West Cork

Start of the 150k challenge!

Hi folks, how are you? I’ve had a really good week. Nice weather, my mood and attitude back, good walks, and a lot of other good things.

I’m joining the Weekly rundown link-up with Kim and Deborah, to talk about the week of fitness and training. I enjoy sharing my fitness endeavours every week, for me as an accountability tool and documentation, but I also really enjoy joining the running & fitness blogging community to get inspired, learn more about running, and connect with people.

I’m mostly recovered from the foot injury I had. Now my legs are itching to run, but I’ll wait another week at least. However, I’ve done some really good walks this week. Next week I’ll do some more challenging walks with more hills, and if that still feels good, then the next step is careful running. I’m continuing all my physiotherapy homework.

I think I’m quite much back on track!

Here’s a summary of the week:

  • Monday – Core strength and Bulgarian squats
  • Tuesday – Gym day
  • Wednesday – Start of the 150k challenge. 6,61 km walking.
  • Thursday – Walking, 10 km
  • Friday – Gym day
  • Saturday – Walking, 15 km
  • Sunday – Bodyweight strength training, mostly core, + rowing 12 mins


I started an ab challenge which I quite soon had to modify quite a bit. I couldn’t do all the exercises because I’m not strong enough in certain areas, which was a bit disappointing. But obviously, the girl in the video is a young fit girl who seems able to do anything! At least I got some good ideas for strength moves that I hadn’t done before, and I added some other exercises so I had a good session anyway. I didn’t want to work too much on chest and triceps because tomorrow is gym day, and I get a LOT of that in the gym.

Since I can’t follow her program 100%, for the next time I’ll make my own plan but will take ideas from her workouts.


A good strength session in the gym.

  • Sumo squats, 25 kg
  • Bulgarian split squats, 8 kg dumbbells
  • Flyes, 7 kg dumbbells
  • Chest press, 9 kg dumbbells – could only do 1,5 set because of elbows (I did some pushups the day before after all, and I’ve realised now that I really don’t need to do a lot of that at home and should save my energy for the gym)
  • Bent-over row, barbell (weight?)
  • Lateral raise, 5 kg dumbbells
  • Upright row, barbell (17,5 kgs? not sure)


St Brigid’s day, people! It means the first day of spring according to the Celtic tradition. However, everyone has been talking about cold snaps and more snow lately. Except RTÉ and Met Éireann! But I’ll follow the Winnie the Pooh quote that Jenny mentioned recently, and will enjoy every moment I can go out walking, because we don’t have any cold snaps or snow yet. Those people who talked about it could even be wrong!

The 1st of February was also the start of my 150k challenge. I think the biggest challenge will be to raise the money! I realised that I probably don’t know enough people who are interested enough to donate, and I’m no influencer.. but anyway, even if I only raise €60 it will still be something. And it makes me walk a lot more than I otherwise would have! Because of those people talking about snow, I’ve been walking a lot more than I needed to because if we get snow it means I can’t walk those days and then I need to walk more on the good days. I kicked off the challenge with a good 6,61 km walk.


A good day of walking! I took a nice walk towards the beach, but turning right before the steep hill, and then back home. In the afternoon I went for another walk in the other direction and in total I did about 10k. I’m trying to not overdo it, but it was a lovely day and my foot was fine.


My Fitbit gave me a readiness score of “low” and told me to take it easy, but I did a kick-ass session in the gym! It feels like I’m back to my normal focus and oomph and I love it!

  • Romanian deadlifts, 30 kgs
  • Lunges, barbell 15 kgs
  • Chest press, barbell 22,5 kgs
  • Alternating plank, elbows to full position
  • Good mornings, barbell 30 kgs
  • Back extensions on mat
  • Seated shoulder press, 6 kg dumbbells
  • Reverse flyes, 5 kg dumbbells


We had some wonderful weather most of the day and I’ve been rocking my 150k challenge. My husband had planned to run but he has a knee problem so he came with me on a long walk instead. We walked about 15 km – the longest I’ve walked in one go! When we got closer to home my feet were VERY achy! Not in a concerning way, only… achy. Like when you’re on holiday in Rome (or something like it) and walk around the city the whole day. (Now when I have the Fitbit it will be interesting to see how far you actually walk on such holidays!)

We went towards the northern end of the peninsula, all the way to the sea.


Well, people, look at this babe! It’s quite simple but we didn’t want to spend a lot this time, and in addition we have very limited space. But we both love it!

