West Cork

A pleasant week with some oomph

I’ve had some serious writer’s block lately, or maybe just low mood? And for no real reason.

Perhaps because of being fed up with various disruptions, when all I want is to live a peaceful life, go for long walks, enjoy my strength training and learn new songs.

You know that I’ve had all sorts of flu and cold viruses (and some food poisoning or other GI thing too as some extra spice) during the winter, and after the trip to Spain, my husband developed a nasty cold, and can you believe that I started having sniffles AGAIN? As the icing on the cake, I’ve been having a nagging pain around my left glute/hip. This came just after I finished my Bulgarian squat challenge, too subtle to suspect anything serious, but too constant to not worry about it.

I forced myself to not stress over it, I always felt better while walking or strength training, and had NO problem doing heavy squats/lunges/deadlifts, so I decided it was going to be ok and that strengthening the area was probably the best thing to do.

Ironically, after I did weighted Bulgarian split squats in the gym last week, it started getting better. Now I’m mostly back to normal, and after yesterday’s work outside, I suspect the glute pain had more to do with gardening than Bulgarian squats!

Overall I feel much better, the latest sniffles never became anything more than simple sniffles, and warmer weather is here! We’ve had a summer-like week, and I’ve had a great week in the gym and elsewhere. Let’s talk about walking and lifting heavy stuff!

I’m joining Kim and Deborah for the Weekly Rundown link-up, where we share our week of fitness activities with other bloggers. Let’s get into it!

Last week’s fitness highlight – all about Bulgarian split squat success

So on Wednesday last week I did Bulgarian squats! This was the first time since before we went to Spain. I did them with 10 kg dumbbells, one set of 10 reps on each leg, then another set of 5 reps on each leg without rest between sets.

When I got in position to start the first 5 rep set, which I would start on the right leg (the “good” leg), I instead started on the left which is my problematic leg. And I didn’t even notice! It took almost the full set before I realised I had started on the wrong leg. Perhaps this leg isn’t so problematic anymore!

This week’s fitness work (and more)


This was a public holiday so the gym was closed. I had decided to take it easy and let myself fully recover from the sniffles, so I had no ambitions to do any strength workout at home. I also knew the weather would be fabulous and planned a walk in the afternoon. When I went out we had 17 degrees, and down the hill it was probably more than that. I was way overdressed even with leggings, a thin long sleeve top and denim jacket.

I was quite tired so I cut it short and walked about 4 km. This was a very enjoyable walk, seeing all the green.

West Cork
West Cork
West Cork


I had planned to go for a walk in the afternoon but then my husband announced that the builder was coming over with the digger – we’re having a slab built for a small office building (shed size) in the garden. Since I wish to communicate about what plants they might destroy so I could move them, I needed to stay home. But they never arrived!! WTF.

The sun came out later and it was a lovely afternoon so I went out and did some push-ups. At least something, eh?! 😀

I felt quite good doing these (push-ups have been so hard recently) and it felt good to get those muscles going after a long weekend without training.


I had no glute pain, almost no sniffles and was so ready to get back to the gym! I felt all oomphy (yes, now that’s a word, lol) and really enjoyed this session. A lot of people (including both trainers in my gym) say they don’t like training but they like how it makes them feel. But I also truly enjoy the actual training! Challenging my body and seeing what it can do, is a great feeling and it makes me feel more alive.

Jävlaranamma blog

I mentioned my struggles with deadlifts recently, how I scrape my knees against the bar. Today I felt they went better. When I got tired at the end of each set, I slipped back to my old ways but overall it was a big improvement.

Lunges with a weighted bar are still so hard. 30 kgs don’t feel heavy, but still I have to work hard to keep balance and I don’t dare to go as deep as I would with no weight or with dumbbells. I did some good sets of them some week ago but after that I’ve struggled again. Let’s just keep working on them and that’s it.

I felt good with everything else. The 6 kg lateral raises are less intimidating than they used to be!


The builders started working in the garden. No plants have been harmed, and they even dug up my huge oregano plant for me that I had down the hill. After they had left, I found it neatly placed next to the digger – this was the highlight of the day!


Gym day, and a good one with a lot of oomph!

Jävlaranamma blog

So we’re continuing the work with lunges… although reverse lunges seem a bit easier than the ordinary beasts. With the RDLs I still need to work more on the range of motion, but generally it feels good.

I’ve been doing well with barbell bench presses lately! I remember having a hard time with the 32,5 kg bench presses a while ago but I’ve become a lot more confident with them, at least on the 10 rep program. The Renegade row straight after is always a tough one but except it almost made me throw up, I managed to push through quite well!

When we came home, there was total chaos in the garden with a concrete truck leaving, dumpers at work to move gravel down the hill, and a garden that had been a lot more mistreated than the day before. However, the slab was in place, the house was still there, and before the builders left, they dug an extra hole for me to make a large garden bed for roses and more. How much do we love this company?!

Garden 2024
The garden project 2024

The weather was fantastic, and we celebrated with gin & tonic followed by grilled chicken kebabs.


Finally time for a long-ish walk. The weather was perfect and my husband had gone for a long run. I did my cow loop and was chased by a scary dog so I decided to do other routes in the near future! But it was a lovely walk, 7 km.

West Cork
West Cork

The rest of the day was all about gardening! I went to the gardening shop and it turned out they are closing down but they still had some plants there for sale and I found some very nice shrub roses, a type I’ve been looking for for a long time! I bought three for the new bed at the back, and some catmint.


