Insanity

I am struggling to think of what to call this post and how to start…let’s start with yesterday…

Tuesday: 5 miles @ 8:53 pace
Splits: 8:48, 8:34, 9:03, 9:26, 8:34

Really happy with this run! My goal was to push the pace and come in around 9:00 pace or just under if possible…and it turns out it is possible! I did stop and stretch briefly at each mile due to being very conscious that I am only just recovering from injury, but I am pleased with the splits. No pain…yay!

Wednesday: INSANITY

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I’m trying not to run on consecutive days in order to keep pain at bay, so today I figured it was time to investigate the hype that is Insanity. Haven’t heard of it? It’s some crazy DVD series which promises you a bikini body after 60 days. I have no intention of following the full programme – I have enough on my plate with the marathon just 7 weeks away, but I thought it might provide some inspiration. I borrowed it from a work colleague so I’ll make my way through the disc set and let you know what I think.

Today, I just did the fit test. I think the idea is that you do the fit test every week or so and compare your results to previous weeks so that you can easily see how you’ve improved. The test involved seeing how many reps of a particular exercise you can do in one minutes. The moves are variations of familiar moves such as squats, planks and jumps. I found the fit test HARD so I think the actual workouts are going to be interesting… I’ll keep you posted!

A lovely surprise

Don’t you just love it when someone goes out of their way to do something sweet for you? It can be the smallest thing but it can make your day!

Today, I returned to my desk slightly zoned-out after delivering a 90 minute presentation and found this on my keyboard:

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One of my colleagues is currently unable to run due to her shin splints and though I could make use of her Women’s Running subscription…how thoughtful and sweet of her!? I have a Vogue subscription but I never buy running magazines…I cannot wait to settle in for the evening with a cup of tea and take a look. In fact, that’s what I’m going to do right now.

Have a lovely evening.

Jx

Sixteen

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend. I also hope you managed to avoid stepping in someone else’s poo in the gym shower. Yep, I’m still scarred by my experience.

I had such a lovely weekend for lots of reasons, but I’ll start with the running stuff seeing as that is the whole point of my blog.

Saturday: 16 miles at 10:36 pace
(I won’t bore you with my splits..there are too many!!)

Hooorraaayyyy! I ran LONG without struggling with my IT band pain.

I left the house around 8:30 and plodded round for nearly 3 hours in the snow. Thankfully, it wasn’t settling on the ground and it wasn’t wet either. It was just pretty, light, polystyrene-ball-type-snow. It got slightly warmer as the morning went on, but not by much.

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One of my goals for this session was to keep a slow pace. Long slow runs are meant to be 60-90 seconds slower than goal pace, but I have always found this really difficult. My average pace of 10:36 felt very slow and yet manageable…I finished feeling strong and up for pressing on. However, I resisted the urge to go further as I had somewhere to be in the afternoon.

My other goal was to remain pain free or at least to manage the pain. I was very nervous during the first 4 miles, particularly on every incline. I made a conscious effort to mid foot strike instead of relying on my natural heel strike to get me down each hill. This feels completely unnatural but it stopped me from experiencing any pain. The flat and uphill sections were great and comfortable.

Mentally, I was in the right zone on Saturday. I don’t know how to recreate this for race day, but I felt good and really enjoyed the run. I brought my music with me but never had the urge to listen to it, preferring instead to take in the surroundings and get lost in my own thoughts. I tried to listen to my body and adjust my pace accordingly, and spent time analysing each mile and thinking abut the future including my training and the marathon itself.

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After the run, Danny and I headed to Twickenham to watch the England v France rugby match. It was the first big rugby game I’ve been to and was so much fun. Freezing, but fun! The 0.8 mile walk from the train to the stadium was exactly what I needed to stretch my tired legs out.

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Sunday

Sunday was spent helping out at Kids Church before heading up to Cambridge to spend time with Dan’s brother and wife. We had a lovey time catching up and went out for an AMAZING dinner at a new restaurant called CAU. It’s an Argentinian steak place and I cannot recommend it enough. The food was all really really good..there was nothing that didn’t impress us! The waiter was friendly and helpful and it is not badly priced. It has only been open for four weeks so there were a few minor hiccups but nothing that affected our enjoyment of it all. I had salt and pepper squid to start:

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8oz sirloin with chunky chips, Causlaw, and blue cheese sauce for my main:

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Ad then some delicious banana ice cream for dessert. I wolfed it down so there is no evidence of this! Dan also had an unbelievable cornflake ice cream caramel brownie sundae…..SO ridiculous…SO SO GOOD! I think I have found myself a good lunch venue for the Cambridge half marathon in 2 weeks time!!

My lunch break is over so I’d better get back to my desk…

Jx

Pain-Free (ish) and… A Warning!

Hiya!!

I’m going to give you the bad news first.

If you have a weak stomach….scroll down to the next section! You are going to be so pleased that this is a picture-free post!

