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Fitness update - 3 month gym weigh-in

Last week I had my 3 month gym weigh-in. As I said earlier, I have been working on my fitness levels this year. You can call it mid life crisis if you like (you jaded cynic you!) but for me it’s actually a combination of things:

  1. I am getting towards the stage in life when things don’t stay trim… automatically any more. A little maintenance is probably a good idea.
  2. The last year or two I have definitely turned around my personal life, and am enjoying life a lot these days. So I would like it to go on like this for as long as possible :)
  3. I have always been motivated the most by a sense of achievement. I used to write software in my spare time to do this, then for a few years I focused on achievements at work – which is still my primary driver (I am competitive and career-minded). But recently I’ve been in a more difficult work position where achievements are coming harder and slower. So I am focusing on personal achievements instead to keep my motivation and drive up.
  4. I am really enjoying being outdoors and doing physical activity.
  5. I am finding that I really enjoy being physically fit and want to stay that way.

Anyway blah blah blah, this isn’t livejournal. Where was I? I had my 3 month weigh-in last week, and am pleased to be making good progress towards my goals. If you are interested, my goals are:

  1. Get back to the 32 inch waist I last had when I was 25 (early last year I hit a peak of 35″)
  2. Get down to around 10% body fat (early last year I hit a peak of 23%)
  3. Be able to run 10 miles / cycle 50 miles / lift my own weight at least 20 times (press+chin-ups, not bench pressing)

Oops distracted myself again. 3 month weigh-in – right. Here’s the data:

3 month gym weigh-in. Old on the left, new on the right

3 month gym weigh-in. Old on the left, new on the right

…ah it’s good to be blogging again, sharing my vital statistics with the interwebs! :P

Anyway the big deal for me is the loss of 5Kg of fat, and gain of 1Kg of muscle (or lean mass at any rate). I am now in the 15% body fat range, and more than halfway towards my goal.

This means I am getting closer to my goals. My BMI and body fat percentage are now pretty much in the middle of the “healthy range” whereas before they were at the top end or slightly over that.

My waist is currently around 32.5, which means I am nearly at my target there too. The bad news is that none of my suits fit quite so well any more…

So what have I been doing these 3 months? Well, primarily I have been working out 3-6 times a week (less starting out, more lately). I started out doing 30 minutes of running 3 times a week, and these days alternate between running (3 times a week, every other day) and on the alternate days cross training (rowing on the machine in the gym or cycling – either on my bike outside or stationary in the gym). I quite often run to work and back, carrying my office clothes in a rucksack on my back. It’s about 2.5 miles to the office so this works pretty well.

My diet is a bit better than it used to be but I’m not making massive changes there, and I still drink quite a lot (probably too much). However I am doing enough exercise now that I can pretty much eat and drink whatever and still work on ditching the fat. This is a good thing, as far as I am concerned!

I am running a 10k race in a few weeks time (you can sponsor me for this at the link on the right!) and hope to run the london marathon either in 2010 or 2011 (it’s a bit hard to get a place these days, as I understand it). I also plan to do the BHF London to Brighton bike ride next year (as you can see I already practiced the route).

Did I mention I do a lot of my running barefoot or wearing minimal footware? Hehe okay maybe that’s a post for another day :)

The 2009 Maggies London Night Hike

Last weekend myself and six friends/colleagues took part in the Maggies London Night Hike, a 20 miles sponsored night hike around the streets of London, to raise money for Maggies cancer centres.

We started out at 9pm from City Hall, near Tower Bridge, and walked until about 7am, with various stops en route to drink coffee and visit London Open House weekend buildings, such as the Royal Geographical Society, the Channel 4 building and Horse Guards.

We made it pretty much intact, although we picked up a few blisters between us (I was unscathed, thankfully). It was fairly tough with the distance and the fatigue (we’d all done a days work already that day so walking all night was tiring stuff). A couple of team members were certainly a little grouchy towards the end – but then we all have our ways of coping with sleep deprivation :-)

We raised in total just under £5000 for the charity, which is the most important thing, and something I’m very proud of. We also got to accomplish something, and see some cool sights, some of which I documented through the monumental struggle of lugging my SLR along the course of the route (!)

