized on Friday that I’d skipped day 5 and already done day 6, so I did it again. Keep moving forward – no going back. 

The first step in being able to do a really good handstand is being able to hold a really strong plank. As the plank is one of the things I’m working on with the Abs challenge, I’ve decided to focus on that alone for the next month, which is what I need to do for the Handstand challenge anyway!

My workouts this week:

Monday: 3.2 miles home from office + Abs Day 2
Tuesday:  Abs Day 3
Wednesday: Intervals – 10 x (2 mins fast, 1 min slow) ~ 3 miles (Day 4 abs was a rest day)
Thursday: 3.31 miles home from office – This was a slow run, and I ran most of the way… I’m improving + Abs day 6 (oops!)
Friday: Abs day 6 on the right day this time J
Saturday:  Abs day 7 + Runner’s World Essential Yoga after my run.
Sunday: 4 miles run due tonight… more on this next week. (Abs day 8 is a rest day)

My run home on Thursday... I live close to the beach but never go there!

Happy running...

Tell me...
  • Do you run in the morning, afternoon or at night? Or do you change it up?
  • Any tips for running in the rain / monsoon?

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Weekly Workouts - WC 26th May

This week has been hot, hot, hot! According to, it’s currently 33°C (91°F) but it feels like 41°C (106°F). 

I work odd hours and find it really difficult to get up early in the morning when it’s coolest, so I tend to work out after sunset. That means it’s difficult to get good pics of my running route etc.
I tried running home from work this week – not everyday, just on my scheduled run days. It’s only 2.3 miles (3.7km) using the route I took.
  • Saves time – going home in company transport often takes around 30 minutes. When I get home I feed Coco, get changed and then go out for a run. This often takes quite some time.
  • Happier dog – If I run home, then I don’t have to go back out so Coco is happier!
  • A new route – Far less boring than running round in circles in the compound of my building.

  • Running on the side of a very busy road – Not the most ideal place to run, but there is plenty of space along most of the route. There are a few dodgy stretches with lots of pot holes or less space, but I can walk at those spots.
  • A lungful of pollution – I don’t think there’s any getting away from this in suburban Mumbai. Even if I run in my compound I’ll still get a lungful of nasty, as it’s right next to a busy road. I’ll need to move if I’m truly going to escape from this hazard.
  • Safety – I’m running at night, on the side of a road. I’ve picked a well-lit route where there are plenty of people around. My running gear has reflective bits on it. I run against the traffic and on pavements wherever possible.
  • Stuff – either I have to carry my work clothes and lunchbox home with me in a backpack, or I have to leave it in the office overnight. Luckily I don’t run every day, so I can work this out. The only thing I’m really struggling with is how to get my glasses home safely. I might have to wear them while I run; otherwise I think I need a new pouch to strap onto my water belt…

I ran home on Monday and Wednesday, and will continue next week at least to see how it goes. Soon the Monsoon will start in Mumbai, so I’m not sure how this will work during the rainy season. I guess I’ll have to see how it goes!

I started to transition into a new job role at work – the next few weeks are going to be super stressful as I find my feet; I must ensure that my running time does not suffer. Exercise will be essential in keeping me sane.

I bought a new mixer/grinder (an essential for Indian cooking and so handy for so many things – don’t know how I managed without one before I moved here!)
Oster Mixer-Grinder = Useful

I joined two challenges – a 30 day one for Abs and a 28 day one for Handstands! June will be the month of Abs and Handstands :)

I aspire to this

I had a quick weight/BMI/body fat/muscle mass check up done (full health check due tomorrow – need to fast for 12 hours). I was pleasantly surprised by my results.
I am 5’1” and weigh 54.1 kg (119 lbs) so my BMI is around 22. When I gave blood a few months back I was 57kg, and whilst I don’t know exactly how much I weighed at the end of last year, it must have been at least 60 kg. The running and exercise are definitely helping.
My body fat is too high and my muscle mass too low. I need to up the amount of strength work I’m doing and keep the junk food to a minimum.
Finally, my metabolic age is currently 40, which is only 3 years off my actual age. I hate to think what it would have been 6 months back! In a few more months I’m sure I’ll be back to my actual age (or lower).

My workouts this week:
Monday: 2.5 miles – new route home from work. I carried a backpack. I didn’t get on with this too well.
Tuesday:  Rest
Wednesday: 3.12 miles – ran back from work again and added a lap around my compound to increase the mileage. Left my kit at work and ran with just my running belt.
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
5k test run – didn’t go too well. {My right calf was super tight, even though I’d stretched out and warmed up. I managed to run for 1.5 miles before I decided that the rest of the way would have to be run-walk. This speeded things up a little.}  
Runner’s World Recovery Yoga after my run.
30 day Abs challenge – day 1 (15 sit ups, 5 crunches, 5 leg raises, 10 sec plank); 
28 day Handstand challenge – day 1 (5 minutes of planks/handstand visualisation)

So love this – New running app

Happy running...

Tell me...
  • Are you doing any challenges this month?
  • Do you run home from the office? Any tips?

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Breakfast / Post workout smoothie

Last week I made this fab smoothie. It's sweet and chocolatey, but there's no added sugar anywhere!
The sweetness comes from the banana and dates and the chocolatey-ness from cocoa powder. You can use whatever milk, nuts and dried fruit you prefer for this... I'm wondering if apricots will go well with this??

What I used:
1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup milk
1/2 ripe banana
a few dates
a handful of nuts, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Whack everything in a blender

I've made this a few times in the last week. One day I used some almonds and cashews in my smoothie, as that's what's lying around at home. Another day I used a few teaspoons of peanut butter. Both were yummy. I threw in a little cinnamon powder and sultanas (golden raisins) on another occasion. Again, this was good. I have some dried figs at home too, think I might throw a few in next time!


Tell me...
  • What is your favourite smoothie? 
  • What fruit do you use in a smoothie like this?

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Weekly Workouts - WC 19th May

So this week was a much better week 
  • The tummy problems I had last week have gone away.
  • I took 3 days off from work for a bit of R&R.
  • I got crafty (as I do when I get some time off) and made a cute clutch.
  • I had some yummy Green Thai Curry and Strawberry Baked Cheesecake - Takeaway Treat!
  • I made a fab breakfast/post workout smoothie - recipe coming soon...
  • I made muskmelon vodka cocktails (blended muskmelon, lightly frozen; a splash of vodka; topped up with soda).
  • And I ran, did my strength workout and yoga too! 

My workouts:
Monday: 1.50 miles – super-hot weather
Tuesday:  Essential Yoga, from Runner’s World 
Wednesday: morning – Abs and Bodyweight strength workouts – left me sweating; evening – Intervals 12 x (1.5 mins fast, 1 min slow) = 3.18 miles in 30 mins
Thursday: 2.60 miles – slow; lead legs today
Friday: Rest
Saturday:  Stretching
Sunday: 4.10 mile easy run – longest run to date…

All in all, a great week!

Happy running...

Tell me...
  • Do you use Nike Running? What's your colour? What's your total distance? (I'm Orange - total 48.28 miles)
  • What's your favourite takeaway treat?
  • Do you have a Yoga workout you would recommend?