And yes, I know this is no Pinterest home, it’s a real-life home that is a work in progress. When we moved to Ireland we couldn’t get a mortgage so we had to buy the cheapest house possible, which meant a simple barely habitable cottage-style bungalow that desperately needed TLC. We’re fixing it up bit by bit. There wasn’t even a kitchen when we moved in, only a utility room to wash dishes and install washing machine and dishwasher. We cooked everything in the barbecue or microwave oven the first few weeks.

Mold has been a big problem in this room until we installed the new ventilation system. Now I’ve cleaned what I can and we need to repaint these walls but it’s not our priority just yet.

But also with the horrible walls, this is a good room for workouts, and today I’ve done some good core strength work – plank variations, leg raises, pushups and more. I also did my first real rowing session. This is a wonderful machine and I realised rowing is much tougher than I thought and an exceptional training option – cardio, strength, endurance and mental training all at once. I started a concert on YouTube and decided I’d row over three songs and then see how I felt. I did 12 minutes and the next time I’ll continue the same concert and row through the next four songs. During today’s session I made a plan for my guitar & singing practice next week, because the concert was with Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, some of the coolest people in the American folk music sphere. Lots of my singing inspiration comes from Gillian Welch. I do some of her songs already. I have more on the to-do list, and it’s about time I get started with them!

Next week will start with a bluegrass gig, with Special Consensus, in the north of county Cork so I’m looking forward to that!

How was your week? What was your training highlight of the week? Other highlights?

If you want to support my walking challenge and Ireland’s children’s hospice, click on the graphic below to get to the donation page. No contribution is too small!

150k in February for LauraLynn Children's hospice

31 responses to “Start of the 150k challenge!”

  1. Coco avatar

    So is the 150K goal for February? That’s a serious goal! The scenery on your walks is so lovely. I’m glad your foot is feeling better.

    I grew up in an old house, but was too young to remember the chaos before my parents fixed it up. I’ve seen old photos though. 😉

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, it’s 150km for the month of February. If I keep going like this week, I’ll reach it with no problem. If I also count my daily life steps, I’ve done 50 km already! I did some serious walking this week.

  2. Jenny avatar

    I like that walking goal! The photos are beautiful. I’m glad your foot is feeling better- I’ll bet you’ll be able to run soon.
    I think I commented last week that I’ve never tried a rowing machine. They do have them at our gym so maybe I’ll try it sometime. It does sound like great exercise.
    Yes, listen to Winnie the Pooh and not the weather forecasters! Weather predictions are frequently wrong.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I highly recommend trying the rowing machine!
      This weekend I’ve felt so good that if I continue like this, I’ll try running again in about a week. I’ll do my very best to not ramp it up too much, although it’s possible this injury happened because of too much hill walking in a short time, rather than running, because I don’t think I did a lot of running.
      I couldn’t agree more about weather forecasters – I’ll continue to enjoy our 8-10C as long as we have it.

  3. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    Ooh, a rower! That’ll spice things up for you 🙂 We have a rower (bought used last summer), but that’s the hubby’s toy. I have yet to use it for more than propping my phone for post-cycling selfies. Glad to hear your foot is doing much better!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Oh yes, it’s definitely an upgrade to my fitness routine!! And I almost propped my iPad there for a selfie too 😀

  4. Deborah Brooks avatar

    I am so glad that you had a much better week! It’s nice you have found a new fitness routine that works for you

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Deborah! Things are going well right now!

  5. Chocolaterunsjudy avatar

    Hospice is such a great organization, I’ll try to remember to donate!

    Enjoy the rowing machine!

    That walk on Thursday looks AMAZING! I’d love that.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, the route I did on Thursday is so lovely! Next week I’ll do more hills and will continue down that little road in the picture.

  6. Jessie avatar

    The rowing machine is a great addition! I think it would be hard for us to get a mortgage here on working visas, so we are renting, which has its pros and cons. My husband would much prefer to be able to do work on the place, but we can’t. But it’s fine in my opinion, at least for now!

    Love your scenery on your walks!

    Sounds like you are quite the talented musician!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, we are so blessed having the EU and being able to live and work anywhere within the union without hassle. When we first arrived, we rented a house for 4 months. Rentals are ok if they’re good houses, although many can be quite run down, or super expensive. We decided, when we made the decision to move here, that the goal would be to buy our own. We lived here for a year 14 years ago and lived in a rental house that was really miserable, cold, damp, and there was nothing we could do about it because we didn’t own it. But if you’re happy with it, renting can be a good option.

