West Cork

Spring vibes and lawn-mower workouts

This week started cold but ended with REAL spring. What’s not to love? It’s been a mostly good week with nice walks and good sessions in the gym.

As usual on a Sunday, I’m sharing my week of fitness activities with other bloggers in the Weekly rundown link-up. This week I need to count grass-cutting as a workout too – it’s the first cuts of the year and that’s always exhausting.

In Ireland with the temperate climate, the grass grows until late in the year and starts growing early in the year, while we can only really cut it between April and October-November, otherwise it’s too wet. So if the weather is bad in the early spring (like this year), there’s grass almost up to your knees when it’s time for the first cut. We have an enormous garden with lots of grass AND with a slope and uneven ground. After cutting both Saturday and Sunday last week, and having done sumo squats on the Friday, my legs and hips were absolutely toast. Earlier I’ve said things like “who needs a gym when you have a garden?” – now I’m saying “Thank goodness I have the gym so I can be strong to handle the garden!”

So that’s how I started this week! Let’s talk about what I’ve been doing – grass-cutting and not.

Monday – gym

I still felt very sore around my glutes – it’s a problem area for me where I often get serious DOMS. It was good to be back in the gym for a full, normal week, and this was a good session with some standard work. This week I’ve been doing 3 x 10 reps on all exercises.

Jävlaranamma blog

These deadlifts felt quite easy, which was good because I struggle a bit with form on standard deadlifts so I could focus on weight on my heels, getting deep enough, and more. The lunges were the first I’ve done with this kind of weight since a long time, and they went quite well but I’m still insecure with going deep as soon as I get a barbell on my back. At least this time I didn’t struggle much with balance, which is a huge step forward.

He’s upped my weights on my dumbbell chest exercises and today the bench press was really hard, but I could do two full sets, then only managed 7 reps on the last set. With a weight increase of 2,5 kgs I guess I should be happy with that. I felt good and strong with the flyes, and the good mornings gave a good stretch for my suffering glutes!! Then on to the barbell shoulder press… pfff. So hard. I just tell myself.. keep doing them and I’ll get better with them.

Tuesday – hard work outside the gym

I had only one important plan today and that was to cut the grass once more! Who knows when it’ll rain again? I cut for the second time down the hill behind the house and at the front. Not as hard today but it was cold. For the first round I wore three layers!

Wednesday – gym

Today the gym session was all about glutes. As if I needed that… but I probably do. It was a good session!

Jävlaranamma blog

These RDLs were tough but I felt in good form and proud about being able to do them with this weight. My main problem was that the bar tended to slip out of my hands at the last few reps. I’ve tried gloves before and it doesn’t help. Some chalk helped a little. Perhaps I should work on my grip strength.

I also felt really good with the bench press today! My trainer was ready to take the bar at the last rep but I made it without help and did three full sets. The barbell row and pullovers instead were harder than usual. Some days are like that and that’s ok.

Thursday – walking

Today the weather started to warm up! I went for a walk during the morning, around 10 am and it really felt like spring had come. When I came back the thermometer showed 14 degrees (57F). Not bad! I walked about 4 km.

West Cork
West Cork
West Cork
Bluebells are here!

Friday – gym

This again was a nice spring day with up to 15-16 degrees. I wore ankle length leggings – that’s a serious spring sign, lol!

Jävlaranamma blog

Before I started my Bulgarian squat challenge I had a weird issue with standard squats, that I somehow didn’t feel stable enough on my feet. I’m not sure if that was just in my head or not. This problem has totally disappeared now. I may have overworked my glutes during those last days of Bulgarians (this is probably why my glutes are still a bit cranky), but as I’ve said earlier, during the challenge I started feeling stronger around the hips, and now with these heavy squats I felt good and stable, with the focus on good form and lift, not balance.

I’m definitely improving with dumbbell lunges too – I could go all the way down with the back knee, not sure if I did that before. Also with these I felt stable and confident.

The single arm wall press basically is a standing push-up from the wall, using one arm only. It was quite hard! I didn’t get deep but then, if I did this on the floor, it would be close to impossible so I probably did quite well. It was only the day after that I realised it was also a very efficient core exercise, more than standard push-ups.

Saturday – walking, 7,8 km

Since my husband was going for a long bike ride, I decided to go for a longer than usual walk. I had two options, the cow loop or some place by the sea, and decided it was time I found the way to walk to Sheep’s cove, which is another beach a bit further away than Simon’s cove where I usually go.

It was actually very easy to find – it seems we’ve made it more complicated than necessary when we’ve gone there by car!

It was a lovely walk and I strolled around for quite a while on the beach. This is such a special place and there’s so much to see in low tide with all the rock formations, small caves, seashells and whatnot. The actual walk to get there and back was such a treat too, everything is so beautiful now with nature waking up for real. And everywhere I passed by people enjoying their gardens!

West Cork
West Cork
West Cork
West Cork
West Cork

Seeing the farmers at work made me particularly happy. With the wet winter, the fields have been too waterlogged to start the ploughing, and I’ve been so sad and worried seeing the fields near us completely abandoned. Only on Friday did they start ploughing the field down the hill from our house, and I was happy to see farmers in action during my walk.


It’s been a glorious Sunday with lovely sunny and warm weather, and I kicked off the day with a few sets of push-ups in the garden. They went quite ok! Otherwise, today has been all about the garden. No grass-cutting (thank goodness) but I’ve cleaned up the main flower bed in front of the house and moved some shrubs. Hard work but worth it! Lots of sumo deadlifts and squats were involved!

