Tag Archives: lessons

Why do we do it to ourselves?

Although this is a post about exercise, it can apply to many situations. I do it with my job, my hobbies and even my family.

I have just come back from the gym. I don’t go very often as running fits into my life a lot easier and running is ‘my thing.’ I go once a week, at the weekends with the main purpose being to strengthen my legs to help prevent injury. The advantage to going early in the morning at weekends is that I have the place to myself. Today was anything but.

When I walked in my heart sank as there was a bunch of what I call ‘gym lads’ congregated around the area that I needed to be.

You know the sort – all muscle and brawn. (Unfortunately there were more covered up than these guys!)

Intimidated? Me? YES! As I warmed up on the bike I heard a female voice and I slowly came to realise that there was a female among them. (I couldn’t check by looking as that would be too embarrassing and obvious!) My heart sank further. I could kind of ignore and work around the men but a woman was a different matter. It wasn’t until I was driving home that I was able to understand why the dread intensified as I realised that there was a woman there and that was because she was direct competition for me. I was drawn to compare myself to her. Sound familiar?

I see it all over social media, on Runmummuyrun people are always comparing themselves with others….

I managed 6 miles today but I am such a tortoise

How can I get faster?

Compared to many of you I realise that this is slow but today I ran my furthest ever.

I definitely do it all the time and tonight was no different. So I wasn’t doing as many full press ups, pull ups, squats etc as her.  No I wasn’t shouting about the fact that I ran 12 miles at the weekend – after a swim, no I am not exercising with the lads….


I am not her. So I wasn’t doing what she was doing but then she wasn’t doing what I was doing. Could she do my single legged squats, on a bench, on 2 mats? What about my weighted snatches?? I don’t know but I maybe not (and does it matter anyway?).

I also do not have hours to spend at the gym every night. YES I also ran 12 miles on Sunday but before I went I got breakfast for 3 children, changed 4 beds and sorted out what would happen whilst I was out running. I then ran 12 miles before spending the afternoon tidying the house and running after 3 children. Did she? Probably not. She probably had a lazy morning in bed before getting up and preparing for her exercise which was followed by a lazy afternoon.

So I probably cannot run as fast as her or, in reality, am as strong as her but I am not comparing like for like. (She was also several years younger than me!) So why am I comparing myself to her? As I drove home I couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel as pleased as myself after my work out and I think it was simply because I was comparing myself with her and not with myself. My single legged squats were better than they had been before and the other exercises felt easier but I didn’t feel strong.

What is really upsetting is that as we were in the minority (there were more men than women in the gym tonight) we should have supported each other (which is what happens on Runmummyrun). The only people we should compare ourselves to is us. We are all on our own individual journeys and at different points along it. We need to celebrate our own successes and not compare ourselves to others as it is not a’ fair test’.

Oh and I have absolutely nothing against the poor lady in the gym this evening she was simply an example of my own weaknesses. Please remember this as you go about your lives. Whatever you do please only compare yourselves to you and be kind. If you are learning something new concentrate on your successes and DO NOT compare yourselves to others. Yes, use others as inspiration but go no further.

Progress on the leggings has been a bit slow this week. Too many mistakes and a bit more playing about. When it came to adding the pocket the pattern suggested using a twin needle, something I just couldn’t resist. Not that I know what I am doing. I didn’t even know that they existed before I started playing with the new machines.

The big news is that I still don’t really know what I am doing and have yet to complete this part of the pattern. I have lots of bits of sewing on the oddments of material that I have but nothing on the actual leggings. I did try to but it just wouldn’t work right. I shall have to do some more playing and a bit more research :).

I do now have the ‘back’ to the leggings now:

IMG_1209To go with the front from last week:

IMG_1204(Just proving that they are different!)

As my lovely sister-in-law said – a bit blowy to wear yet! Lets hope that this week is slightly less busy and I get more done!

I did learn some lessons however:

1. Don’t rush – I sewed the pieces together the wrong way around (Shhhh I know!)

2. Don’t sew when tired (see above!)

3. Unpick in daylight (SO much easier and you are less likely to put little holes in the material ;))

So there you have it. Do you have any advice when it comes to using twin needles?

PS: It would appear that I didn’t break the other machine – it must have been the dust that went up in smoke! (Phew!)

Post Marathon Update

I am going to do a very quick update on my running.  It has been a fair while after all!

Immediately Afterwards

Yes I did feel awful but I was very surprised to be able to walk about relatively pain-free the next day. Yes I was a bit sore and stiff but not as bad as I had thought. When I answered the phone at half past seven to find that I was being asked to go and work for the day I didn’t really hesitate. I never ever thought that would be possible. I did no exercise however until Friday – 4 days later. I went to the gym.


I mainly did this because I knew that I was not going to be able to do anything for at least a week due to the second op on my back. I had a nice ‘relaxed’ session that didn’t involve a lot of running!!

Post Op

You will all be very aware that I had slightly more than I expected taken from my back so did no exercise for nearly 2 weeks (Aren’t I a good girl?)

Back Running

Last week I started with a few 3 mile runs – nice and gentle. To be honest I could not do much else. I was finding it quite hard to breath and my legs just weren’t really co-operating. My Garmin was telling me that I was running just under 10 minute miles which for three miles is really slow. I do wonder if this is normal? After the first time I ran my legs hurt the next day. I really couldn’t believe it. 2 weeks ago I had run a marathon and now I could barely manage three miles. Do you think this is normal?


Over the bank holiday we went on a bike ride (7-8 miles). It was very slow as we had little people biking with us. That was no worries – even with an extra body on the back of my bike. It reignited my fire and so I went running the next day. During this run (5 miles this time) my knee started hurting. There was no obvious reason for it but I found it hurt to walk for the rest of the day. I spoke to my running partner and she said that it sounded just like what she has. It is apparently very common and not a problem with the knee but with the hip and upper leg muscles. I have to say that at the gym today my right leg (the one with the hurt knee) did feel really tight. I think that I need to focus on stretching it out and strengthening it. Does anyone have any ideas if I am on the right lines? I hate not being able to run 😦

One Final Observation

This week I have been talking to someone who has just started running and she said that she actively tries to go out at times when she won’t be seen. I remember doing this – choosing routes that are away from the majority of people and where I face less chance of being seen . Yesterday however – when I was really struggling with my pace I realised that I really did not mind or worry about what anyone thought of me. I know that I have done a marathon and that has given me a real confidence boost. I no longer care what other people think – I know what I can do and that is all that matters 🙂 Believe me – for me that is a HUGE step forward.

What have you done that has changed your attitude?