So I went to the gym, worked out, walked to the shower….noticed a dodgy smell…and then realised….someone POOPED in the shower. Seriously, they did their business on the shower floor. Thank the Lord for my Haviana flip flops!! It’s one thing stepping in dog poo when you’re on a ten mile run, but it’s quite another to finish a run and then have to avoid a stinking pile…!!

I tried four shower cubicles before I found one I was happy with. I was just being fussy on numbers 2 and 3. After getting washed I faced a dilemma…do I tell the staff and risk them thinking I was the dirty pooper, or not tell them and deal with some serious catholic guilt? You’ll be pleased to know I did the right thing and subsequently had an interesting chat with the lovely African cleaning lady. However, she told me some HORRENDOUS dirty changing room stories that make my near miss sound positively delightful. I feel it is my duty to pass on the warning that she gave me!!! One of the disgusting things that she finds in the showers from time to time is certain used lady products put in the shower gel / shampoo dispensers. I may vom if I think about this for any length of time….please please take your own shampoo to the gym. And do not wash your face with their shower gel!

And if you wondering…no, my gym is not a cheap nasty gym. It costs around £70 PCM and is in a respectable area of north London. Evidently, there is something very wrong with the people round here!!

Workouts

Ok! So the last few weeks were a nightmare in terms of training; I swapped running for Pilates, swimming, strength training, deep tissue massages and lots and lots of this

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I didn’t make it to the Brighton half marathon, but with only 2 months to go until London I had to get back on the horse this week. Or the treadmill or whatever. I wanted to take it easy but have managed this so far:

Monday: 30 minutes on the elliptical
I must admit, I have been loving the cross trainer lately! Over the past few weeks I have been using it a lot because it doesn’t aggravate my ITB at all. I’ve got a new app for my iPhone called O2 Tracks which gives you the top 40 chart every week, the songs are stored in the app not iTunes but you can listen offline. Once the songs leave the charts they also leave the app, but by that time you are probably sick of them anyway. You also get other random playlists, this week is Beyonce’s greatest hits, yay love her! Anyway, this is all FREE and the charts always contain loads of upbeat music which is perfect for the cross trainer, so I have been happy happy happy in the gym bouncing along to everything from Gangnam Style to Dizzee Rascall to Taylor Swift. Yep I’m cool.

Tuesday: 5.5 miles @ 11:00 pace
This was actually the V Tread interval class, so whilst my pace is sloooooow I was actually doing lots of sprint / walk / sprint / walk. LOVED IT and only minimal pain, randomly shooting from my hip all over the pace. It only lasted a few seconds so I’m a happy bunny.

Thursday: 10k @ 9:59 pace
This is the furthest I have ever been on the treadmill. I broke it into 2 x 5 k with a couple of minutes recover and stretch in the middle. I had zero pain in my knee and a small amount of discomfort in my hip.

I am SO happy to be running again and hope to run long this weekend to get myself back in the marathon game. I won’t go wild though, I don’t want to do any more damage.

Finally

Well done to my friends and fellow bloggers that ran this weekend, particularly the Brighton half marathon. It sounds like it was a beautiful day…!!

Jx

DNS

DNS

These three little letters, which appear next to various names in race result listings, means that said runners did not make it to the start line. Did Not Start. Why?! Behind these letters are a number of different stories, the majority involving at least one of the following:

1. Laziness / lack of commitment to the cause
2. Illness
3. Running injury
4. Accident

I am sad to say that I have had DNSs for all of the above reasons:

1. Run to the Beat…2009?? – Reason 1, the most ridiculous reason to pull out of a race, laziness. Entirely avoidable and a waste of entry fee! I’m still angry at myself, ha!

2. Paris Marathon 2009 – Reasons 3 and 4, car accident leading to injury. Unavoidable but disappointing. A LOT of good came out of that situation, thank God!

3. Buntingford 10 2011 Reason 2, chest infection. This was over Christmas, SOOO miserable! Think there was little I could have done to prevent this – I was fit, well trained and just got sick. They say not to run if the illness is in your chest so I followed doctors orders and stayed in bed.

And now…I’m very sorry to say that it will be a DNS for me at the Brighton Half Marathon this weekend.

Why? My IT band. It’s holding up when running, although I’ve not taken it past 5 miles at any point over the last fortnight, but I’m struggling to walk the day after ever run. This is making it impossible to train on consecutive days and get the miles under my belt for the marathon. The London marathon is my number 1 priority in terms of racing so I need to Rest and Recover. I also have a ENT thing going on (hate sinus pain etc!) but that is fairly irrelevant as it came on last night and I’d already made my decision to pull out.

So…what’s the plan, how will I shake this thing?! I have a plan! Thanks to the physio/osteo and PT for helping me get my shizzle together. More on that to come…!!

Before I go I want to say good luck to my friends and fellow bloggers that are racing in Brighton and elsewhere this weekend. I’ll be thinking of you! Have fun!!
Jx

Happy Valentines…And A Romantic Offer For You!