Next week should be a quite standard week. Tomorrow we’re expecting up to 19 degrees (66F)! I’m thinking of ending the work day after the gym, and WALK home to enjoy some more (easy) gardening. We’ll see how I feel after today’s activities in the garden.

How was your week? Do you get any garden workouts?

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

24 responses to “Spring vibes and lawn-mower workouts”

  1. Wendy avatar

    I did get a garden workout this week! We never got rid of last year’s dried out plants, so I pulled them all and cleaned it up. What a lot of work. Now I need to get out there and pull weeds. I’m trying to decide what to plant there before the old perennials come up.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I never clean up last year’s plants until spring, because they can be good spots for insects to hide during the winter so that’s a good thing although it’s a lot of work in the spring. I did such a good job yesterday that now I have plenty of space for new plants!
      Also, my own obsession, last year’s plants is where you find my favourite spider to photograph! 😀

  2. Deborah Brooks avatar

    You are lifting some impressive heavy weights in the gym! You must feel a lot stronger!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Deborah! Yes, I barely believe it myself when I see the weights I can lift these days. I do feel a lot stronger and it’s such an achievement!

  3. Jenny avatar

    What a great week of workouts. You can tell it’s spring, because instead of people being sore from shoveling, now they’re sore from gardening (or in your case, lawn mowing.) I LOVE the photos from your walks!!! I agree with Deborah- you must be feeling pretty strong- you’re lifting some heavy weights!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, I’m so happy about my achievements in the gym! About the lawn mowing, not so much. I definitely want a robot mower for next season, if there is one that works in our kind of climate. I love all other kinds of gardening though! It’s good for the soul to create a beautiful spot.

  4. Coco avatar

    Gosh, it does look gorgeous there! Interesting on it being too wet to cut the grass for so long. I don’t think I’ve cut the grass in any of the houses I’ve owned with my husband. :-0 Yard work is just not my thing!

    I’m sure all your leg days help with your garden days!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I didn’t mind cutting the grass in previous years but now I just had enough of it! I’ll see what we can do for next season. This definitely isn’t the climate for a lawn, plus lawns are useless for nature anyway. I’ll plant more shrubs this summer to get rid of some grass.
      Yes, my leg days are quite intense and definitely prepares the body for the garden work.

  5. Debbie avatar

    No garden workouts for me this past week, but I do enjoy spending a lot of time gardening. I have a shrub to replace which I need to do soon before it gets too hot. I should have replaced it last fall, but got distracted with other gardening projects.

    I just love the pictures you share of the beautiful countryside nearby. Seeing the blue Ford tractor (and cows) brought a smile to my face, reminding me of the farm and seeing my dad out plowing, discing, mowing, etc.

    1. Susanne avatar

      The countryside here is fabulous and I’m so happy to just step out the door and be in the middle of it.

  6. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    I always joked about doing “garden squats,” because it’s a serious workout! I’m impressed with all your mowing. That’s a chore I detest, so I have ZERO guilt in hiring that out, LOL.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I would happily hire out the mowing!! A friend of ours has a great gardener but she refuses to share his name, lol! We’ll research robot mowers instead. Hopefully there is one that can handle our climate.
      Garden squats and deadlifts are quite powerful!

  7. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures avatar

    Yard work is hard!! But it is very rewarding. We have some super big ornamental grasses that we need to remove. We decided this was the year… so we’ll see how that goes!

    1. Susanne avatar

      It’s so rewarding when you see it all coming to life! It’s hard work but I’m so happy to do it this year, last year obviously I couldn’t do anything else than pluck some weeds. Good luck with your grasses!

  8. Melissa avatar

    Way to go with all the yard work!! We are still cold enough that it seems like it’s too early to start – we have a freeze warning in effect Tues/Wed this week and are expecting maybe SNOW on Wednesday (ugh!) but it will come so soon and then I’ll feel behind on planting, etc. Nice job this week on workouts and all your hard work outside. Yay for spring!

    1. Susanne avatar

      What? Snow?! That’s awful! I hope spring will get back on track asap! Snow is really depressing so late in the spring. We’re awaiting some low pressure here as well… so it will be a lot colder over the weekend which is just odd. Anyway, can’t fix it. 🙁

  9. Jenn avatar

    I am not a gardener, so the answer is no. But I do have a plant that is growing in the middle of another plant out front, and I have to do something about that situation.

    Great workouts! And those views! I don’t think I would ever be able to keep myself inside with those cliffs, and cows, and bluebells!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Imagine my frustration when it’s too cold to go for walks! Because it’s still pretty in the winter, just not as pretty as it is right now. I love the cows too.
      Good luck with the plant! We have the same situation with a tree but will just leave it there.

  10. Darlene S Cardillo avatar

    Love the green in your pics!

    I got a garden workout today… it was like a marathon!!

    1. Susanne avatar

      That’s how my grass-cutting was like – a marathon! So spot on.
      Now we’re getting cold weather again so I get to rest my legs, lol.

  11. Marcia avatar

    You had some very nice gym sessions this week! I’ve been itching to get in the garden but the frost over the weekend was a good reminder that it’s still too early here. I did bring out some plant stands I think I’ll repaint. At least I say that now. Haha! Gorgeous pics as always!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Marcia!
      We’re having a cold front on its way so the shrubs I moved might die. The “joys” of spring!

  12. Anne avatar

    We need pictures of the knee-high grass, please. This takes me back to summers in high school, mowing my parents’ (large) lawn. Ah, memories. Very sweaty, painful memories. 🙂

    1. Susanne avatar

      I never took any pictures! This is a horrific lawn and completely useless, too. I’m interested in covering it all with oregano plants!

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