Sunday, 25 June 2017

Running for my life - Zombies Run 5K - Week One


Over the last few years I have dabbled with running, every time using Six to Start's awesome Zombies Run and Zombies Run 5K app, each time I have failed miserably.  I would diligently go out and try my best but I think the most I managed to last was a month.  I have no willpower.

I am a failure.

But that is not the attitude and I don't know what is different this time, it could be the fact I have bought a decent sports bra and a hands free dog lead which FYI is the best thing ever.  These two simple things along with some spark inside me screaming at me to get going has led me back to Zombies Run 5K.

Zombies Run is excellent, the combination of story and exercise, ZR5K takes those same elements but puts you through 8 weeks (with three chapters/workouts a week) of turning your lack of running to a whole 5k of running. 

Can I make it to week 8?  Well I thought if I posted to the internet my weekly progress it would help me get there.

So without futher ado, my thoughts on Week 1

ZR5K - WEEK 1

I have an office job so I would count my level of fitness as meh, I do walk my dog each day which takes us out for a little while but it is not like I am walking up hills every time.

The last time I did ZR5K I had a basic crap sports bra which led to aches in that general area and as I was combining dog walking with outrunning zombies I only had my hand held dog lead.

This time I have swapped both of these things for a better bra and a nifty hands free bungee dog lead that goes round my waist quite the thing.

All I needed to do now was download ZR5K on to the old iPhone. As I had been through the app before I skipped the first chapter which gives background to the app, I headed straight for the Week 1 - Workout 1.

Narrated usually by Sam, the radio operator of Abel Township along with Dr Maxine, I was gently eased in by doing a ten minute walk.  They start by giving you words of encouragement and then music will play if you have it synced with your playlists.  

So off I went listening to my uplifting Zombies playlist and every so often Dr Maxine would chirp up telling me how long I had been at it.  After ten minutes I was told I would know be entering the intervals section of the workout.  

I would be walking for a minute then slow running for 15 seconds, ten times.  Now that may sound easy enough but if you haven't run or exercised for a while then it does kill a little.

Anyway I managed it, the area I have chosen to do this in fits perfectly (at the moment) with the length of time to do my workout. It is a mixture of tarmac and dirt track plus its lovely and scenic too which helps.  But no amount of beautiful scenery could help me feel any less fit than I felt.

After the interval section has finished I was then told it was the ten minute free form part of the workout, I could walk or run or both.  I chose to walk slowly to begin with an occasional 15 second slow jog to kick my arse.

After those ten minutes where up, I was sweating like f*** but I felt happy, happy that I had completed it.  At the end of the workout Sam and Maxine have a bit banter with you and you are awarded a virtual prize for completing that chapter.

Did I manage all three workouts, yes I did, in fact I did week one twice as I managed to reset my achievements so started again!  

So over the two weeks of running week one what have I learnt?

Well I can do it and the free form ten minutes at the end I have found myself running for more of those minutes than walking.  I also find myself needing to run.  

I have also found I am a little self conscious especially if I come across people, I think I'm a little worried if I look ridiculous...

I don't think I could manage to start running with out this app, I like that it takes me by the hand and helps me through the stages.

Whilst at the moment running 5k seems ridiculous (plus the fact I need to figure out where exactly I'll do that 5k) I'm not writing it off just yet.



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Friday, 23 June 2017

REVIEW - Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley


Title: Running Like a Girl

Author: Alexandra Heminsley

Publisher: Random House

Release Date: 16th January 2014 

Source: Own Copy

Alexandra Heminsley had high hopes: the arse of an athlete, the waist of a supermodel, the speed of a gazelle. Defeated by gyms and bored of yoga, she decided to run.

Her first attempt did not end well.

Six years later, she has run five marathons in two continents.

But, as her dad says, you run with your head as much as with your legs. So, while this is a book about running, it's not just about running.

You could say it's about ambition (yes, getting out of bed on a rainy Sunday morning counts), relationships (including talking to the intimidating staff in the trainer shop), as well as your body (your boobs don't have to wobble when you run). But it's also about realising that you can do more than you ever thought possible.

