"} Get a life, Get active! By Fit Lesley: May 2011

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Feeling proud of myself!

After a fairly lazy few days due to horrendous weather and a packed social calendar I decided that I must get back with the programme today!!!  I woke up this morning exhausted but still buzzing from seeing Take That in Sunderland yesterday - they were FANTASTIC!  Anyhow, I decided to bite the bullet and go for a run this morning even though the weather was still a bit dodgy, enough of making excuses!!

I set my ipod up with the "Keep on running" album I have recently downloaded and set off to warm-up with a 5 minute walk! When I went into my "run" mode I was surprised how easily I settled into it and got lost in my music.  I was chuffed that I managed my first ever 3 mile run whilst running!!!!  (no sneaky walking when noone around,which is my usual falldown!).  Now I know I can do the distance I need to improve my speed before advancing into more miles!

I arrived home feeling energised and motivated and enjoying jumping into a nice hot shower, after running in the rain!

After lunch the sun came out which inspired me to get on my bike!!  I still felt trepidation at risking my life again on my new bike, but it has to be done!!   I was excited to discover a new found confidence and I didn't feel nearly as vulnerable as I did the first couple of times I went out on it! I even discovered I could work the brakes and mastered the right hand gears - just need to suss the left hand gears now!!!  I managed a 23 mile ride and it was the first time I felt enpowered by my new machine!!!  Here's to many more rides ....!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Contessa Speedster 25 Womens 2011 - My virgin ride on my NEW Road Bike

My new bike came in to the shop early so I went to collect it this afternoon, together with my new  SPD Scott shoes.

When I got home I enthusiastically got changed and went out for the first time ...
I shot off and was impressed with how quickly and  easily I went on the flat! However, I struggled finding the right gear going up hill so decided on concentrating on staying alive by leaving the gears alone!!  Another problem was corners ... I need to lean apparently ... hhhmmm we'll see about that!  Then came a downhill section!  I was so scared and felt SO unsafe with the brakes I actually stopped and pushed it downhill - that's a first for me! lol   I managed to clip my feet into the pedals relatively easily,  I eventually settled into the saddle and started to enjoy the ride until I approached a  cycle barrier, and I tried to put my foot down to manoeuvre around it forgetting I was clipped in! Luckily, the pedals were on an "easy" setting so I was able to yank my foot free before I fell!!  A swift look behind me confirmed I'd managed this without any spectators - could have been very embarrassing!! 

I'm determined to become a confident rider on a road bike - I will venture out again tomorrow and hope that now I'm not a virgin road cyclist things will be a whole lot easier!!!  Such a lot to remember ...!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

It's working!

I have been trying for quite a long while to inspire my family and friends to get active but have never succeeded -  up til now they have all just thought I'm a bit barking but today a friend wrote on her facebook:
  "Inspired by my Kendal friend - I would like to make a difference. Taking part in the 8 mile midnight walk in Bolton to raise funds for Bolton Hospice on June 11th"

Yippee Dee go go Jackie - before you know it you will be running the New York Marathon!!!

I'm on countdown to my new bike - only 2 more sleeps!!!  :-)

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Happy Bunny! :-)

I got a swanky new road bike today but it won't be ready until next Saturday so it will be a long week waiting in anticipation!!!  Could be a laugh getting used to cleats AND drop handles AND thin wheels!  SO So so so EXCITED!!!!!

Friday, 20 May 2011


OMG What am I doing?  It seems that I have decided to do the Lancaster half-marathon on the 6th November!!!  I have enrolled on a runkeeper training programme starting Sunday - I have no idea what this entails, but will let you know, and even bought some new go-faster running trainers today!!  Looks like there's no going back now!!!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

What next?

Now that my walking challenge has been accomplished I am keen to work towards something else!!!  Was thinking of a half marathon or marathon, but have decided I want to get back on my bike and cover more miles than I can running.  So .... What will it be?

