Saturday, 2 February 2013


Well what an eventful few days it has been.

Firstly I want to shout it out, yeah the running is paying off and I've lost approximately 15lbs in just over 3weeks. My fitness is so much better and I feel good.

I've still got a long way to go, but so far I'm enjoying the journey.

Anyway, I've been secretly applying for a new job. I haven't been happy since an incident back in November and was shocked when I was invited for an interview last Friday.

The meeting went well, I received some positive feedback and I felt confident. Fast forward to Tuesday just gone and I've only gone and been successful.

The post will be a challenge, more responsibility more salary and hopefully more prospects. I've been a mum and wife for so long, my career just took a back seat. I found work that accommodated the family. Hopefully the future will provide me with the opportunity to carve my own way.

So because of holidays I still needed to use, I've submitted my resignation and start with the new employer this Monday!!

My first few days take me back down to London (I'm so glad I went a couple of weeks ago, it's not that scary) for training,

I'm actually looking forward to the peace and quiet, along with a bed to myself!!

So I will be back soon with details of my new adventures.

2013 is definitely the year of change.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

It's official

I posted a couple of weeks ago about my desire to start running. Well I'm still at it. Actually I think I've become quite addicted. Since starting the couch to 5k programme I've ran everyday and upped the programme to 10k!!

I've signed up to complete the Manchester 10k at the end of May. Now if I actually do this, it will be a huge personal achievement for me.

After just 3 weeks (almost) I am feeling and seeing the benefits. My mood has improved, I feel more focused with bags more energy. The major bonus (apart from feeling fitter) I've dropped a dress size and I feel fantastic!!!

So I think I've officially got the bug and long may it continue!! Who knows maybe London Marathon 2014 is achievable xx

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Sledging or Sledding?

Call it what you will (we call in sledging here near Manchester) but today, after last nights snowfall which left a blanket of snow approximately 12inches thick, we found the biggest hill in our local park and had a glorious afternoon. An afternoon filled with fun, lots of laughter and best of all it didn't cost us a penny, it was completely free!

Once the light began to fade, we returned home to mugs of hot chocolate, homemade soup and crusty bread. The girls had a warm bath to heat them up and we snuggled on the sofa in our PJ's under a blanket, perfect.

Now I thought I'd include some information regarding the history of sledding or sledging. My eldest asked the question so we 'Googled' it. Here are the results:

The word sled comes from the Middle English word “sledde” (a very old type of English that is so different from what we use today, you would have trouble recognizing it) which meant “slider.” And that’s exactly what it does! We use sleds during the winter because they move easily through ice and snow, and even rock and some grass in certain instances. We may think of sleds as just for fun, but sleds actually come from sleighs and sledges, which were used as far back as the medieval era in Europe for transporting goods and people. You may have noticed that in most pictures of Santa, his reindeer pull him through the night sky in a sleigh, but traditional sleighs were used for transporting people and were often drawn by horses or dogs. European explorers used sledges and sleighs to navigate their way through the Arctic and Antarctic, and in some colder Scandinavian countries sleighs and sledges were not only fast, they were exempt from tolls on roads and bridges and so became popular for moving sizable goods. Chilly places like the Arctic still have huskies pulling sleighs as an option for getting through the snow quickly! Sleds are shorter and lighter than a traditional sleigh or sledge, people realized that sliding through the snow was so fun, that it might be worth giving everyone a shot, even if they didn’t need to get anywhere! That’s where the sleds we know today come in.

Monday, 21 January 2013

and so it came

Well after several days of everywhere else in the country having snow, we woke to a blanket.

I love the sight of a fresh snow fall. Everything seems brighter, sharper and clean! I almost felt guilty for making fresh footprints.

My running is going well. It's almost second nature now, I wake I run!! I enjoy the extra energy it gives me and the freedom. The sound of my feet against the pavement is almost like another heartbeat.

My weight is starting to reduce to which is an added bonus.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Busy bee

I'm sorry I've not posted anything for a few days. I've had such a hectic week with lots to tell you.

Firstly Galaxy is making a speedy recovery. The vets are pleased with her progress and she's enjoying our long walks again. To date we still haven't heard from the insurance company about our claim. Hopefully no news is good news and they will pay out.

Now to me, I started the couch to 5k training programme just over a week ago and I feel fantastic. I've still got a long way to go with my training but I've definitely got the bug. I've even upped my game to couch to 10k and I'm hoping to run the Manchester 10k in May.

I love the freedom the solitude. Just me and my music (oh and galaxy near by). I'm not confident enough to road run yet, my local park is my setting and I'm having great fun!

Eventually I want to lose weight (I've got plenty to shift) but that's not my goal. My clothes are already starting to feel baggy so it must be working.

Onto my finances, with an unexpected trip to London we have spent £200 that we planned to pay off our debts. It's a slip up but something we both needed. We have returned optimistic and determined. I know this will be a good year for us.

Another totally unexpected event was that I got to 'chat' to my new friend on windows live. My perfect stranger. He's currently serving out in Afghanistan and it was wonderful to know his spirits were high and he's doing ok. I sometimes forget how difficult it must be for our Armed forces being away from family and friends. We usually exchange emails once or twice a week, a modern Pen Friend. I chat to him about stuff that's happening back in the UK (the weather is a hot top at the min) and he uses our emails as a sounding board to express his thoughts of being over in Helmand. It's almost like therapy really as there is very little to no chance of ever bumping into one another.

Our armed forces do a fantastic job and I wish them all a safe tour and speedy return home.

So, the weather? Everyone else in the country seems to be battling with the snow, guess what? We've not got any. Well not anything proper, just a fine dusting that melts as quickly as it lands. My hopes for a snow day have been dashed, but on a brighter note the lack of the white stuff as helped me stick to my running.

So for now I will say goodbye. I promise ill be back soon with more tales to tell.
Make sure you all stay safe and wrap up warm.

Nicola xx

Saturday, 12 January 2013

An afternoon walk

I thought I would share a few photographs of one of my favourite places local to me, Healey Dell Nature Reserve.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Couch to 5K

So this year is all about rediscovering myself, reducing my debt and most of all living!!
One thing I've always fantasised about doing is sticking on a pair on running shoes, head phones with my favourite tracks playing and just going for a run without feeling like I'm going to die.

After careful consideration and research I've decided to embark on the couch to 5K challenge. This programme endorsed by the NHS gives you programmes to follow to enable to you to build up to a 5k none stop run. All the literature suggests that it can be done in 8-9 weeks, so I'm going to give it a go.

Last night i hunted out my running shoes, sports bra and earphones and set my alarm for 5am.
to be honest I'm usually up and about then anyway. I walk the dog most mornings between 5:30 and 6am so it wasn't a big deal.

arranging time for exercise i can do alone, tends to be difficult. I have issues with childcare, so i have to plan to squeeze it in when the OH and kids are still in bed. Early mornings seem to be the perfect time.

So as planned i braved the crisp morning air and ventured outside.

Day 1 Week 1

The 20minute programme involved a 5minute walking warm up, then 15 minutes of 1 min run + 1.5 min walk 6 times. Followed by a 5 minute cool down including stretches.

Thankfully its wasn't as difficult as i thought it would be and although it left me warm sweaty and slightly breathless, i didn't want to curl over and die.

Top Tip (can't remember who told me) to stay in the fat burning zone, when completing exercises to prevent over breathing, keep your mouth closed and breath through your nose. It definitely makes a difference because i do seem to sweat more (maybe too much info).

So after my 1st attempt i feel good, i may regret it tomorrow when i cant move, but watch this space.