How do you define STRONG?

How do you define strong? 

By how much you can lift? Like in CrossFit…

By how much you can juggle? By being a mum/ dad or within your role at work…

By how you are viewed emotionally? 

 Do you think you are strong? 

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 In the CrossFit world strength often is perceived in how much you can lift – those weights on the bar, lifting your own body weight in a handstand push up, how quick you can build muscle. You are measured on your physical strength capacity. 

Recently I have begun to doubt my own strength. Am I strong when another athlete beside me can lift twice what I am? Am I strong when my 1RM front squat is her 20RM? What am I doing wrong that means I can’t do more. 

When looking at this subject, yes we all  must remember where we have come from – I remember a time almost 2 years ago when the 7.5kg training bar was too heavy for me to WOD with – I wasn’t well and I certainly wasn’t strong. Now I can lift so much more than I ever dreamed (that recovery road is a LONG one) and I certainly have muscles that others don’t, but does that mean I am strong? When I look at the CrossFit board at our box or at the other girls in my gym I am inclined to answer no. 

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But here is where I change my mind… when I look at emotional strength. I choose to train in an environment where I am at the bottom – but I’m still there. I never come first or am the best at any CrossFit move – but I am still there. I often get so upset when I have to scale so much from what is programmed – but I am still there. And why am I still there? Because I am strong. Because I have the ability to see and truly feel the bigger picture – even when I have those days where I feel like the weakest physical person on the planet. I have a desire to build on what I am.  I can feel the strength within me and CrossFit helps me develop that mental strength. 

Strength comes in so many shapes and forms and we all have the ability to feel it within us. Many exude a physical strength that I would adore to have. For some their strength comes from within. 

So next time I have to scale a WOD or I don’t feel great when I look at my peers around me in the box I will remember and focus on that awesome mental strength that I have that keeps me feeling like I have the heart of a lion! That, is, and always will be my strength. 

How do you view your strength or define strength?

Are you physically or mentally strong? (Or a bit of both!) 

Name a time when you felt really strong (or not)? 

Linking up with Amanda over @RunningWithSpoons for Thinking Out Loud – Check her page out for more thoughts and rambles!

CrossFit – PR’d!

Hi all,

Guys, it’s getting cold again and I am not happy! It was 1C/ 34F this morning when I got up for CrossFit, what is up with that... and it’s snowing up north! Just when you thought the weather was starting to get better… 

Anyhoo, I will end that there, it frustrates me that us Brits are so obsessed about talking about the weather!

CrossFit recap time!

Monday Morning (20th)

monday wod

This is the first time I have transitioned onto negative pull ups – it was odd and my body wanted to fling forward, not expecting that! But some strength there for sure.

This sounded like a nice wee fun WOD to end on… and to be fair the row was fun… (49 cals)

The kettle bells were at 16kg (aka bloody heavy) so I could only manage 5 at a time with a total of 25. The back squat I did at 30kg and the shoulder to overheads at 25kg. Toasted!

Tuesday Morning (21st)

tuesday wod

Have you ever tried side to side box jumps? Yeah don’t, they are hard and awkward! I did them on a low box but even still, your body really does not want to jump side to side on to an object!

Snatch ladder – never something I look forward to but I wanted to work on my technique and to do it properly so I went for 12.5, 15, 17.5 and 20kg for my weights. I got up to 3 reps within the 17.5kg and was really happy with my snatches – sharp and fast!

Thursday Morning (23rd)

thursday wod

My abs have only just recovered from the combo of the ab mat sit ups and the toes to bar. In case you don’t know what barbell toes to bar are – you lie on the ground and pick up a barbell from behind you raised just above your head. Then raise your legs to reach the bar without moving it – as if you were doing a real toes to bar.

I was hoping the 3K+ workout last Friday was a one off. Then we were faced with this WOD. Another total 3K plus thrusters and pistols… Jen was not a happy camper!

Friday Morning (24th)

friday wod

We were all surprised when we arrived to find today was a PR day – broken down into strength, gymnastic and monostructural. Aka we could pick which out of the 3 sections we wanted to focus a PR on.