Very funny, very honest and very emotional, whether you're in serious training or thinking about running for the bus, this is a book for anyone who after wine and crisps for supper a few too many times thinks they might . . . just might . . . like to run like a girl.



Bits of me wobble, no not those bits and quite frankly get your mind out of the gutter.  I'm talking my belly, my thighs and my horrible bingo wings.  

I have given birth to two children, I have an office job where I spend most of the day on my butt and the last thing I want to do when I get home is exercise, I'd rather have a chocolate bar but alas the older I get (nearing 40) the more I feel I really should exercise.  

I could go to the gym but I hate the heat and people, I could go swimming but I don't know how, what could I do?

Whilst out walking my dog, enjoying the scenery a sweaty yet stylish jogger flounced past and just then the light bulb appeared above my head..."I could do that!".  Well I did for a while, then I got fed up with it, I tried again and stopped but this time I am determined to make my love/hate for running stick and when I saw this book on Amazon I felt it call to me.

Alexandra Heminsley is a very normal non supermodel lady and I mean that as a compliment, she sweats, she chafes and she also inspires!  This is a great read for those of you like me who need that extra kick up the backside to get out there and just do it.

She tells us her story from just padding round the streets to running a flipping marathon.  This book is like Braveheart for procrastinating joggers, once I had read I thought heck I am going to go out there and run.

And I did and I am getting better, I just need to get over my fear of meeting other people and thinking they are laughing at my running.  

Anyhoo if you need some inspo to get out there and do it, read this book!




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REVIEW - Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips


Title: Fierce Kingdom

Author: Gin Phillips

Publisher: Transworld

Release Date: 15th June 2017

Source: Advance Copy
Lincoln is a good boy. At the age of four, he is curious, clever and well behaved. He does as his mum says and knows what the rules are.

'The rules are different today. The rules are that we hide and do not let the man with the gun find us.'

When an ordinary day at the zoo turns into a nightmare, Joan finds herself trapped with her beloved son. She must summon all her strength, find unexpected courage and protect Lincoln at all costs – even if it means crossing the line between right and wrong; between humanity and animal instinct.

It's a line none of us would ever normally dream of crossing.

But sometimes the rules are different.

As a mother this book gave me chills, serious chills.  It is every parents worst nightmare, that one where you face a life or death situation and you have to keep your child safe.

Joan is at the zoo with her son Lincoln, just enjoying the last remaining hours of their day playing together and having fun.  Till she hears gun shots.

Making her way towards the exit of the zoo with her young son in tow she discovers a scene of carnage and no way out, all she can do is hide and hide is what she and Lincoln do.

Joan is horrified to discover everything in the zoo is being hunted, from the defenceless animals to the humans who were peacefully going about their day.  A group of boys are going around shooting everything and Joan doesn't want to get in their sights, can keep her son safe till the cavalry arrive?

This was a good fast read, the one that you have to finish once you start.  It gets your heart pumping as you follow Joan in to hiding, as they discover others hiding and of course the difficulty as a parent to make your young child stay quiet, to make them understand that one noise could be deadly.

Definitely one to put on your summer reads list.

Thanks to Transworld for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.




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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

REVIEW - Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon


Title: Deadmen Walking

Author: Sherilyn Kenyon

Publisher: Piatkus

Release Date: 9th May 2017

Source: Advance Copy
Hell hath no fury as a demon caged . . .

Centuries ago, a bitter war for humanity was fought and lucky for us, the Sons of Darkness were put down. Yet nothing lasts forever. When one of their most capable generals is unknowingly released from her infernal prison, Vine sets out to free her brethren and retake what was once theirs.

But things have changed, and now an old dalliance is her sworn enemy. Devyl Bane hasn’t forgotten the betrayal that damned his soul, nor is he willing to forgo his one chance at redemption. With a new crew of Deadmen at his command, he is the last hope humanity has to close the cracked Carian Gate and ensure once and for all that the Cimmerian forces never again see the light of day. And nothing will stand in his way . . . this time.

Join Captain Bane and his crew . . .
My first foray in to the imagination of Sherrilyn Kenyon and it takes me to the high seas of old.  Its like Pirates of the Caribbean with considerably more supernatural sexiness.

