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Archive for the category “Health”

Shoe Issues

Since doing the 10km walk for Marie Curie, my feet have been having some issues, which have been no fun.

In the preparation for the walk, my feet had gained some hard skin areas, which – like a twat – I’d picked apart. To stop them from hurting or getting worse on the walk, I put on a couple of blister plasters – whose glue melted off during the walk, and actually caused the blisters I ended up with. Oops.

The blisters cleared up and healed quickly, but left some weaker spots of skin, which have then been a bit of an issue.

Basically, the Cat boots I’ve had this year haven’t been anywhere near as good as usual, and the lining had dissolved in places – again, causing blisters in the bits that rubbed, and those weaker spots of skin.  Because I’d bought them from Schuh, I was able to take them back to the store, and they’ve exchanged them for a new pair without question – which is pretty stunning customer service, in my opinion.  However, because they’d died, I had worn an older pair for the day – and that exacerbated the problem tenfold.

Because I’m an idiot – so I’d walked a lot in those old, old boots, with their worse wear. I didn’t think anything of it ’til the end of the day, when I got home – at which point I had blood-filled blisters on blisters.  Pretty skanky, and very sore.  As a result, yesterday I spent the day doing amazingly little, and just giving my feet some recovery time. Which seems to have been a fairly good plan, all things considered. I didn’t even do half my normal walking for the day – which I feel bad about, but at least it was for a vaguely good reason.

All this has been within a couple of weeks – it’ll all heal, but it’s been a painful time because of my own stupidity (and some ropy build quality along the way).

So really this post is just a reminder to future me to not be such a fucking idiot, and to take more damn care of my own feet.

And that’s it.

Marie Curie 10k

Over the weekend, I did my second 10km “Walk to Remember” for Marie Curie. Last year it was at Boughton House in Northamptonshire, this time it was at Blenheim Palace.

I like the setup for these walks – it’s done on a summer evening, no numbers or rankings, you just go and do the walk. I’m interested in how I do, and some comparisons, but I’m also happy to just get it done.  They do some other stuff afterwards, but that’s never been of much interest for me, so I don’t bother.

Last year, I did the 10km route in 1hr 51 – still not bad – and enjoyed it, but I did want to do better this year.

Safe to say, I managed to do so…

Walk track and times for Blenheim Palace

Walk track and times for Blenheim Palace

I came in within the first 20 people, so I was pretty chuffed all round. I’d started off in the middle of the crowd, but within the first kilometer I was up at the front – and stayed there for the rest of it.  Some of the people I’d overtaken came back past me (I’d particularly narked one person who was very ‘professional walker’ by overtaking them and staying ahead for a good few kilometres)

Anyway, it was a good day, and I really enjoyed it again. My feet hurt a bit today, but nothing traumatic, and it’s all good.

Into August

Somehow, we’re into August already. The year’s racing by (as usual) and here we are. August.

August is a funny (as in ‘odd’, not as in ‘ho ho’) month for me – for some reason it’s always been rather more eventful than others. It seems to be generally a month of change for me, in ways both negative and positive.

It’s definitely the month I get twitchy about, more than any other. I’m sure that’s because my parents first pointed out what a consistently change-laden month it was (which may have also gone some way to making it a bit more self-fulfilling) but I try to not focus on it. By that, I mean that I don’t consciously go “oh, I’ll do that in August”.  August just seems to happen.

As examples…

  • D4D™ got started in August. Not intentionally (well obviously it got started intentionally) in August – that was just when everything came together for it to happen
  • My bankruptcy was in August. Again, that’s just when it came about.
  • I finally passed my driving test in August.
  • I’ve had *lots* of job changes in August, contracts ending and so on.

This time round, it looks (so far) like things will be a lot calmer.

I was a bit twitchy, as my current work contract had an end date next week – and even though I was 99% sure it would extend again, there’s always that “But it’s August, and thus could bite me on the bum” nagging doubt. However, it’s been confirmed this week that it’ll extend again, through to October (which will mean I’ve been doing this one for a year) so that’s all good.

To the best of my knowledge I’ll be staying in the current house for at least another year. That’s the plan (and renewal isn’t ’til November, so not a concern) and I see no current reason to change it.

There’s currently nothing else of major import and change looking like it’ll happen.  I’ve got stuff planned for the month, but nothing change-laden.   All the same, during August I’ll be…

  • Doing a 10Km sponsored walk for Marie Curie
  • Seeing Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet (a happy surprise instance, brought about by a friend of a friend not being able to go)
  • Possibly another London visit, or alternative Day Trip
  • Sorting out (renewing) car insurance again

And there’s a bundle of other stuff as well, alongside the weekly working normality.

