Day 50!!!!

Day 50 5x50 Challenge

I did it!!!!

And so the day has finally come – Day 50 of the 5×50 Challenge!!

Today I decided to go out with a bang, so spent two hours – yes TWO HOURS – on the cross-country ski machine at the gym, racking up a whopping 44.33km and burning over a 1000 calories (much needed after yesterday’s wedding buffet…!).

As is customary with this sort of thing (and because I’ve just got a new Garmin and am a bit obsessed with stats right now), I thought I’d do a little round up of significant numbers, achievements and learnings from this process.

The numbers:

  • Total number of activities: 54 (did more than one qualifying activity some days!)
  • Total number of: runs: 31; walks: 10; cross-trainer sessions: 7; ski machine sessions: 5; stationary bike rides: 1
  • Total kilometres during the challenge: 394.56
  • Total time spent exercising: 43 hours 42 minutes


  • I have done *at least* 5km of activity EVERY SINGLE DAY for the last FIFTY DAYS!!!
  • Although due to injury I couldn’t run every single day like I originally set out to do, I did run for 30 consecutive days and completed 31 5km runs in total (that last one was probably ill-advised though!).
  • Since the start of this challenge I have lost 10lbs in weight, bringing my BMI down into the “healthy” weight range for my height.
  • Though I only set out to raise £50 by making a personal donation of £1 per day completed to Macmillan Cancer Support, my JustGiving totaliser is at £180 – this is incredible. Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who sponsored me!

Things I have learned:

  • I can make time for exercise! I can even get up at 6am if I have to!
  • If you’re feeling crappy, exercise usually makes you feel better!
  • I like a challenge!
  • If something hurts, rest it until it’s better! :-/
  • Sports therapy is painful and expensive and worth avoiding if at all possible!

So what’s next?

Well, though you might think I’d like to have a sit down and a nice cup of tea, I seem to have made this exercise thing a habit…so I’m going to keep going for a few more days! I won’t be able to do any exercise on the 22nd May as I’ll be stuck in a polling station all day, but I’m determined not to let my fitness and motivation slip.

The next challenge for me starts on the 1st June – it’s Juneathon! Juneathon is essentially the same idea as the 5×50 Challenge, i.e. to do 5km or 30 minutes of exercise every day for the month of June. I’ll continue my blog here so stay tuned!

Then, I’m booked in for a 10K race on the 8th June, so with a bit of luck I’ll be able to start training for that if my leg is back to full health! I’m also planning to do a 5km Race for Life with some colleagues from work at the end of June, and am starting to think that another half marathon could be on the cards, but don’t hold me to that!

Day 50 route 5x50 Challenge

Despite being indoors I had the GPS switched on on my Garmin so the “course profile” is pretty lolz!

My Justgiving total for the 5x50 Challenge

Thank you to everyone who sponsored me!!


Certificate for the 5x50 Challenge

Congratulations to everyone else who has got one of these!

Day 49: Penultimate day!!!

Day 49 5x50 Challenge

Part 1: 1 hour on the ski machine. Note the new Garmin!! 😀

I can’t believe it is Day 49 – the second-to-last day of the 5×50 Challenge! Eek!

The biggest news of the day is that I took my shiny new Garmin for a test drive today! I’m so excited – GPS!! Until now I have been manually plotting my running and walking routes using Runkeeper, which is fine to work out the distance travelled, but means I don’t get an accurate sense of pace, let alone things like split times, heart rate or calories burned.

First I used it indoors as I spent an hour on the cross-country ski machine in the gym, racking up over 21 virtual kilometres. I was always under the impression that the calorie burn reading on these gym machines is usually overestimated, and according to the machine I burned in the region of 500 cals, but according to my Garmin (which has a chest-strap heart rate monitor) I burned over 700 calories! I’m hoping this is the more accurate of the two!

Day 49 5x50 Challenge

Screenshot from Garmin Connect showing my heart rate during my ski machine workout

After my gym session the boyfy wanted to get his 5km done for the day so we went for a walk on some footpaths around our little town. It was an absolutely stunning day today – lovely and warm and sunny, and we took some paths I never even knew existed! Good old Ordnance Survey! Used the GPS on the Garmin this time and had no problems at all. It took a while to “sat up” at the start, but plotted my route perfectly. Love it!

Our walk ended up on our high street where the annual spring Food Festival was taking place – we were a bit rushed but had a wander up the high street sampling all the yummy foods on offer, then had to go home and get ready to go to a wedding. Was probably a good thing I burned so many calories today as the pig roast buffet was epic! 🙂

Day 49 5x50 Challenge

Hubs-to-be and I loving the sunshine and the countryside 🙂

Day 49 5x50 Challenge

Walk route generated via GPS! My Garmin can also sync with Runkeeper, which in turn syncs with My Fitness Pal. Loving this technology!

Day 48: Lunchtime walk

Day 48 5x50 Challenge

Met this rusty old fella on the way

Had to squeeze my 5km in at lunchtime today so I went on a brisk 5.5 km walk around the University. Discovered some new footpaths and bits of the uni grounds that I didn’t even know existed, which is amazing considering I have worked there for nearly a year AND studied here for four years!

