The not so secret progress of Gill aged 59¼

So, I’m now 3 months into my challenges and it’s time for an update.

I’m really surprised at how quickly the time has gone and, despite some pretty atrocious weather, I’m slightly ahead of target at this point!

Mount Everest – I’ve now climbed 3924 feet (27.1%) which is more than Mount Snowdon. Makes you realise just how big Everest is!

I’ve walked 394 miles and cycled 88 so I’m past Lands End and heading up through England. (27% done). Have to admit that I’m probably more surprised by this than anyone else could be. Blue Badge? Walking sticks? How has my life changed!

59 miles of the River Thames (27.5%) has been covered, fortunately there’s no wave machine on the rowing machines at the gym. I used to hate the rowing machine but now I can keep going on it for ages. Shows how my fitness levels have changed.

I’ve lifted 272456 kg which is 42,904 stones!!! (27.2% of my target). Wow!

I’m now in a pretty good routine. I do my resistance training (the weights) every other day and I’m to be found wandering the streets clocking up the miles, climbing the steps and sculling (?) the rowing machines in between. I’ve invested in waterproofs so the rain isn’t going to stop me!

Not the most flattering photo but at least it kept me dry!

So the targets I set myself are going fine and there’s not that much that even I can say about them! I could tell you the routes I walk, I could say which rowing machine I prefer and why …… but it’s not very interesting!

Regular readers (lol!!!!) will remember that when this all started Darryl said he’d be setting me random challenges to stop me getting bored. They’ve certainly succeeded! Not only have I enjoyed doing (most of) them some of them have continued to have an impact.

I think I’ve changed quite a lot over the last 3 months.

For the first time in over 40 years (aargh) I am riding a bike. I’ve now reached the point where I could probably survive without stabilisers (if they’d ever made them for people my size) and I will go on quiet roads. But, I’m too scared to do busy roads …… tend to end up on the pavements but I think everyone I meet understands why and doesn’t complain.

I’m now a better / more considerate driver. Everybody should be made to go for long walks or cycle rides on roads without footpaths. You can tell the drivers that have. They slow down as they approach and then pull round leaving you space. Other drivers seem to speed up and try to keep as close to the kerb (and me!) as possible.

If I meet up with any Chinese people coming to the Olympics I’ll be able to say ‘Hello, my name is Gill Castle’. I can smile and they will feel very welcomed and happy. If, however, they answer in any way or ask me any questions it will become completely obvious that I have no idea what is going on! But the thought’s what counts, isn’t it?

I’ve met so many new people and learned so much about what other people are doing and the reasons why. There are so many interesting people and stories out there and walking slows you down so you see and hear things. I love hearing little, out of context, snippets of conversation as I wander about. Lets my imagination run riot as I make up all sorts of backgrounds and scenarios for the people I see.

Remember I was challenged to try yoga for 2 weeks? Well I’m still going. As I’m a bit of a bull in a china shop it’s really good for me to do something that slows me down, makes me concentrate and really makes me work on my balance. I love the relaxation / meditation aspects and I’m getting better at shutting off. I even think I may be getting a little tiny bit more flexible.

I do my resistance program before yoga and I’m really interested in seeing how high my heart rate goes then and how low it drops in yoga. Current record is 165 and 59, but I’m working on it.

I always wear my heart rate monitor when I’m training. I know it’s ridiculous but it doesn’t feel like I’m doing it unless it’s being recorded. My latest fascination is seeing how quickly my heart rate drops when I stop training. I’ve always been a bit of a data geek! I started by looking at it after 30 seconds and then again after a minute. Might tell you more when I’ve got more data. I love the graphs of my heart rate that I get from my Garmin, it’s great how I can pick out exactly what exercise I was doing at each point.

Nutrition. 3 weeks ago I was challenged to stick to ‘The Ancestral Solution’. See my last blog. I am still eating like that, I really like it! We’d agreed that I’d now do 85% Ancestral but, at the moment, I’m doing much better than that. I haven’t eaten anything not on the list (apart from a protein bar when I woke up because I was so hungry) but I have had skinny cappuccinos and I’m more than happy with those. I’m eating far more frequently needing food every couple of hours and I now seem to carry food with me wherever I go. I am a bit worried about what I’ll do when I go to the Olympic Park though. McDonalds and Coca Cola? How can that be healthy? The thought of it actually makes me feel a bit ill now ……

I’m halfway through this week’s challenge of using a foam roller for at least half an hour a day and I can already see and feel the difference.

Well obviously I can feel the difference because foam rollering hurts! People who know me know that I don’t do ironing but foam rollering is like ironing but instead of heat, pressure is used to sort out the bumps and knots. It hurts, but it works and the more you do it the easier it gets. Have a look on You Tube for foam roller exercises. Now I’ve used a foam roller before but the first exercise Darryl’s given me to do is a new one for me, lying on the roller so that my head is supported and my spine is on the length of the roller. Then I have to relax and let my body drop either side for 5-6 minutes. This seems to have made a huge difference to my posture.

