I finally addressed my long standing commitment issues today and signed on for the paid version of WordPress. This is mostly in response to several people highlighting to me that my blog was serving those viewing my posts on a mobile browser ‘congratulations you’ve won an iPhone 7‘ spam messages over and over again.
I hadn’t seen the issue myself outside of Facebook until I realised that I’m logged into my account on my phone and I don’t get adverts in Safari.
So – apologies for the grief you’ve been getting. Everything is gloriously ad free now and in the process I have a domain name too. If you feel the need to punish yourselves further and wish to endure more of me with uninterrupted regularity then my site can be bookmarked here:
In other news I’ve been thinking about my diminishing returns over the last few weeks with weight loss and how to turn things around.
I thought I’d not been doing anything different – which has confused me – until I looked at the dates of my weigh ins.
I started gardening in earnest on the 22nd of May – and due to the effort involved this has over the last month become (from a time and effort perspective) around 50% of my weekly exercise. If you look at my progress since that date the average weight loss has noticeably dropped.
Now – I can live with 2lb a week as an average – and I’m not chasing colossal figures any more (I wasn’t to begin with – but they seemed to just happen) but I have some plans in the very near future that would be a LOT easier on my knees if I could drop another stone relatively quickly.
According to Apple Watch I’ve been doing the same (if not more) in the garden as I would have been if I’d been walking – however it measures arm movements as step counts and if I’m not running an exercise programme on it then it only checks my pulse every 10 minutes.
It’s translated my chopping motion while I bag stuff up into steps and I think it’s worked out my calorie burn based on that (seemingly endless) reciprocal movement that I’ve been doing with my arms lately.
So this week I’m laying off the garden. It’s under control for the time being. I’m getting back to something that’s more of an aerobic exercise that makes me out of breath instead of developing biceps and triceps.
You may ask what the reason for this sudden focus is – and the answer is that I’ve finally stopped abstractly talking about climbing up Snowdon and actually booked a date (including the hotel) with a friend to go and do it.
I’ve mentioned when this is to a few people but for the time being I won’t be putting anything on my blog in case it changes for any reason.
Either way predominantly doing my garden for exercise in the run up to this event won’t cut anything but grass. I need to increase my fitness and most importantly strengthen the muscles I will use for downhill walking.
After my Malvern trip (link) I was crippled for days with cramp in my thighs (although encouragingly in the days following there was little joint pain in my knees) from the various descents.
Originally (partially because of this) I’d thought about doing Snowden one way only and getting the train down – but it turns out that this has to be booked well in advance and I don’t want to be rushing up a mountain to find I’ve missed my journey back.
Plus I’d like to say that I did the whole thing.
This is not the first time I’ve done this mountain however. I did it around two decades ago. The above picture is me (sigh… hair… how I miss thee…) on the Miner’s Track around 2/3rds of the way up in either 1998 or 1999 (?).
The last attempt was successful but I was woefully unprepared. I was horrendously unfit, did no exercise prior to my ascent other than walking to the video shop on the pier near my flat in Aberystwyth occasionally, took nothing with me on the day – and ended up limping down in the dark with my companions.
Then I had to drive everyone home.
I know from a Weight Watcher’s report card that stretches between late 1998 and early 1999 at the time that I was somewhere in the region of 24-26 stone – but it’s really hard to tell exactly how big I was. It’s quite a range and I’ve no exact dates to work it out with.
To put it simply – although I completed the climb I was a mess during it and crippled afterwards – so this time I’m going prepared. I’ve been quietly collecting bits and pieces (on a seriously tight budget) to take with me so far and I’ve been reading up on specific exercises to strengthen downhill muscle groups.
I’ve also borrowed some walking poles from a kind friend which apparently really help in the knee department on a descent.
Thankfully my companion for the climb is also the type that likes planning ahead. We’ve been walking together for many months now and know each others fitness levels pretty well – so I think we’re a good match for the challenge.
So – watch this space!
In other news, whilst in search of the perfect cardio heart rate today I walked (without knowing it was taking place) into the Leamington Peace Festival. I presume that they meant peace in terms of ‘an end to conflict’ rather than ‘peace and quiet’ as it was a rather noisy affair – with lots of reassuringly hairy people wearing tie-dyed hemp clothing in attendance.
There were some nice stalls and lots of funky live music playing in the background – and given the weather everyone looked pretty happy to be there, baking away in the sunshine with what seemed like large quantities of beer and cider.
All in all they seemed pretty peaceful!
I couldn’t help thinking though that the people there (who brought with them a distinctly hippy vibe) would be the kind of people who believed in peace anyway – particularly the guys at the ‘free hugs’ stand where you could go and drink in the milk of human kindness with no strings attached.
I can’t imagine those with more radical and narrow minded views giving up their normal day of hating everything and everyone that’s different to them to attend. For those that did though I applaud you. Amongst the stands I saw a lovely mixture of faiths, philosophies, ethnicity, genders, ages, and sexual preferences.
Heartwarmingly they seemed to all be getting on very well together.
One can only hope internet that they get their way – and we all get peace (and quiet).