Strength – This was the most difficult to choose but I wanted to do something I had at least been focussing on in the past few weeks so I went with trying a new 3RM front squat (37.5kg)

Gymnastic – I went for ring dips! I took the lightest band to see what my max reps were – I completed 3 sets of 5 reps  – just couldn’t eek that 6th one out! PS – David got his first bar muscle up!! #proudwife

Monostructural – Most went for double unders. I went for 1K row (4.34) – an ok time but I was feeling pretty beat after the above! Then coach sprung a sneak on us, we had to do a 500m sprint! Seriously my legs were still jelly after the row, not comparable to 2 mins of double unders! But I went for it and got 2.09 – will try to get it under 2 mins next time!

Do you talk about the weather all the time?

If you could attempt a new PR right now what would you choose?

Thinking Out Loud!

Hi all,

Hope you are well and enjoying your Thursday so far!

I was going to bring you a recipe today and then I realised I hadn’t done a Thinking Out Loud post in ages! So I thought I should rectify that by bringing you one today!

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Linking up with Amanda over @RunningWithSpoons for all the action!

  • Spartan Race Winners

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And the competition is closed! Congratulations to @amberives and @MaraLyon1! Please email me and I will email you back with your prize code!

  • Running

I was never a runner, but you guys I think I am finally getting better at it! I am faster, I feel stronger doing it, and I’m getting my pace sorted and my breathing in check. But there is just one problem… I still HATE it! I am usually one of those people that like the things I am good at or can do (don’t we all) but this is just something I really don’t think I am going to have a good relationship with.

Sorry running, unless I am forced to partake in you during a WOD then I aint going to be coming near you!

  • Recipe Inspiration

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Yesterday I spent most of the day creating recipes! I had a total inspiration moment last week and was suddenly full of ideas for the blog. I went to the supermarket yesterday morning to see what looked good and what more ideas came to mind. I have a few summer dishes for you and my own version of nut butter…. keep posted for them coming up on the blog in the next few weeks!

  • BuzzFeed – If the ‘Friends’ had Internet

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Checked this out this morning – hilarious! But actually got me thinking about how different the show may have been with the internet and how much it impacts us and our daily lives! CLICK HERE.

  • Magnesium Spray

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Some of you may remember that I have been taking magnesium for the past 6 months or so (PurePharma M3 to be precise)  and how much I have found it to be of benefit – now from doing a bit more reading, I am trying out the magnesium spray. Apparently magnesium is absorbed into the skin faster and used more efficiently within the body – so I am giving it a go and will keep you posted.

  • NomNomPaleo Podcast!

(Source)

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And finally I want to end on promoting one of my favourite paleo peeps – Michelle Tam (Yep you have heard me rave about Michelle and her recipes many times on this blog!). Well Michelle, along with her husband Henry and two adorable children have started podcasting! The first episode was great and I could have listened to Michelle and Henry chat all day! Why not check it out? You don’t need to be into paleo per say, just care about real food and like to laugh and smile!

How does running fit into your life?

Can you imagine how different friends would be if they had internet? I mean hello internet dating for Joey!

Does recipe inspiration ever just hit you?

CrossFit – Run, Run as fast as you can!

Hi all,

Hope you are well and had a fab weekend! I seriously don’t know where the last two days have gone… actually where is the month going! Time is flowing fast around this household! Not necessarily bad, just finding it hard to actually stop and catch my breath!

Catching my breath sure was not an option this past week at CrossFit – you will see that below! But the week ended with a ‘zombie’ CrossFit crew night out so that more than made up for it!

(Oh and before I forget, UK based readers don’t forget to enter my Spartan Race competition to win a free race entry – click HERE)

Monday Morning (13th)

monday wod

I was nervous to go back on to back squat after having a ‘near miss’ (to put it lightly) a few months ago. So I went with 35kg and completed 7 sets of 5 reps. It felt heavy but good. I have certainly gained a bit of confidence back!

Then we went on to the max effort. So I took 80% of the above and went with 27.5kg… and did 50 reps! Yep that’s right 50. I just kept going and going and going. So it probably means my 1RM is way off… I shouldn’t have been able to do this at that percentage. But yet when I get close to my 1RM it’s so heavy it hurts… something to work on.

The WOD was good – heavy deadlifts at 60kg and step ups at 24 inches. I completed 6 rounds in the 10 mins.