The wonderfully named Devyl Bane is the captain of a rather special ship, his crew are not all there, literally, they are all dead.  Devyl is a man with a long past, a past filled with betrayal and in this first book of the Deadmen's Cross series we learn a little about his past and of course his very colourful crew.

The story starts with a young woman searching for her brother, she enlists the help of Devyl and his crew and together they set off to try and find out what happened to her brother.  Of course the path to her brother is lined with demons, nasty sea creatures and women scorned.

Without giving any spoilers I will say this is a fun story that is easy to lose some hours in, my only complaint was there was a heck of a lot of characters and I did get a little lost especially as a couple go by different names.  There is also a lot of info to take in but of course this book is setting the scene for future books.

For fans of bad boys, living and undead, this will be for you.

Thank you to Piatkus for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.




Writing as Sherrilyn Kenyon and Kinley MacGregor, she is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of several series: the Dark-Hunters; the Lords of Avalon; and the League. She lives with her husband and three sons in Nashville, Tennessee.

www.sherrilynkenyon.com

www.twitter.com/kenyonsherrilyn

www.facebook.com/AuthorSherrilynKenyon



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Sunday, 11 June 2017

My YouTube Monthly Faves #1 June 2017


I love YouTube mainly for cat videos and hilarious fail playlists but there is a lot of good viewing to be had there.  I thought I'd share with you the channel I've enjoyed watching!

This month I've enjoyed watching.....

Rachel & Jun!

They are a American/Japanese married couple and as someone who is fascinated by all things Japanese I love having a look at their life!

They have tons of fab videos that show off Japan wonderfully and all the wonders that can be found there!  They are also not afraid of poking fun at themselves!









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Saturday, 10 June 2017

The Sunday Post #60 - 11th June 2017

Welcome to my Sunday Post, a weekly meme hosted by Kimberley over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer . Join me as I ramble about my week in and out of the blogosphere.

I looked to see when I last did a Sunday Post and apparently it was October 2016!  Anyway I thought I would try and post a Sunday Post at least once a month.  

Nothing much exciting has happened in my life since I last posted except for my slight downturn in blogging which I think all bloggers experience, that feeling when you just can't be arsed!

But my mojo is returning little by little, I think the longer days help, saying that the weather is shit here in Scotland but I live in a country that isn't associated with tropical weather.

This week I have upped the ante with my running, I tried to do the Zombies Run 5K app a year or so ago but it fell by the wayside, I have started doing it again with great hopes of actually finishing it.

As I write this I am learning that Adam West has sadly died, he was my Batman, I loved watching him battling those wacky villains, he always looked like such a nice man.  

Have a nice week and if you are reading this, thanks for stopping by!


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PODCASTASTIC #5 - King Falls AM



The day that I walked in to Night Vale was the day I fell in love with podcasts.  

My phone how ever got pissed off quickly as it liked Angry Birds and I'd went and put it in the great recycle bin in the cloud to make way for episodes of quirky shows that me, the owner of said phone likes!

Anyway this week I've been listening to......


I actually only started listening to this on Friday, like yesterday and I have fallen in love with very quickly!  

I found King Falls AM when I was perusing the Podcast app on my phone and its description of......


"A lonely little mountain town's late night AM talk radio show and its paranormal, peculiar happenings and inhabitants"


Well, that had me intrigued and each podcast was only about 15 minutes long, a nice easy listen so I could afford to try it.  I'm about twenty episodes in now and its brilliant.

I was worried it would be like Night Vale (which I also love) but it is very different the only thing they have in common really is the radio setting and I suppose odd goings on but apart from that the two hosts Sammy and Ben are brilliant to listen to, they are funny, inquisitive and quite often a little freaked out.,  you could really be listening to late night radio jocks!!

Sammy is the outsider having moved to the town where Ben is a local yokel and the banter between them as Ben explains to Sammy the weird shit that goes down is great.

Their listeners are just crazy too, they include crazy old men, a dog breeder, the local bigwig (who may or may not be a vampire), a local cop and the local mayor, for an early morning show they have a varied listener base!

The story does move from episode to episode and you do realise quite quickly that this town is bonkers, I love it!

Have a listen and check them out at http://www.kingfallsam.com/


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