London Prep: Couch to 5k Challenge Weeks 1-3

I am going to London (with a short day and half jaunt to Paris) in October, and it goes without saying that will mean a lot of walking while exploring both cities. Right now, my endurance and stamina with walking is...not as great as it used to be or could be.

The quick summary of it is, I've basically always been "plus-sized" since I was teen and all my adult size, at a size 14. Then I moved across country and over the past four years have gained 35 pounds. It was pretty much from a mix of- being less active, not keeping up with better eating habits, some depression issues related to things happening in life, etc. etc. So I'm not in the best shape of my life, and I need to change that. The London trip is basically the perfect motivation, aside from wanting to be in better shape and better my fitness levels, to work on this.

So I decided to pony up and start the Couch to 5k Challenge. I downloaded the app and for 3 days a week over an 8 week period, it will hopefully help increase my endurance when it comes to walking and jogging so that come October, I can handle roaming the London streets. The thing that really makes it a challenge in more ways than one? I hate running. I have always despised it. I can do walking, I can weirdly enough be fine on an elliptical (though not always), but running has always been the thing I liked least because I've never been good at it. But I want to see if I can change that, and if this challenge does work I will have accomplished something I couldn't do well in all my 31 years. 

Basically, the gist of the program is high intensity interval training, 3x a week. Week 1 involved a 5 minute warm up at a brisk walking pace, then 60 seconds running/jogging alternating with 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes, and then a 5 minute cool down. Week 2, the intervals were 90 seconds of running/jogging and 2 minutes of walking. Each week, the intervals increase slowly until you work your way up to jogging the whole 20 minutes.  Right now I'm just about finishing up Week 3.

The nice thing about the app I'm using is it will tell me when to walk and run, and will access my iTunes so I can listen to music while I run, so I don't really always need to monitor the time as it goes by. Week 1 was a decent start getting back in the game, since I hadn't been in a treadmill in ages. The first two workouts of Week 2 were met with some calf cramping, but that was likely due to me being terrible at staying hydrated before runs. When I drank more water throughout the day before Day 3 of Week 2, it helped a lot. A lot of my running friends said it's also likely my legs getting used to it again, and to make sure I stretched. 

I'll be checking in all the remaining weeks each week with my progress, so let's hope I can conquer this! 

And even if it doesn't really help my weight, if helps me be able to jog for 20 minutes straight that in itself is a big accomplishment. 

MUJI Travel-Sized Beauty

MUJI Travel-Sized Beauty

MUJI has become quite the popular cult brand in the beauty community, notably for its organization products, travel-sized containers, and more recently it's simple and effective skincare lines.

I'm fortunate to have a small brick and mortar MUJI storefront in my town, and with Gen Con looming, it was the perfect time to pick up some travel supplies for my toiletry kit, which is also MUJI.

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