Tuesday Morning (14th)

tuesday wod

To be honest, after the AMRAP we were toast! But we moved on to the gymnastic element and enjoyed trying something new. As much as I so badly want to be able to do skin the cat, I just hate going upside down! David managed but to be honest he is a bit of a ninja! I did the ‘end hold’ of the skin the cat as a shoulder stretch and doubled the time held. The others went well and I was able to hold fine.

I have never done ‘Josh’ before as a hero WOD and wouldn’t like to again anytime soon! I went with 17.5kg for the OHS and jumping pull ups. This was like every other hero WOD… TOUGH! When I started I wasn’t even sure I would finish but I did – 11 mins 47 second and felt pretty good with those OHS.

Thursday Morning (16th)

thursday wod

The 5 rounds for quality… holy abs! They were burning by the end! Everyone just want to curl up and shut the world away… those v – sits to hollows are not to be messed with!

After the L-sits and the American press my arms were toast and this WOD was beating us all with a stick. We had a 7 minute time cap and I completed 67 reps in that time… who knows how… it was a bit of a blur!

Friday Morning (17th)

friday wod

Speaking of blurs…

The front squats were ok. I went with 30kg for the first part and completed 6 sets of 5 reps. I went down to 25kg for the second part and completed 20 reps. Now that’s more like it.

This WOD… should it even be dignified with a description!? It was long. It was hard. Every part of you hurt. I completed it in 35 minutes 14 seconds. Never attempt this – seriously!

And after all that we needed a drink! Even if we had to wait until 8pm – The Zombie Crew!

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Has a workout ever taken you to the next level?

Do you like ab work?

Do you spend time with the people you work out with outside the gym?

Reebok Spartan Race UK – GIVEAWAY!

Hi all,

I am so excited to announce another link up with Chase the Red Grape and the Reebok Spartan Race – this time however I get to focus on the UK races!!

Spartan 1

Although I have never done a Spartan Race myself, I totally embrace the concept, the mental and physical personal challenge and the overall sense of achievement that can come from completing a race.

Live in the UK and fancy challenging yourself? Whether it be the Sprint (5+km and 15+ obstacles), the Super (13+km and 20+ obstacles) or even the Beast (20+km and 25+ obstacles) you are in for one heck of a good time!

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Here are a list of the races and dates available in the UK this year –

Allianz (London) Sprint 16th May

South Wales Sprint 20th June

South Wales Super 21st June

Manchester Sprint 4th July

Manchester Super 5th July

Scotland Sprint 18th July

Scotland Super 19th July

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Cambridgeshire Sprint 5th September

South Sprint 19th September

South Super 20th September

South Beast 27th September

(For more on dates, times and race info head to http://spartanraceuk.uk/)

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And I am even more excited to be hosting a giveaway for TWO OF YOU to gain one FREE RACE ENTRY  each to a UK race of your choice!

You can also gain 10% off any UK race by using the promo code BLOGGER15

So, want a chance to win a free entry? Simply comment below or tag me on Twitter @ChasetheRG with the answer to the following question….

Why would you like to run a Reebok Spartan Race?

Competition closes 2pm (GMT) Wednesday 22nd April and I will announce the winner on Thursday 23rd April.

Good Luck! 

CrossFit – Back in the game!

Hi all,

How are you? It feels like ages since I have been on here to share a CrossFit recap with you all! What with being away, taking a break etc it has been almost a couple of weeks!

Last week David and I were back into the swing of things with CrossFit, a 3 day training week (missing one day due to the box being closed for Easter Monday) and we were looking forward to seeing everyone and just getting back into the groove of things without the madness of the Open!

Here we go – last week…

Tuesday Morning (7th)

tuesday wod

I wasn’t ecstatic when I read the board… 4, 8 and 12RM’s for 3 of my least favourite aspects! But I surprised myself getting 20kg for 4, 17.5kg for 8 and 15kg for 12 power snatches – 25kg for 4, 22.5kg for 8 and 20kg for 12 thrusters and power clean and jerks. Doing them one after the other was the hard part – the 4’s for the 3 moves, then the 8’s etc it was both a mental and physical challenge for sure.

But then it came… 30 overhead squats– ahhh! And again, I surprised myself. I went with 20kg on my bar – a weight I only did for the first time during the open and that was for 6 reps… and I completed in 8 min 8 seconds!