When I’m walking along, wearing my rucksack, I’m very aware that I tend to tense and hunch my shoulders so, at regular intervals, I make a deliberate effort to lift my shoulders then drop them back into the correct position. Since doing this exercise on the roller I’ve noticed that when I’m walking and try to ‘put them back’, they are already there!

I’ve also noticed that I’m sleeping better, I’m calmer (most of the time!) and my body shape is continuing to change (oh I love discovering a ‘new’ muscle!)

This week several other people have commented that I’ve lost weight – so it’s not just me thinking it!

So 25% down, 75% to go. How do I feel about this? Excited and looking forward to it. I’m loving pushing myself and making myself go out there and get on with it even when I don’t feel like it.

The random challenges amuse, entertain and push me out of my (increasingly wide) comfort zone. They really do help stop me getting bored.

Now I know that I am chronologically considerably older than most of the people who are reading this post, although I very much doubt if I am in many other ways, but I now believe that everybody should have a goal(s) that they are trying to achieve.

What’s your next milestone?

What’s your next challenge?

Leave a comment telling me, I really want to know.

If I can do this …… and I can, and I will ……… what can you do???????

14 responses to “The not so secret progress of Gill aged 59¼”

  1. Great post as usual Gill – what an interesting time you are having and such an inspiring life journey in more ways than one! My next challenge is to sign up for the Regents Park 10K in October with my running buddy – a complete turnaround for me I can tell you!! xxx

  2. Well done Gilly, you amaze me.

    My next milestone is to run the whole way round my 2.5 mile jaunt each evening with the dog. 7 weeks ago I couldn’t run 30 seconds without stopping and I’ve been doing a few minutes running and a lot of walking until yesterday, I ran just over a mile without stopping and it was psychological thing because I stopped for the 2 small hills to walk up them. At first I didn’t think I could breath but I then concentrated on my stride and forgot all about the breathing and I didn’t get out of puff or notice it until I stopped. I’ve done the same run tonight as well and I just need to find a way of recording my runs to see if I can go faster or further. x

  3. Just done the short version of the local Hospice bike ride (Sunday), which was 18 miles. Did it faster than ever before.
    Next – Race for Life (July) – power walk with a target of 40 mins
    Then – Illumathon (Sept) walk through Blackpool Illuminations at night. Doing this with friends so not yet sure about 5 or 10 miles or pace.
    After that ….. nothing booked in so will have to think of things to do through the winter.
    We are talking about a cycle holiday next year, which would be great.

    Gilly – you are a real inspiration!

  4. oh Gill! I know I said it before, but you are so inspiring!
    The minute I am back from France I will get myself into gear and start a regular exercise class at least once a week and resume the running and abs programme.

    Here’s my next challenge: running a 5k before the end of my hols (I have ran yesterday for 15 min – first time running out in 2 months ; and I really have to resume the fitness regime for the sake of staying healthy!)

    Thanks again Gill!

  5. Great work gill, keep going your doing so well. And keep writing about it I’m enjoying your journey as much as you are by the sound of it!
    I have just had my biosignature modulation (a procedure that tests where you store your bodyfat and how much, which then tells you which hormones are out of balance) done by Matthew at the club this morning for the second time and I have lost total body fat, gained muscle and most importantly reduced the main priority site (hamstrings for me) by nearly 20%!
    So as for my goals going forward I want to maintain these levels or slightly improve but mainly I want to be able to squat and deadlift double my weight (120kg) which I can do through a very small range of movement so I’m not too far away!
    Bet you never asked what people were aiming for now that I have ranted on but you asked so there you are!
    See you soon Gill and keep up the good work! 🙂

    • Biosignature modulation????? Ooh!!! Those results sound amazing!

      Double your body weight? Wow! I saw the photos of you and Darryl with 90 kg and I was well impressed. LOL I was impressed by the depths of the squats let alone the weight. I assume you both managed to stand up with it!!!

      They’re great goals. I’ll have to come in and watch you train, I promise I’d shut up and not disturb you!!!

  6. Gill, as usual, a total inspiration to all. To have discovered the new Gill Castle, aged 59 and a quarter, must be like a rebirth: what a fascinating journey. My goal for this year is to complete a cycle sportive in the Autumn (a pro-am bike ride) and to do the 100 mile circuit in one go. I did 66 miles last year in 5 hours so want to see if I can go the distance. I was saddle sore but the sense of achievement was so fantastic that I didn’t care about my “bits”!
    This is such a great story, Gill, can’t wait to hear about the rarified air when you reach the summit of your Mount Everest!
    Susan (aka flowergirl)

  7. Great post & great achievements keeping ahead of your targets. My goal is to go to 2 zumba classes a week. This is helping me get fitter although it is also causing me to lose weight (which i really can’t afford to do) so i think I also need to look at what I eat too as I tend to snack on lots of crap & sometimes miss lunch!

    I love reading your posts, keep it up. Nice waterproofs by the way!

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