I hadn't realised until I started looking into it quite how many Coast to Coast cycling routes there are!

So do I do:

Sea to Sea?
Coast to coast?
W to W?

Decision's, Decision's!!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

False Start with Mountain Biking!

In the Summer of 2009 I was pondering with the idea of starting cycling, but my bike was old and unsuitable.  I got the nudge I needed when a "cycle to work" leaflet landed in my pigeon hole at work, and before I knew it I had purchased a lovely Marin Palisades Trail Women's specific bike. This inspired my husband to buy a new bike so we could go mountain biking together at weekends. We enjoyed a few short 'easy' rides, before my then 15 year old son decided to take us on a "really good route" to Claife Heights. http://www.southlakeland.gov.uk/pdf/adventure-cycling-p2pclaifeheights.pdf
Unfortunately, my son's bike got a puncture, and being novices and unprepared we didn't have a repair kit with us.  We gave him directions to the car and arranged to meet him there.  With hindsight this was a very bad idea as he didn't listen and ultimately got lost. He decided in his teenage wisdom to walk back to Windermere and get the train home from there, forgetting the important fact that he had no money with him.  He managed to blag a free journey on the Hawkshead to Windermere ferry.  By this point about 2 hours had passed and we were frantic with worry looking for him.  Luckily some kind lady in Bowness took pity on him and helped him out, and with her help we eventually managed to relocate our lost son!

After this exhausting traumatic experience I decided I really didn't like Mountain Biking and parked my bike securely in the garage, where it stayed until April 2010.

Giving Road Cycling a go ...

In April 2010, once the days started to get longer again I decided to dust my bike off and give it another go! Since mountain biking across rough terrain terrified me I decided to stick to roads, although I was also apprehensive in traffic! I started off with planning routes that ensured I didn't have to negotiate too much traffic, but it wasn't long before I was planning more challenging longer routes. I thoroughly enjoyed cycling down country lanes and finding places (whilst getting lost may I add!),  that I otherwise wouldn't have discovered. I steadily progressed from a weekly ride to cycling three or four times a week, eventually managing a full day ride at the weekend. I noticed a rapid improvement in my cycle fitness and soon became very competitive if another cyclist over-took me!  I soon discovered I was at a massive disadvantage compared with someone on a road bike in terms of speed, and it became apparent to me that if I was in it to win it I would have to do something with my bike! After researching and considering my options I discovered that a new set of tyres and tubes is the single most effective upgrade you can do. I decided to replace my MB tyres with high pressure slicks, which I think helped tremendously, and were relatively cheap. After expereincing the frustration of a a couple of punctures (maninly when they were hedge trimming and thorns were left in the road!) and having to act the damsel in distress and get my hubby to come and resue me I invested in slime inner tube sealant and haven't needed rescued sine!  I think the best motivational tool for me whilst cycling is tracking my rides using runkeeper. RunKeeper is a GPS-enabled iPhone fitness application which charts your exercise progress. All you have to do is start the app, tell it what kind of exercise you're doing and then stick the phone back in your pocket. Now it will track your movements - noting your average speed, distance travelled and calories burned as well as charting your routes on a map. You can even publish your runkeeper activities on Facebook so that your friends can motivate you further and track your progress. http://runkeeper.com/

Fair Weather Cyclist!

Once the short days and dark nights set in I found it increasingly difficult to find the opportunity to cycle during day-light hours in acceptable weather conditions! I'd had a few scary experiences when I found myself cycling in windy, wet and cold weather so yet again I changed my exercise regime and started walking, going to the gym, swimming and attending spinning classes.

The need to set Challenges

After a summer of progressively achieving more difficult routes I made the decision that I would find a cycling challenge for the following year.

These challenges are what prompted me to write this blog in the hope I can inspire other people to push themselves beyond what they thought was possible.  Read my challenges situated in the tabs at the top of this page and get motivated ...