A couple of months ago, my friend Lou sent me a Groupon offer idea as a bit of a laugh. It was for a Rollerskiing lesson in Hyde Park, for the bargain price of £12. I’m not sure why exactly I agreed – I have only ever skied once (on a dry slope on the outskirts of Birmingham) and the one and only time I ever tried rollerskating was at a roller disco in Norwich when I was in year 7 where I got my first ever migraine which ended in a trip to A&E. So, all in all, not brilliant experiences to build upon.

Included in the session was all the equipment we needed (elbow and knee pads, poles, boots, skis and helmet) – all you’re asked to bring are some gloves. The groups are capped at 8 people and our instructor was friendly, explained all the drills clearly and was obviously really rather good at it. All pluses. I, on the other hand, was not. I hate (HATE) not being in control, especially of my own limbs, which is exactly what happens when you strap your feet to a plank with wheels on it. I am lanky and awkward enough at the best of times, wheels DO NOT help.

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that about half way through the lesson, I took off my skis in a childish huff and was resigned to spectating from the sidelines. Instead, I got offered some wider, less wobbly wheels (as you can see from the photo), which although did nothing to improve my skills, certainly made me feel like I could manage staying upright. I was very grateful for the simpler option!

Putting aside the fact I was rubbish at it, the lesson was good and well structured. We started off on grass before moving to the tarmac, going through lots of drills and exercises on both surfaces to get used to the skis and how to handle them. It provided a great all round introduction, and everyone was able to go at their own pace, with the more adventurous people able to speed off up and down the path.

I don’t think this sport is for me – it definitely made me appreciate the simple pleasure of running – but for someone who is predisposed to finding skiing and/or skating enjoyable, this might just be for you.

Rollerski provide Saturday morning intro sessions, as well as one day and four week courses. Find out more at rollerski.co.uk

A new month in 2013 means new fitness goals. But first, to recap on January:

JANUARY GOALS

    • Write a blog post at least once a week

This hasn’t quite happened (at all!) but not doing much running equals not doing much blogging, however…

    • Get my second blog into existence (new London life means new London blog…!)

This has happened! There’s a quick link to lissy does london at the top of the page, or click here.

    • Make my own lunch at least 4 days a week (buying lunch every day is doing nothing for the happiness of my wallet or my desire to eat healthily)

Boring, yes. Completed, yes. Definitely felt like I wasted less money on work lunches though.

    • Eat at least three portions of fruit and veg a day (I know it’s not five, but it’s realistic)

Again, on the whole I did this. Maybe slipped some days, so definitely could be better.
As well as this, I’ve confirmed my GNR place, I’ve entered the Royal Parks ballot (*crosses fingers*) and, thanks to fellow blogger Leah, I think I have found my first 10k of the year in the Energizer Night Run on Saturday 13th April.

So, onto some February goals:

  • Attend at least three NTC classes (and actually be on time for them!) These will more than likely be Gil’s Saturday morning class in Regent’s Park
  • Keep a food diary I’ve done this before via a notepad and pen method – in February I’m going to look into apps for tracking this. Recommendations welcome!
  • Be back and able to run 4 miles by the end of the month I’ve slacked with running once a week in January, so need a goal to kick start some momentum

February… let’s go!

Yeh, yeh, yeh here we go with another turn of the year post. Yep, sorry. Kinda did it last year and I’m doing it again now too. But reading back on last year’s post, I feel the need to reflect on it. Because man, that did not happen.

It was a really mixed year. I started off TOTALLY being a runner, immersed in half marathon training and going to Berlin on the first weekend in April to run my first half marathon. And then it just stopped. The consistency that I wanted twelve months ago still isn’t there. A year later, and I’m less of a runner than I’ve ever been.

I have some reasons, especially over the last couple of months. Since October, I’ve been to London and back twenty times. I feel like I’ve spent the last three months living on a train with a rucksack attached to my back. I’ve been to so many job interviews, it’s exhausting. Running just hasn’t been my priority, but I’ve managed to accept it and not feel guilty.

