I conquered Cardiac Hill this morning!!

Well I ran almost all the way up it.  I admit I did slow to a walking pace for the last part.

Cardiac Hill, for those of you unfamiliar with Sutton Park geography, is a hill which is close to the Four Oaks Gate and around three-quarters of the way around the Sutton Fun Run route.  It is not particularly steep, but a torturously long, gradual climb which, as the name suggests, gets the old heart pumping somewhat.

The fun run is three weeks today, and my hubby and I have been running five times this week in training for it.  It will be my third fun run (though the first that I’ll have actually run) and his first.

On the day, they sell T-shirts bearing the legend “I conquered Cardiac Hill.”  My goal is to be able to buy myself one.  If I don’t manage to run all the way up, obviously I won’t be entitled to a T-shirt (oh, I’m hard on myself)!

Run, Leigh, run!!

My hubby and I went jogging again tonight.  We managed to shave five minutes off our previous time, and complete the route without stopping (or rather only stopping momentarily to retie my pesky shoelace).

Get me, eh?  The world’s biggest PE-hater, who perpetually used to skive at the back during cross country, actually enjoying running!  Training for this fun run is a great goal.  I hate to admit it, but it is motivating me more than writing my novel at present.

Tonight was great, because it enabled me to work off some aggression after a not very brilliant day.  I in fact also walked to and from work today – a five-mile round trip – but felt surprisingly up for it when I got home.

Leigh would like to apologise…

…to the good folk of Sutton Coldfield for inflicting upon them the sight of me running (yes, running!!!) past their windows this morning!

My hubby and I took ourselves for a 35-minute run (perhaps “run” is flattering it – “gentle jog” would be more accurate) around the neighbourhood.  Sutton Fun Run is just four weeks away now, and we gotta get in training!

Once I was over the initial panting and stitch, I really got into it.  It’s certainly true what they say about exercise being addictive.  Upping the pace spurred me on more rather than knackered me.

I had always conditioned myself to thinking I “couldn’t run” – an attitude not helped (not wishing to start a sob story here) by unconstructive PE teachers who made me feel useless at school.  I therefore harboured the subsequent idea that I was “not athletic” and incapable of any pace above a brisk walk.

I really enjoyed this morning.  At times I felt like I was really flying (admittedly on the downhill and flat bits, but it was a start).  Considering this was probably the longest run I have done in my entire life, certainly on a public road in broad daylight as opposed to a treadmill, I felt a real sense of achievement.

Escape to Paradise

My husband and I (sound like the Queen – LOL) spent a wonderful May Bank Holiday weekend at lovely Hoar Cross Hall in Staffordshire, my favourite spa haven.

http://www.hoarcross.co.uk/

It was hubby’s first time but my eighth!  I had already been once this year, in January with my mum.  I am aiming to cram as many visits into a year as possible.  I feel like I’ve virtually been there more times than Julie Goodyear now!

We both feel thoroughly toned and stretched and buffed as a result.  We really made the most of our time.  We arrived early on Sunday morning, in time to do a class at 8:45 in fact, and stayed until 7:30 Monday evening.  We partook of no fewer than TEN exercise classes over the two days.  I expected to be knackered, but in fact doing such an intense amount of exercise woke me up and made me feel alive, toned, tight, and determined to maintain the momentum I had built up.

Hubby and I have not booked our main holiday yet for this year.  We plan to go to Egypt (or t’Egypt, as Peter Kay would say) in the autumn.  However, if this Icelandic volcano chooses to erupt again – as it did when my hubby was supposed to be going skiing last month, leading to the disappointing cancellation of his holiday – I would be sorely tempted to book an impromptu few days at Hoar Cross in substitution.  It is certainly well worth keeping in mind as a backup plan.

In fact we could feasibly have a HCH spa break as our main holiday.  I am not on commission or anything – it truly is a wonderful place and has become my virtual second home.  Jacuzzis, swimming pools, saunas, fitness classes, relaxing massages, sumptuous food, lovely wine – it encapsulates pretty much my idea of heaven.

OK, you don’t always get the sun in this country, but when you’re cocooned in a luxury retreat like that you’d barely notice if a typhoon blew up outside your window.

I had a wonderful weekend, all in all, what with being published in My Weekly and also seeing the brilliant Dancing on Ice in Birmingham on Saturday night.