So with any luck, this August won’t be too eventful and change-laden. We’ll see.

Easing Up

As regular readers will know, I’ve been working fairly hard over the last eighteen months when it comes to weight loss.

In 2014, I’d lost two stone, and I was planning (hoping) to do the same this year, which would get me to something close to where I want to be.

However, this year it’s not gone all that well. (And yes, I know we’re only halfway through the year, there’s still time to sort things) I’ve stayed around the same place weight-wise, although I’ve been doing a lot more – both more walking, and also getting back to going to the gym.

As a result, my health and fitness are improving significantly, but the weight is staying the same.

I know there’s a load of guff spoken about muscle being heavier than fat, and all that, but I’ve still been finding it pretty demoralising to do a load of work, walking, or working out, then step on the scales and see the same figures there, week after week.

So – I’m not giving up, but I am easing off on checking my weight. I can feel the changes, and see the differences in measurements etc. (although I haven’t recorded the measurements themselves) and that’ll do me for now.

Reducing Available Excuses

Over the last month, I’ve been getting back into going to the gym. At first it’s been more about just adding it in to my regular routine – and that’s been fairly successful, I’m pleased to say.  I do intend to go through things with a personal trainer and so on, figure out what my goals and targets should realistically be (and there’s some other parts to that too, but more of those at another time) but for now it’s been more about just going, doing some stuff there, and just getting it back into my normal day.

With the exception of last week – where I’d twatted my foot (again) enough that it was painful to walk on, let alone do any serious exercise/workout/walking – it’s worked out fairly well, and I got in at least twice a week.

This week, with the foot back to being OK (or at least OK enough) I was back to going, even though I really wasn’t in the mood, and frankly I was too fucking hot to want to go.  But I still went.

My philosophy at the moment is to go when I don’t want to, when the conditions are crap – too wet, too windy, too hot, too whatever – to make sure that I’ve no excuses on normal days. The only time where excuses are allowed are when I’m hurting, and it’ll affect them (and possibly make them worse) by going.  That’s it.

So having been on the hottest day of the year, I’ve no real excuses any more when “it’s too hot”. Yes, it’s definitely not nice (and an extra change of clothes was a very good plan!) but it got done, and I can’t make that excuse.  (I was actually surprised by how few people were in the gym on that day – I assume ‘It’s too hot to work out’ had an effect on that, too)

So – making progress. We’ll see how things work out from here…

Getting Back In The Saddle

Following on from this week’s ‘Heavy Thoughts‘, I’m aiming on getting myself back into more exercise and so on.

Among those plans, I’m heading back to a gym – and it’s another new one.

I signed up with one in Milton Keynes (MK) earlier this year, thinking that it would be a good plan due to working in MK four days a week.  However, it didn’t work with everything else – it was a bit in the wrong direction, and a ballbag to get to. It didn’t fit with how things were working for me, so I wasn’t going.

As a result, I cancelled it – no point carrying on paying for something that’s not being used, just because of good intentions, after all. Thankfully it was one of the newer no-contract gyms, so wasn’t any great issue.

This week I’ve signed up with a different one (but still contract-free, and actually cheaper still than the previous one) and went for the first time as well. It’s closer to my office, allbeit still a decent walk, and means I can park near the office as usual – I get in early anyway, to avoid rush-hour traffic – and walk down to the gym, then walk back and get to work.

I’ve not chosen the best time to do this – this week and next are chaotically busy with other stuff as well, so I’m not in the MK office as much as usual. Initially though, it’s aiming to get me into going again, and getting into a routine for doing so.

And from there, we’ll see how it all goes. I’m optimistic for the moment, but time is more likely to tell.

Heavy Thoughts

Last year I did pretty well when it comes to weight loss, dropping two stones over the year. (It was actually a bit more, but then went up again towards the year end)  The plan this year is/was to do more of the same, and lose a similar amount of weight.

So far, that’s not gone well.  It stayed pretty stable through January to April, and then May was – for unknown reasons – really bad.  Basically, I had a real desire for sugar, coupled with a lot of idiot days, journeys, activities and meals. It felt pretty non-stop, and for whatever reason from that, my brain/body wanted sweet stuff.

When I weighed myself on Monday, I’d put on nearly a stone, which has really annoyed me. I’ve been pleased with the weight loss, so putting some back on is a bit of a setback.

But it’s only a setback, not a major issue. From here on things are a bit calmer again – although saying that I’ve still got weekend trips to Oxford, Manchester and London coming up – and I’ll reduce that sugar intake again. That has, I think, been the main trigger for weight gain.

I’m going to get back to doing some other stuff too, and seeing how things go.  But that’s the plan, and I’m not changing my goal for the year. I just have to work a bit harder than expected to get there…

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