So, it’s more of a coincidence than anything else that the time for major change in my life is also the start of 2013. I’ve finally landed myself a job in London and will be moving in with my boyfriend in a few weeks, something we’ve been dreaming off since we started doing the long distance thing 16 months ago. As most other things will be changing, new goals will be hard, but I feel like it’s a brilliant time to put them into place.

I’m going to split my goals up to make them easier. Although last year’s goal was great because it was simple, it was a bit too simple. It needs to be a bit more specific.

I’m going to have some over-arching goals for 2013 as a whole, but then each month have mini, monthly goals to help hit those targets. So, here goes…

2013 GOALS

  • Run at least two half marathons (one of which will be the Great North Run)
  • Run at least three 10k’s (I thought about making this more, maybe even one a month – but goals have to be realistic!)
  • Run at least once a week for the duration of 2013 (not a massive ask, but this year I want to create consistency and habit, incorporating running into my everyday lifestyle… rather than three month bursts of hardcore training)
  • Actually do my ITB strengthening exercises (had a bit of an almost-injury before Berlin – now I know how to prevent it, I need to make sure that I do)

JANUARY GOALS

  • Write a blog post at least once a week
  • Get my second blog into existence (new London life means new London blog…!)
  • Make my own lunch at least 4 days a week (buying lunch every day is doing nothing for the happiness of my wallet or my desire to eat healthily)
  • Eat at least three portions of fruit and veg a day (I know it’s not five, but it’s realistic)

Four year goals, four new goals every month. Here goes 2013…

The past few months haven’t been the most fun. I’ve been far from miserable, but a string of failed attempts to flee the East Midlands to something bigger and brighter in the Big Smoke have left me feeling deflated. I’ve been within touching distance on more than one occasion, so when it all falls through it’s all the more heart breaking. Couple this with spending almost every weekend (which has now turned into every weekend) on a train doing the long distance relationship commute, as well as a recent house move, and running – or indeed even maintaining a basic level of fitness – has slipped way, way down my list of things to do.

As such, in the last seven weeks I’ve managed one three mile run and one NTC class. I’ve lost fitness, tone and strength. I’ve put on weight. But over and above the thoughts of races, times and PB’s that aren’t achievable right now, the scariest thing has been the impact on my health.

I’ve had asthma for as long as I can remember. I can also remember as a child being told that it was likely that I’d ‘just grow out of it’. This kept happening, I got older and older, and now here I am at 25 – I still haven’t grown out of it.

I went for my annual flu vaccination earlier this week and had an impromptu asthma check up to enable me to get a new asthma inhaler prescription. The results were scary.

Usually it’s just a few questions that I breeze through, no problems. For the first time in as long as I can remember, the nurse showed genuine concern in how I was (or rather, wasn’t) managing the condition. My peak flow meter (a device in which you blow a short, sharp breath as a measure of how quickly you can expel air from your lungs, measured in litres per minute) reading was 340 versus a more acceptable reading of someone my age and height of around 460.

Basically, my lungs are functioning at 25% less than the capacity they should be.

One other question was “do you find your asthma is effecting your daily life?” and I was horrified to find myself answering, “I do tend to try and avoid stairs at the moment”. The nurse’s – more than appropriate – shocked response also noted I was far too young to be coming out with such a statement. IT IS RIDICULOUS.

The appointment showed me that instead of ‘not having time’ to take my health (and fitness) seriously, I should be channelling my current frustrations and using them to help me focus. I ran a half marathon less than seven months ago, but I’ve already let life take over, when running could be the perfect escape.

There are several things I’m trying to change in my life, but I already used that excuse to flunk out of my Great North Run training. Time to drop that one.

Sometimes a situation is far from ideal, but I shouldn’t punish my body because of it.