Thursday Morning (9th)

thursday wod

In case you are wondering what the above actually entails re the rings… imagine the rings being low, then going into a push up position with the rings in your hands… then for the overheads, raising one arm at a time (while still in push up) ahead of you without bending your arms. Pressing up in the push up between each rep. And the same, but arm to the side, for the side extensions. Have I confused you? Haha! sorry! Well all you need to know was that it was hard and a burner but a good exercise for strengthening lats etc.

The WOD was one of those ‘just get through as much of it as you can’! Believe me after burpees picking up a kettle bell sucks! And then going into heavy front rack lunges (25kg) – urgh! You also know that when a rest is ‘programmed’ into a WOD then it’s going to be tough! In the 20 mins I completed 2 rounds plus 20 kettle bell swings!

Friday Morning (10th)

friday wod

I don’t like Turkish get ups. And that’s the end of that chapter… 🙁

But I do enjoy mixing things up a bit and that’s exactly what we had with the 3 rounds of pendlay rows and floor presses! We went for 25kg on both bars and it was awesome to see my progress in the floor press having not done it for a while. By the time you got to the 5 reps in each round though it was very tough but pushing yourself is kinda what made it so much fun! #weirdcrossfitmentality

After all that our arms, shoulders and lats were smoked so we were happy for the little huff and puff leg burner to follow. I completed the run plus 10 step ups in the first round and the run plus 12 in the second – at a 24 inch height.

Do you feel like you have been away for a lifetime when you take a small break in training?

Do you prefer heavy 1RM’s or lighter 5 or 8RM’s?

Turkish get ups… I can’t be the only one to despise them can I?!

Making a small change to a healthier happier you!

Hi all,

Small changes can make such a big impact to your health – it’s not all or nothing!  Sometimes it’s those little things that can add up to a healthier happier you! 

healthy

Here are some ideas for you to try! Give them a go, what is there to lose! 

Drink water with your main meals.

Have a piece of fruit after lunch and dinner (if needed).  

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Try to get to bed 15 mins earlier each night. 

Walking is enough – try walking to and from work, parking further away from the shops, getting off one station early and walking the rest etc.

Adopt a fruit or vegetable of the week – try to incorporate it into your eats this week – for example spinach – add it to your soup, eggs, the green for your salad, smoothies or just as a side dish.  A GREAT one to try with kids – how could they add this ‘new veg’ into more meals?!

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Set your alarm 5 mins early each morning – use this time to stretch in bed, wiggle, feel your body and connect with the day. Think of 3 good things that could happen today. 

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Change one breakfast per week to some eggs and vegetables.

Try a wind down period before bed – half an hour before switch off all media devices and allow your body to relax… Read an easy book, sip some peppermint tea, do some gentle stretching. 

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Find a new recipe from a magazine or blog to try over the weekend or next week. Where to start? Try Googling an item you have always wanted to try cooking with – chia seeds, tahini, sweet potatoes, beets, salmon…

Make one of your hot drinks a hot water with lemon and honey – double points for swapping it for your morning coffee! 

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I could go on and on! Inspiration for a healthier happier you can come from anywhere!

Do you have any tips that make you a healthy and happy? 

What one ingredient were you afraid to try but now love? 

What from the above would you like to try? 

Why I Love Where I Live!

Hi all,

I hope you are all fantastic today and had a wonderful Easter weekend whatever you were up to.

Here, the sun was shining its little heart out and boy did we make the most of it! David was off work Monday too so we had a fun filled 3 days together – and today I am feeling refreshed and keen to share with you all!

Saturday we decided to head over to Loch Lomond to hike Conic Hill. We left early and enjoyed the 40 min drive from Glasgow – we really are so lucky to live near such beauty. Here are our pictures… truly breathtaking!

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IMG_0758IMG_0762IMG_0764IMG_0767
IMG_0790IMG_0791And we finished up with a cheeky portion of ice cream each – I had cherry fro-yo (so not really ice cream haha!) and David went for wild strawberry. Nothing beats handmade local ice cream and it was perfect to restore or energy levels on such a sunny day.

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We didn’t really have any concrete plans for Sunday but when we saw how beautiful a day it was outside, we decided to explore a bit of Glasgow in the sunshine! Lots to see, didn’t plan on walking almost 9k! 

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IMG_2617 (1)IMG_2613IMG_2609And yesterday we went out for lunch and a cocktail! We have wanted to try ‘Firebird’ for a while now after reading about its amazing gluten free pizzas and woah it did not disappoint. Sorry for the bad picture but we wanted to eat (David had already snagged a slice!) – we shared a butternut squash and goats cheese GF pizza with a side salad and hand marinated olives!