Day 48 route 5x50 Challenge

There are some lovely footpaths on the University of Warwick’s grounds 🙂

Day 47: Ski Thursday

Day 47 5x50 Challenge

Over 13 miles on the cross-country skiier tonight – feeling fit!

Did my exercise in the gym today and spent an hour on the cross-country ski machine. According to the screen I virtually covered 20.97km – a bit annoyed that I was 3 measly metres short of a nice round 21 km, but never mind I still had a good work out!

Followed my gym session with an hour of netball – just umpiring again, but my leg actually feels really good today so hopefully after my physio appointment next Tuesday she will tell me I’m good to run again! I’m feeling pretty fit at the moment so I hope it will be easy to get back into running again!


Day 47 route 5x50 Challenge

Annoyed by the 3 metre shortfall :-/

Day 46: Video diary…or not :-(

Day 46 5x50 Challenge

Here, have a selfie instead :-/

I did a video blog for you today but apparently I can’t post it here without upgrading from my free WordPress account…darn it!

It was a really warm evening tonight so instead of sweating in the air conditionless gym, I went for a long walk instead; a lovely 5.2 mile route from home, round the circular track of my local woods, then back home a slightly different way.

I was completely on my own in the woods, hence why I felt brave enough to do a video. Sorry you don’t get to see it, but if I find a way to post it I will do so!

Day 46 route 5x50 Challenge

Todays long walk

Day 45: Late night gym bunny

Day 45 5x50 Challenge

Last one in the gym so safe to take a selfie!

I was literally the last person left in the gym before it closed at 10pm tonight – saddo! But I did my 5km on the cross trainer and rather enjoyed watching Embarassing Bodies Live at the same time! It was a nice thing to think that I’m not embarrassed about my body anymore! (Not that I have ever had green pus coming out of my eyes like one of tonight’s patients, I just mean in terms of not being flabby anymore!)

Just 5 more days of the challenge to go! 😀

Day 45 route 5x50 Challenge

Not my fastest cross trainer session, but burned a good deal of calories 🙂

Day 44: University walk

Day 44 5x50 Challenge

Smiling at this point – approximately 5 minutes later I got wet muddy feet 😦

I work at Warwick University, and one of the staff perks is that we get vouchers to spend on personal development, whether that is membership of the gym, sports or fitness activities, or an evening class in the Centre for Life Long Learning. I chose to spend mine on a Journalism course which takes place every Monday night – we’re in Term 3 now and so far I’ve really enjoyed it.

Anyway, today I had to squeeze my 5km in between finishing work at 5.30pm and starting my evening class at 7pm. I plotted out a route on Runkeeper before I went, but took a wrong turning somewhere – it was fine, except the detour took me through a field of long-ish wet grass and I trod in a boggy patch so got wet feet 😦 Eventually found the path I was supposed to be on (a nice dry, gravelled footpath, typical).

Day 44 route 5x50 Challenge

The detour meant I probably wouldn’t have quite done 5km…so I did a lap of my office building before finishing!

Day 43: One week to go!

Day 43 5x50 Challenge

Post-Britain’s Got Talent.

Today I spent an hour on the cross-country-ski-machine-thingy at the gym and did 18.48km while watching Britain’s Got Talent. That’s all I have to report really!

One week of the challenge to go!

Day 43 route 5x50 Challenge

Doesn’t burn quite as many calories as the cross-trainer, but it’s not bad for a change. And you can do hills programs on this machine.

Day 42: Learn while you sweat

Day 42 5x50 Challenge

Getting fitter, and wiser!

Today’s 5km was done on the cross trainer at the gym.

Although the novelty of the cross trainer is wearing a little bit thin now, one good thing about it is that I get to catch up with my current affairs! One of the 3 TV channels that you can plug into on the gym machines is BBC News 24, a channel that I wouldn’t normally watch, but it beats the trash usually showing on ITV and Channel 4 (the BBC1 telly is broken).

During today’s 1 hour 17 minute session, I was inspired to look into my savings accounts and see if I can get a better interest deal, moved by Michelle Obama giving a speech about the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, and entertained by a comedian’s view of the Scottish independence issue.

The cross trainer may not be the most scintillating activity in the world, but at least I am getting an education while I do it!

Day 42 route 5x50 Challenge

1 hour 17 minutes of sweating *and* learning

Day 41: Single digit countdown!

Day 41 5x50 Challenge

Forgot to take a selfie during or immediately after our walk, sorry. But here’s us scoffing garlic dough balls…Hot.

Drove out to the edge of the Cotswolds and went for a long evening walk with my dearest other half tonight – so long in fact that it was dark by the time we got back! Because of this, we didn’t make a very healthy dinner choice – pizza from Tescos, which was part of a deal where you could get two large pizzas and two side dishes for £6! We only ate one of the pizzas, but with the garlic dough balls and onion rings it more than cancelled out our walk…Oh well, I’ll work hard at the gym tomorrow…

On a single digit countdown to the end of the challenge now – just 9 days to go!

Day 41 route 5x50 Challenge

5.2 mile walk around Lower Quinton, Upper Quinton, Meon Hill and Admington.