Today will be a slower day, we’re going to another coastal town/village where there’s a fiddle festival going on. This year there are quite a few American musicians playing, and it’s about more than the fiddle, we’re going to enjoy a concert with clawhammer banjo player Nora Brown. It should be a fantastic afternoon!

For the coming week we’re expecting quite a lot of rain but I look forward to a good week in the gym, and likely the weather will be good enough to get out for some walks too, at least now the temperatures are ok so I shouldn’t fear some rain.

Thanks Kim and Deborah for hosting the Weekly rundown link-up!

20 responses to “A pleasant week with some oomph”

  1. Wendy avatar

    I’m so glad you were feeling better as the week went on! Great workouts and as always, your photos are gorgeous!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m so sorry that my blog ate your comment (it landed in spam for some reason and I don’t look there very often)! Yes, last week was a bit of a bummer but definitely improved!

  2. Deborah Brooks avatar

    We literally had rain everyday for the last 9 days! I get random pains in my glutes and lower back from time to time. I just back off slightly and stretch more. Way to get back at it after vacation and have a great week ahead

    1. Susanne avatar

      Ouch, that sounds like our spring! I hope it clears up soon! While I had the glute pain I did a lot of mobility movements for the hips and it seemed to make it a bit better (or at least I knew the hips were still working!).

  3. Jenny avatar

    Your photos are amazing, as usual. I love the one with the brick wall and purple flowers.
    You had some great work in the gym! It turns our you instinct to continue to strengthen the cranky glute/hamstring area was correct. You relly made progress with the Bulgarian split squats- I love that moment where you actually FORGET which side was your “bad” side.
    i’m going to try and channel your energy when I’m at the gym this week- I’m one of those people who don’t enjoy it much while I’m doing it. I’ll remind myself that lifting weights makes me feel more alive.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you! That photo is my favourite too. And I LOVED that moment during my Bulgarian split squats!
      A lot of people don’t enjoy weight lifting… maybe look at it as a celebration of what your body is capable of! For me my enjoyment with it really took off when I started seeing visible results, and that was after only 8 months of training and only once a week (but heavy enough to be challenging). Then I wanted to do more, to see how far I could get. Now recently when my gains in strength have accelerated, I love it even more!

  4. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    We had a lot of rain early last week, and some light sprinkles here and there on other days, but also had quite of bit of sunshine. We’ve had enough rain, tough, in recent weeks that the grass is growing like crazy now. Great work in the gym! Love the oomph!!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I hope you get some better weather! Today it’s pouring down here.

  5. Darlene S Cardillo avatar

    I was in sunshine all week and now back to clouds and showers.

    Your photos are amazing!!

    I hope you are done with the sniffles.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Darlene! I’m slowly getting back to my good habits with the camera.
      I’m sorry your weather is so dull back home!

  6. Melissa avatar

    We had a great week, but then towards the end it turned rainy for the weekend. I’m hoping for cool temps and dry skies next weekend for my half marathon and 5k race weekend. As always, I love your photos. Those purple flowers are gorgeous! Love all the fitness you’re getting in, especially all the weights. I’m always so jealous of your ability to do that! hope you’re feeling better.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I love those purple flowers too! I should try to get some of those onto my own garden wall.
      With the lifting, get on to some heavy enough weights regularly and you can get there too! I’ve only been training two years and basically started from scratch. But I have a brilliant trainer too who makes my programs. I know it can be hard to fit in with all the running. I hope have a good week away and that you get the desired weather for your half marathon!

  7. Jessie avatar

    Beautiful photos! So much greenery. A little shed to wfh sounds lovely! Feeling “oomphy”- I like it! Well rest and healthy will do that to you!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I love all the greenery! And I agree that being rested and healthy gets you to the oomph! The shed office is for my husband – it will be great I’m sure.

  8. Debbie avatar

    I’m with you, I enjoy the lifting weights, but I realize a lot of people don’t.

    The view from your back yard is stunning! I hope your kitchen window faces that way so you have that great view while cooking and washing dishes. 🙂

    1. Susanne avatar

      This view is one of the best benefits with this house! Every time we whine about having a house that’s a bit too small, we remind ourselves of the location. Everyone who comes here admires the view! We have a large window in the kitchen that faces the back garden.

  9. Coco avatar

    Your push-ups are looking good! Glad your glute issue seems to be resolving.

    That’s a serious garden! I’m lucky if I put flowers in our patio pots. 😉

    My husband was sick with a cough for a week. It wasn’t covid — maybe RSV or some other virus. Luckily I stayed well.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, definitely a serious garden! But it came with the house so we’d better do something good with it. And this strip is only about a third of it! Imagine that I likely got my glute pain from grass-cutting! It can get a bit overwhelming but I also enjoy it, in a way. I love planting and creating a beautiful spot. As soon as I’ve pulled all the weeds from last year (when I was injured I couldn’t do anything about the back garden), it will be all pleasure. This particular project is a large one but I’m sure it will be good in the end.

  10. Jenn avatar

    “Oomphy” is a great word! I love it!

    I’m glad the builders redeemed themselves, and I love that they dug you up a garden plot as well. You’re going to have so much fun with that. Can’t wait to see your new office shed! How fun for you!

    I’m sorry you were chased by the dog, and that you had sniffles. I hope you are all on the mend.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I can’t wait to get started with the new garden bed! The new office is for my husband, I have a nice office inside the house but we have too little space to have another home office. We’re renting an office in space at the moment but it will be great for him to have it at home.
      Fingers crossed for no more sniffles!

Leave a comment and make my day

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *