Fitness update 18th Feb 2023

A weird, mixed week with some good workouts

This was a messy week. After my birthday, my husband started having sore throat, cough and all that, so I’ve mostly been waiting to get sick myself and it’s been hard to focus on doing my usual activities. This is definitely an effect of Covid – in the past I never worried about getting respiratory infections, although of course it was unpleasant when it happened. I was like this about stomach bugs but if my better half had a cold, I continued my usual business with no worry. Now – not so much. Perhaps I’ll get back to normal with it eventually.

However, I’m doing well so far and have been keeping up my fitness activities. I felt a bit like the father in an Irish funny postcard letter – who reads the death notices in the newspaper, and if his name is not there, he gets up and starts the day. 😀

I expected all the time that I would wake up the next morning with a sore throat, and when I didn’t, I started the day’s planned workouts. I’ve really fallen in love with starting the day with some sort of training. It gives me a boost of energy, motivation and good mood, and always helps my productivity.

It’s been a good week with both strength training, running, walking and some rowing. We also got this new tool last weekend:

I have only done a super short “test run” so far (during which I realised that even just holding on to it to stretch your body is not for the faint hearted, lol) but will use it more soon!

Here’s a summary of the week:

  • Monday – 7,6 km walk
  • Tuesday – Gym day
  • Wednesday – Walking and running, 5,53 km? (should be a bit longer, perhaps I fiddled with my Fitbit)
  • Thursday – Walking and some easy running, 7,17 km
  • Friday – Gym day
  • Saturday – Walking, 9-ish km (I fiddled with the Fitbit and interrupted too soon by mistake so I don’t have the exact distance)
  • Sunday – Glute, ab & core strength

Monday – 7,6 km walk

I had a lot of work to do and also didn’t feel great with some nausea. But I was better and went out for a walk in the late afternoon. It was quite dull, but with a nice haze, and oh so mild and lovely! There was no wind and it felt seriously like spring. I went my not-the-beach hill walking route and absolutely loved it.

Some company along the road!

Tuesday – Gym day

I had mostly a good session but for some exercises I seemed to have less energy than usual, such as the chest presses and shoulder presses. Perhaps because I was a bit unwell and ate less than usual on the Monday? And the first three exercises are quite draining! At least I did my very best with the energy I had so I was still happy with the session.

  • Sumo squats, barbell 30 kgs
  • Romanian deadlifts, barbell, unknown weight
  • Dumbbell row, 12,5 kg
  • Chest press, 9 kg dumbbells
  • Parachute on mat
  • Seated shoulder press, 6 kg dumbbells
  • Reverse flyes, standing, 5 kg dumbbells

Wednesday – walking & running, 5,53 km

This was a glorious day with sunshine and about 10C. My energy was back and my legs felt great, so as I had planned I went out for a good run & walk. I’ve realised the route down to the sea is a good one for my return to running, because there is only one certain distance along the way that is appropriate for running at the level I do it right now, it’s maybe 2-3 km in total so I should risk overdoing it. I’ll do most of my walk/run intervals there for a while.

I felt really good running this morning, with no pains, aches, or discomfort whatsoever. And the weather! Amazing.

Thursday – walking and some running,

Still doing well! I started the day with rowing, still while listening to a Gillian Welch concert and rowing through three songs.

Thursday offered a lot more dull and cloudy weather, with some drizzle, but 13C/55F, folks!! I went out for a walk in the afternoon, the other hill route around the farms. On the small lanes I did a few short distances of running too. For now, I need to be careful running two days in a row “just to see what it feels like”. I’ll be more organised next week, with pre-planned days for running, and the rest walking.

Honestly who can resist running here?


Today’s strength training session was really good, with some increased weights. I was happy with my performance but can’t help thinking afterwards that maybe I could have done another rep of chest press. I have my trainer after all, to take the bar from me. I felt I went until failure but still… maybe I could have attempted another one? I’ll see on Tuesday. I normally ALWAYS get chest presses in my program.

  • Lunges, barbell, I think 20 kgs
  • Deadlifts, barbell 30 kgs
  • Chest press, barbell 22,5 kgs
  • Pec dec with resistance band
  • Upright row, barbell 17,5 kgs
  • Barbell row, 20 kgs
  • Good mornings with 10 kgs sandbag (I haven’t used them for ages!)
  • Tricep press from bench

Saturday – walking, 9,5-ish km

Another very nice day with 12C/53F. My husband was recovered enough to come with me for a nice long walk. We took a route we haven’t done in a while, it’s 9+ km and I’m looking forward to walking and running there when spring has come a bit further. The smaller part of the road is lined by hedges of different types. Much of it is in bloom now because it’s gorse – a lovely shrub that grows everywhere here and it blooms in winter and early spring. It gives a nice splash of colour before anything else starts blooming. Colours are good for the soul!


Like the last few weeks, I started my Sunday morning (after coffee and breakfast) with a good glute, ab & core workout at home. Today I started with step-ups to warm up, then lunges, squats, Bulgarian squats, reverse leg lifts, and single-leg glute bridges. Then my usual alternate planks, side plank with a twist, leg raises, push-ups, Russian twist attempts (I’m slowly making progress), standard plank and finishing with my rotator cuff mobility exercise.

In addition to the pull-up bar, my husband found this nice box at Lidl. It’s meant for all kinds of things that I probably won’t do, but for me it’s a perfect tool for step-ups, Bulgarian squats and more.

What I call the side plank with a twist is what this girl is doing here. It’s a powerful exercise and in the beginning I felt much weaker on the right side but now it seems it’s caught up and I managed to do 3 x 10-12 reps on each side which was very encouraging. Overall I had a very good workout and I’ll be disappointed if I’m not sore tomorrow!

For the coming week I hope to continue feeling well, and the plan is to run on Monday and Thursday. I also have a lot of work to do, and desperately need to do some house cleaning and start another round of decluttering.

Other things to mention

I’ve had this feeling of being mentally tired recently and I’m not sure why. Perhaps because of the winter that has seemed so long, and in combination with my near-meltdown because of the foot injury, pressure to get my business started, and that we’ve been away almost all evenings for music sessions that I don’t even feel well prepared for (because I haven’t been able to get started with a music practice routine). After Christmas, I haven’t been good at letting myself have time off, and seeing the total untidiness in the house makes everything worse – someone I talked to described it as “wherever you look, you see work that needs to be done” and that’s really spot on.

We took way too much stuff with us from Sweden, stuff we didn’t even know if it would suit our new home but was “convenient to keep”, and our house is a mish-mash of things that don’t fit together. Adding to that, our house is too small for the things we have, and we need smarter storage solutions. Actually after having a half-meltdown over it this afternoon, my husband and I started talking, and we now have a plan. So – the spring will be all about prettying up our home, and I’ll start tomorrow.

I hope you are doing well, and that you had a good week! What was your highlight of the week? What’s the weather like where you are?

I’m joining Kim and Deborah for the Weekly rundown link-up.


32 responses to “A weird, mixed week with some good workouts”

  1. Jessie avatar

    I definitely can relate to bringing too much stuff- we brought too much stuff from the U.S. that doesn’t work. I thought I was being really smart about packing, but not so much…

    Your pictures make Ireland look incredible! So green, even in February.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Exactly, that’s what I felt – that we were smart bringing this and that to Ireland. But no.
      Ireland IS incredible in February! January is a very dull month – although it’s green also in January – but in February spring starts showing its face. You can even smell the spring, the scents of nature waking up. It’s amazing, especially for a winter-hating Swede, lol.

  2. Deborah Brooks avatar

    You have some beautiful and peaceful looking places to run and walk. Glad you were able to get out and take advantage this week. Pull ups are so hard! have not tired a real one in a while. We have some house projects on the books again and that always feels good! Have a great week ahead!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, these country lanes… I adore them.
      It will take a long time before I can do a pull-up. But I’ll definitely get up there and at least stretch my back. Good luck with your house projects! We just ordered some storage stuff from IKEA – a first step at least.