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And then off to Kelvingrove Cafe for cocktails… they were strong… just how I like it!

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And I’m still smiling from the fun!

What did you get up to?

Do you like hiking?

Do you like strong tasting cocktails?

Get to know me better!

Hi all!

Yes I am finally here! I have made it to the sunny wee corner of the world that is my blog!

What with being away for a few days at the beginning of the week and having to catch up on my school work when I returned, I haven’t been able to blog! I still have some school work to catch up on so today I thought I would keep it short and sweet with a cute survey that I have seen quite a few bloggers do, courtesy of Ashley over @ALadyGoesWest!

I love learning new things about other bloggers so hope you enjoy reading my answers!

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1. What’s your whole name?

Jennifer Margaret Audrey Fotheringham (Maiden name was Hicks)

  1. Are you named after anyone?

My two middle names are that of my Nanna and Grandma – and I love that! (even though I have a crazy long name!)

  1. Do you have any siblings?

Yes! One fantastic brother Paul, who is 4 years younger.

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( Yes in this pic Paul and David look very similar! Think its the hair and glasses!)

4. Where did you grow up?

Inverurie, Aberdeenshire in Scotland. A small wee town about 20 miles from Aberdeen. A fab place to grow up!

  1. What activities did you do in high school?

In the UK we dont tend to do much extracurricular activities in school. I loved drama and was always part of the school plays.
Outside of school I was always involved in Girl Guiding (I even became a leader once I finished Uni) and I danced from the age of 2- 15 – tap, modern and highland dance.

  1. Where did you go to college?

University (as we call it)! I went to the University of Dundee.

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7. What activities did you do in college?

I just had fun! I studied and then enjoyed spending time with my friends – lots of nights out (we can drink here legally from 18) and then had 2 years of travelling back and forwards to Edinburgh to see David!

  1. What did you study in college?

I studied History and American Studies (history, politics, geography, philosophy of the country)

  1. What was your first job out of college?

Finding a job was tough! But my first one was as a Box Office Assistant for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo (I moved to Edinburgh once I graduated)

  1. What kind of music do you like?

Mostly, rock and metal! Yes that often comes as a surprise to most! But I am so eclectic in my tastes – my ipod will have everything ranging from metal to pop, to 80’s electronica, to dance, to what is in the charts right now!

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(Never fear, just our Iron Maiden tour t-shirts!)

  1. What’s one hobby that you’d like to take up?

Get back into dancing, I quite fancy trying something with David, like salsa or tango!

  1. What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?

From a very young age until the day I left University I wanted to be a History teacher. Things just didn’t work out that way when I didn’t get past the interview stage for my postgrad. There were only 8 places and 200 interviewed. I was gutted. But I do believe everything happens for a reason!

  1. What’s the biggest project on your to-do list right now?

I have so many to do lists in my head! CrossFit? A pull up and handstand. Home? Sorting out cupboards and putting clothes on ebay. School? Do more reading. But if I had to hone it down…. I would pick project Fotheringham! David and I planning on our future! Lots on the cards! #exciting

  1. Do you have any irrational fears?

I don’t think so… I don’t like going into water that I can’t see the bottom of – so it kinda rules out the ocean!

  1. Have you ever traveled outside the country? If so, where and when?

Yup! Europe – The Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain and Belgium. USA for our honeymoon. The United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai) and Oman (my favourite place in the world).

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16. When’s your next vacation and where are you going?    

Don’t know! But due to a kind gift from my parents we will hopefully be planning one soon!

  1. Do you speak any other languages?

Nope! Scraps of French that I remember from school but that’s it.

18. What’s one talent that you wish you had?

I wish I had the ‘talent’ for CrossFit. Yes I can ‘do it’, yes I love it but I wish I was naturally talented at it – I certainly have the passion, commitment and drive for competitions etc… just wish I had the strength and natural talent so I could compete!

19. What’s something that you wish you did more of?

Yoga, swimming and recipe creating.

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20. If you weren’t in your current job, what would you want to be doing?

I am currently at school training to be a Health Coach so I am doing everything I can to be doing the job I want to do!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

I would love to know some of your answers to the questions above…