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Our motley crew ready to get going.

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Our little jaunt on the London Eye.

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Some of the sights we saw on our journey.

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Some of the rest stops we took on the way (love the last pic of Fash looking bleak – that was at mile 18 or so) :)

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Arriving at the finish line!

You can see the full flickr gallery of the hike, or even view the annotated route on everytrail below:

Maggies night hike 2009 at EveryTrail

Back from Glastonbury

Too exhausted to do anything now but shower and sleep. But got some great pictures and stories to share. Here’s a teaser before I upload the rest, from our best and last night at the festival:

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One comment: Leonard Cohen on the Pyramid stage with the setting sun behind him, singing Tower of Song, Suzanne and then Hallelujah, was the one of the most amazing things I ever experienced. Unforgettable.

Edit:Rest of the pics are up now: Glastonbury 2008.

Edit: So here is my glasto 2008 music schedule:

Friday

  • Vampire Weekend – great set, started raining halfway through but noone cared
  • The Feeling – one of my highlights.
  • The Ting Tings – were on the John Peel stage (which is small) and it was packed – fun stuff
  • Sinead O’Connor – was great. Hard to get into her newer stuff because the noise of the crowd took away a little from the acoustic atmosphere, but she was on fine form and once we found a good spot it was ace
  • Kings of Leon – rocked.

Saturday

  • Crowded House – so good. Better than I expected – when the sun came out, and they did Weather with You… Oh man.
  • The Raconteurs – utter genius, and an amazing set. One of my highlights.
  • Manu Chao – unexpectedly amazing – I had never heard of them but Steph talked us into hanging around for it and wow. High tempo Mexican/Cuban/Reggae mix and the way they maintained the energy of the crowd for an hour at that pace… Wicked.
  • Amy Winehouse – as expected, she was a mess. I think Steph coined the term “hot mess” and it suits. Very wobbly, ended in a fight with the crowd but somehow her voice was still perfect throughout. Worth seeing
  • Jay-z – he rocked the place, and was a good headliner. Loved the opening (playing video of Gallagher moaning about him then opening to Wonderwall), and 99 Problems was brilliant.

Sunday

  • Neil Diamond – good. Not great, but good.
  • Goldfrapp – aw yeah. Started with some of her newer, more flowery stuff, which I enjoyed a lot, then finished in style with Oh La la and others. Great vibe during this gig to match the great weather.
  • Leonard Cohen. See above. A religious experience for me. Worth the ticket price alone.
  • The Verve – great Sunday night choice, lots of crowd pleasing stuff. However it couldn’t top Leonard and I could have done with him staying on another hour instead.

On Sunday we stayed out all night in Trash City and Shangri-la then watched the Sun come up from the Stone Circle. Sunday really was the most amazing day. Then on Monday on the way home we saw the sun going down over Stone Henge. What a weekend :)

Magic Moments

  • Thursday night in a bar in Shangri-La (”the first class lounge”), James asking “when do you close?” and the bartender shrugging and replying “Monday”.
  • Sitting in the tent playing hold’em and drinking while it rained.
  • When The Feeling covered Video Killed the Radio Star.
  • Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. And the rest of the set.
  • Stumbling into the Cuban Brothers in Dance West, wow they were awesome and crazy funny :)
  • The cider!
  • Watching the sun come up from the stone circle.

Some more highlights from my flickr stream:
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Bike riding

Did a couple of rides this weekend, trying to build up my fitness. Yesterday I rode 10 miles and today I managed 18. My favourite new GPS gadget (a garmin edge 305) faithfully recorded my travels – here’s the map for yesterday, and here’s the map for today. Today was a nice route, I ended up cycling along the Thames path, around the Millennium Dome and out to the Thames Barrier. Very scenic.

By the way, I recently succumbed to peer pressure and created a Facebook profile – so if you’re on there, feel free to reach out.