  3. Jenny avatar

    Yes, I definitely know that feeling of just waiting to get sick- I had a week like that when my husband had Covid in January (and then I never got it.)
    i love the photos from your runs and walks! No, I wouldn’t be able to resist running on those roads either. It’s really beautiful.
    I looked at the video you linked to- that looks like a killer core workout! One of the workouts I do has side planks with the hip dips, and that’s hard enough- but the added twist must make it really intense. i want to try that whole video this week, but I’ll have to modify parts because of my wrist (sigh.)
    Glad everything is feeling good!

    1. Susanne avatar

      That certainly is a killer core workout! I attempted the whole workout a few weeks ago and had to give up and realise that I’m simply not strong enough for most of those exercises yet, and my wrists prevented me from doing some of them. But I added that side plank and something else to my at-home program and I’m happy to see progress with it. I really like that side plank with a twist and always get seriously sore along my side abs the day after. Today I also did a lot of leg raises and other planks. Woe is me tomorrow, lol.
      I hope you’re feeling better!

  4. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    Wow, all your green grass looks so beautiful (as do those trails). We are in the midst of a major de-clutter with our house. It seems we get some stuff cleared out, then we almost have to start over and de-clutter further (in the SAME rooms, LOL). It definitely is stressful! Great job on your workouts this week 😉

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m totally with you on the decluttering, Kim! It seems to never end!
      I really love all the greenery here all year round and I’m so blessed to live here. When I lived in Sweden, the lack of colours for so many months was almost worse than the snow and ice.

  5. Wendy avatar

    Sign me up for that road! Ahhhh…so lovely and green! Everything is so brown here.

    We have been decluttering for a while but more needs to be done. Actually, I need my sons to come home to clean out their closets. HA! As if…

    Nice week for you!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Welcome to come and run here! I actually thought of that when I read your post and saw your pictures, that it’s so brown there in your forest. I had almost forgotten about how winter can look like.
      Having to wait for other people to sort their stuff must be so stressful – at least we can only blame ourselves.

  6. Chocolaterunsjudy avatar

    I hear you on running two days in a row! My runs are barely runs but my body wasn’t super happy about running two days in a row, but that’s just the way it was this week.

    I’m glad that you didn’t get sick, too. I don’t want to jinx us, but I don’t think we’re every actually sick at the same time. Weird, huh?

    There are hedges that bloom in WINTER? That would be amazing!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, the gorse starts blooming around Christmas and is in full swing now and until early summer if I remember it correctly. One of the shrubs in my garden, the bush daisy, was supposed to bloom now too but it died in the big frost we had in December. I’ll cut it down and possibly it will come back. It’s such a blessing to have some of nature being alive in the winter!
      My runs are barely runs too… but I have to start somewhere!

  7. Teresa avatar

    I have a hard time pushing myself with strength training and tend to walk away from many a workout thinking I could have done more. It looks beautiful where you are. I think I’d walk a lot more if I had pretty places like yours to walk.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, we have lots of beautiful places to walk here, and I’ve discovered a lot more since I started running, and since my husband and I started going for long walks on the weekend.
      I started pushing myself more in the gym in the early autumn when I realised I’d had some visible results from only once a week strength training for 8 months, this triggered my increased interest in fitness and training, and I wanted to do more. It was then I started running. Then after my knee injury in October I got pissed off with my body and decided to challenge myself and do what it would take to get strong enough to be able to run. The recent foot injury triggered me even more and now I want to go all in when I’m in the gym, even if not all of it is for running. I also want to build muscle, for looks and for the challenge, for the “what ifs”.

  8. Michelle avatar

    Great to see you getting some runs done! And what a beautiful spot for a run.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m so glad to be back at it. And the scenery gives an extra energy kick!