      Regarding the music… well, I still think I’m just hobbling around on the guitar and still feel quite beginner-ish. I might post a video sometime in one of my updates. I need to get back to regular practice, I’ve lost the habit recently. But I’ll start on that Gillian Welch song tomorrow!

  7. Wendy avatar

    That 150k goal is serious! I used to try to hit about 100 miles per month, running, but since I cut back to 3 days per week, I get closer to 80, which is ~130km. So excited for you to do this! Excited for you to have gotten the rower–we do a lot of rowing at CrossFit and I love it for cross training.

    Don’t even get me started on home renovations–we’ve lived here for 25 years and we need to do some serious updating. But the hubs thinks it’s ‘fine’, even though it’s not. I guess it will all get done eventually.

    I do love Gillian Welch and similar performers. I also like bluegrass and it is really coming into it’s own now–there are some really amazing young musicians making a name for themselves with it.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I first felt like “150k isn’t a lot” but that was when I did both walking and running and could do a good distance in one go. Then my foot injury happened and the goal became a lot more serious! But I’ve done some good walking this week and if I can keep that up, I’ll be fine.

      That’s frustrating about the house! I hope you can get started on something. It’s a good feeling to get renovations done, both big and small.

      There are some amazing young bluegrass musicians around these days!! Most of them do some fusion music, mixing bluegrass with many other styles (because bluegrass only isn’t a big money maker, I suppose). But they’re incredibly competent. My favourite of those youngsters is Billy Strings – he’s an amazing guitar player and does some very good Doc Watson covers.

      1. Wendy avatar

        I love Billy Strings–he’s so talented!

  8. Darlene S Cardillo avatar

    Glad to hear your foot is healed.

    Good luck with that challenge… I am really bad about asking people for money.

    Our house needs some serious upgrades – windows, dec, carpeting, paint. we haven’t done much in 25 years.

    Hope you enjoy the rowing machine.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you, Darlene!
      It can be hard to get started with house upgrades… there’s a lot of effort involved. And money, if you don’t do the work yourself. But it’s worth it. We have tons of work to do still… maybe especially decluttering but also painting (although we did it when we moved in), replacing doors, some windows, insulation etc.

  9. Teresa avatar

    It looks so beautiful and green where you’re at. I’m jealous. I did not know about St. Bridgid’s Day. I had to look that up.

    Rowing is hard. I have a really cheap rower and was shocked how hard it was. They have a nice one at my gym too that I want to try out too.

    You had a nice week! Great job.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, it’s lovely here! I can imagine St Brigid’s day is quite unknown where you are, I didn’t really know about it before I moved here! It is one of four Celtic seasonal holidays (of which Halloween is one!).
      I totally agree about rowing, it’s tough indeed! But that makes it an excellent form of training.

  10. Melissa avatar

    If you keep up the activity like you dis this week, you’ll reach 150k without a problem! Nice job with all the activities. I love that the first day of spring is so much earlier! Now if only it felt like spring here …

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Melissa, yes, I did well during the first few days of the challenge! I hope to keep going this week. I feel for you about the long winter.

  11. Debbie avatar

    I’m so happy your foot is feeling better, and that you’re enjoying your rowing machine! The scenery where you live is so lovely.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Debbie! And I also adore the scenery here!

  12. San avatar

    Yay for the rower. I am not interested in one, but I know the joy one feels when you get something that you can get excited about 🙂 so I hope you’ll get a lot of use out of it.

    Also good luck on that 150km goal for February. I think you can do it. Especially if it’s nice and sunny out 😉

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you San, we have some excellent walking weather ahead of us this week as it seems! The rowing machine is incredible – I’m on it Wednesday again. 🙂

  13. Marcia avatar

    I’m so glad your foot is feeling better! That 150k is an amazing goal and such a worthy cause. Everything is so lush and green there! Nice work in the gym and enjoy that new rower!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Marcia, yes, there certainly is a reason to call this the Emerald Isle!

  14. Jenn avatar

    I love what you’ve shared of your home! It’s in Ireland – I can’t imagine much better than that! Love your new rower – I hope it works out well for you!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, I agree, you can put up with a DIY home when it’s in rural Ireland! The rowing machine is wonderful, a great complement to our other training options!

  15. Shathiso avatar

    What a brilliant start to your 150km challenge! I think you’ll definitely manage even if you have some snow days in between. As for your strength work, great stuff! I am going to have to Google Bulgarian Squats as I’m keen to see what those are!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Bulgarian squats are lovely as a single leg exercise, great for runners, and very challenging as it requires good balance and core strength – to me they’re an excellent balance exercise too.

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