Friday, 19 August 2011

Summer Challenge

As some of you know I recently started going on bike rides during the weekend and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. So far I managed to stick to it most weekends and I feel damn pretty good about it. 
 You see exercise wise I usually have a two maybe three week shelf life. I go hard out for say 2 weeks, feel superhuman in my resolve and rejoice in my awesomeness over all the lesser non exercising peoples. However after I realise that all my fat has not spontaneously disappeared I loose heart, stop and proceed to do as little activity as humanly possible for the next say...6 months. I think part of my downfall is the perfectionist in me. If say, I set my self the task of working out 4 times a week and I miss one of those times, I feel like 'that's its I've ruined it! I always ruin it, I'll never stick to anything' and give up. You know the usual healthy mental attitude that all successful people have...
 However this time I approached it completely differently. I decided to go bike riding not to loose weight but for fun and for being healthy generally. I set out with the mindset that if I go great, but if for some reason on the weekend its raining or we have visitors then I wouldn't go. No guilt, just for fun. Plus bike riding was something I enjoyed as a child. So it was something I like doing rather than something I hate like going to the gym or lets say running. Oh man I hate running, people. I always start out fast thinking this is so OMG call an ambulance I. Am. Dying!

That said,  after reading about one of my favorite bloggers June running challenge I felt the urge to challenge myself this summer. I hate running but I like the idea of it (if that makes sense?). Plus there is the fact that Paula Radcliffe maybe my secret twin so I really should like running. Double plus there was one time when I worked at summer camp (not band camp) where me and some girl friends ran round the lake every other morning. I had gotten past the pain and really enjoyed it. 
 So I decided to approach it like the bike riding. While Tim was off work for the summer I could easily run some mornings without having to get up at stupid O'clock (another reason for my hate of running). I decided it wasn't to loose weight but for (ahem) fun, health (i'm always tired!), the challenge and time to myself. I also changed the route. When I have run in the past I always ran around the village on the pavements. This time I would run my cycle routes in the woods which as you know are a tad beautiful. There are lots of people walking their dogs, cycling and running themselves so its safe enough. As before I decided no guilt. I would set the challenge of running three times a week but if for some reason I don't go, no biggy. I started slow, like run for a few min then walk for 30 sec and build it up each week. I don't know if all this is the best way to do something but so far doing reverse psychology on myself has really worked.

With some tunes on the ipod I've set out each week mostly without fail. I've enjoyed it more than I expected. Where was the crushing pain? The total agony? I think the fact that I had already been bike riding made me fitter than I realised. 

My first run was so good and so easy I found myself laughing out loud like some crazy person. Luckily there were only squirrels and birds to judge me at that particular moment.

And oh man the scenery. I've enjoyed seeing it transform as summer took hold. The colors changed. The poppies finally gave way to warm golden grass. 

The sun warming my skin... 
The cool breeze on my face... 
And when Last of The Mohicans soundtrack comes on you feel like a warrior! I've missed a few here and there but mostly I've kept to it for about a month. As well as bike rides on the weekend! The tire around my middle looks exactly the same yet today I ran 4 miles in about 40min with only a few 1 min breaks to walk inbetween. I'm getting stronger and I feel really good about it!

Both bike riding and running has made me see the pretty all around and you guys know how much I dig that...

So freaking pretty...

 Even in the strangest of places I still see the pretty...

Will I stick to it till the end on the summer? Who knows...

But remember no guilt just fun! Happy weekend everybody x


  1. Haha, you sound like me when it comes to quitting. But, wow! That scenery is beautiful! I wish we had something like that around here.

  2. Good for you!! The scenery is stunning!! Good luck on your health endeavors! I too am working on losing some weight, hard but trying!

  3. Wonderful post ! I don't own a bike, but I love running! I'd be worried that I'd cycle too far and then not be able to get back from the saddle ache! ha.
    I love your grass/field photo's. Very whimsical. You know I'm a sucker for a good photo right?!

  4. Gorgeous pictures! I can tell I am going to love your blog. Your pictures are like an eye spa. :)

  5. Great photos! Love the one that comes after the sentence "The poppies finally gave way to warm golden grass." Really stunning, love the colours.