  9. Jenn avatar

    I am currently in the midst of a purge. We are planning to move in the next couple of years, and I don’t want to take much with me. If we can get out of the country, even better. I hope you are able to take some time to yourself to recharge and reset. It’s so important.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Jenn, I will make some recharge time this week, I hope. And start following the schedule I made a month ago that I haven’t been following! Me-time is a bit like training – you have to create a habit and routine for it to happen.
      Good luck with your move plans! Sounds exciting. Good plan to bring as little stuff as possible.

  10. Debbie avatar

    I hope your husband recovers quickly and you avoid catching what he has. We certainly do have a different mindset since Covid hit, don’t we?

    You have the most beautiful places to run and walk! I love cows so I’d be sure to stop to say hello to that handsome bull (or steer?)!

    Here in the Virginia suburbs of DC, the temps are expected to climb to the high 70’s by Thursday and then plummet into the 30’s with a winter mix by Saturday.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Debbie, life certainly is different although we’re quite much back to normal life. I didn’t realise until now there are different words for castrated and uncastrated male bovine, strange that he has that field all to himself! I guess it’s time I learn more about cattle now that I live in the middle of them.
      Enjoy that “heatwave” but how disappointing to get the wintry weather back later!

  11. Marcia avatar

    Your scenery is so stunning! It makes me long for spring, alas we are far away from it at this point, although to be fair we’ve had a mostly mild February if you take out last week’s blizzard. Haha! Glad your husband is feeling better!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, I’m a big fan of the scenery here! I’m glad you’ve had a mild February, spring is certainly on its way here, I’m so happy about this temperate climate. Early spring and mild winters mean a lot more to me than hot summers these days.

  12. Darlene S. Cardillo avatar

    Glad to hear you are feeling better and getting your energy back.

    And there will more running. That must be encouraging.

    I escaped our cold weather for a Florida vacation. The weather was perfect and the highlight was visiting with friends I don’t normally see.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, things are improving here, and I had a good run this morning and have a program of sorts I’m going to follow so I hope all will go well. I’m glad to hear you had some good times in Florida. A friend of mine (who lives in England) is going there soon.

  13. Lindsay avatar

    That step up box is so cool! That is on my wish list for my home gym. Glad you are feeling better (and impressed with how you stuck to your workouts when feeling offish). Also, I love a decluttering plan, especially in the spring! There’s something about the nicer weather and getting rid of stuff that brings me so much joy!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, the step-up box is really convenient, and a stable piece too. I started some decluttering at home today and we have some good plans so it’ll be good. I feel much better after having cleaned out my home office a bit!

  14. Cari avatar

    yes yes on how COVID has made URIs akin to the stomach bug, which is unfortunately going around here too. Too funny that the obits is an Irish thing. My grandmother used to read them to “make sure she wasn’t in there”.

    1. Susanne avatar

      LOL about the death notices.. I remember that postcard I bought years ago, the first time I was in Ireland. I wish I still had it because it was hilarious.

  15. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures avatar

    Ugh on the clutter and lack of organization! It gets the best of us. Every year our neighborhood has a garage sale and I have been in charge of it. This year I decided to not organize it because the thought of the work involved stresses me out! But hopefully we will have time to put some bigger items out and see if we can sell some stuff. It’s a great feeling to get rid of the unnecessary! I hope your plan of attack goes well and you get a lot accomplished.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Lisa! I’ve started an aggressive project today by throwing away a lot of stuff from my home office – things I’ve kept mostly because of nostalgia or “they could be good to have at some point” but they all cluttered up my shelves. Straight away I felt more inspired!
      That’s great if you can get things sold! We’re donating a lot to some local charity shops.

  16. Kim G avatar

    I’ve also been feeling mentally tired for the past few weeks as well. I would say most of it would be because of work, but I’m sure it’s anxiety about some other things too. Hopefully things get batter for both of us soon!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m sorry to hear that, Kim! I hope you’ll feel better soon. I actually feel a lot better today – for the only reason that today we have a lovely sunshine. Perhaps the weather affects me more than I think (or, I actually mentioned winter above). And starting the day on the rowing machine may have helped too!

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