I am alive!! I’m just very quiet for reasons that I will explain below, but before I do, I wanted to share something with you.

My brother-in-law is a fantastic professional wedding photographer and he is running a special promotion today, because it’s valentines day and he wants to SHARE THE LOVE! He is offering an exclusive wedding photography package with 50% off. Which means: Only £395 for wedding photography worth £795! This special offer closes at 11.59pm on 15th February 2013.

If you or anyone you know is getting married and is looking for the perfect wedding photographer, you really should take a look by following this link. If you’d like to take a peak through his galleries and check out his stunning work you can do so on his website http://www.jonathanpotts.co.uk/. Sadly Jo wasn’t able to photograph our wedding because he was the best man, but I absolutely would have had him as I love his style. He is also a genuinely lovely guy and NOT annoying which is SO important because these guys follow you around all day. The last thing you want on your wedding day is to to be followed around by someone who irritates you, paparazzi style.

Ooh finally, Jo is in Cambridgeshire but he has legs and a car so he is capable of both running AND traveling to other locations in the UK. Also, if you want him to photograph your beach wedding in the Caribbean, I’m sure he is open to offers. {I made this up, but I’m sure it’s true! Sorry Jo, if you hate sunshine and beaches!}

And where have you been young lady?

I know some of you want to ask me this..well, I need to face facts and admit that I am injured. It makes blogging about running hard…because I am not actually running! But I have been up to lots of other non-running activities including pilates, cross training, swimming and even having a PT session (first time EVER) So..I intend to update you on all this soon! I have a Blogilates date with Cassey Ho and my bestie in an hour so I must dash and DO exercise instead of just blogging about it.

Oh but before I go…I am going to be one of those annoying people that gushes about how sweet their husbands are. Yes I know people think V’ day is a stupid commercial waste of time and money…but I LOVE answering the door to discover a box full of this:

Giftsrose

I would like to make it VERY clear that my wonderful wedding photographer brother-in-law did not take these rubbish pics, HA! I need to learn from him…

That is one beautiful rose. Bella is now trying to eat it so she obviously agrees. Nice.

happy valentines day!

Jx

Things Don’t Always Go To Plan

Hello!

I was hoping that my post-weekend blog post would be all about my fun-packed weekend and my AWESOME 17 mile training run. Sadly, as this title suggests, my weekend did not turn out as expected.

First, my friend broke her foot so we had to cancel the girlie get-together we had planned, very rubbish for my poor girl friend!

Second, my knee gave way 3 miles into a beautiful run on Hampstead Heath. I struggled on, looking for the nearest underground station and a way out of the PAIN! I was extremely disappointed. The pain continued when walking and still hasn’t completely gone. I’ve been icing and using Volterol as instructed by the physio. He has noticed that my left knee rolls inwards, which he thinks is caused by weak glutes, so I have loads of bum exercises to do daily! I am also foam rolling daily…I WILL beat this thing!

Third…little BellaBum got attacked in the garden by another cat! Poor little love spent all Saturday in the vet surgery getting stitches on her tail. She is now a cone-head and I’ve had to make her some home made booties so stop her ripping the dressing off her tail. Her tail now resembles a rat tail – hope the fur grows back soon!!

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Moving On

I will not let this knee set-back undo all the hard work I’ve put in! I’m having to mix up the workouts and reduce the miles for now:

Monday: 1,000 metre swim and core session with DP
I don’t think I’ve been swimming for months. I may have resembled a drowning rat, but I really enjoyed it. My arms are killing today, which much be a good sign. In the evening, Danny was kind enough to humour me and join me on my yoga mat for some foam rolling, weights, squats, crunches and planks.

Tuesday: V-Tread Class @ Virgin Active
I am SERIOUSLY bad at speed work. I avoid it at all costs! So…when my friend told me about this group treadmill class that forces you to up your pace and work hard, I thought I should probably try it. I couldn’t imagine a group treadmill class, but the way our gym is set up makes it work – there are two rows of 6 treadmills fairly close together. The class instructor walks between the rows telling us when to up our pace, how much by and for how long. The instructor is really encouraging and made the effort to come and talk with me as he realised that I was new to the class. I really enjoyed the session – it forced me to hold a fast pace for much longer than I would if I was training alone. I was nervous about my knee but I started very slowly and slowed to a walk between speed intervals to try and take it easy. I am looking forward to trying the class again next week.

Today: TBC…might pop to the gym later but I really think I should be sticking to one day on, one day off as far as running is concerned. It may be a Cassey Ho blogilates night!!!

I have some VERY boring chores to crack on with now so I better get moving. Hope everyone is getting on well with their training. Stay focused and injury free!!

Jx

Ready For The WEEKEND!

Anyone else soooo ready for the weekend?!? I am really excited about mine!

Recovery

On the running front, I have a 17 mile run planned for tomorrow. This is going to feel tough! As I mentioned earlier in the week, I have been struggling with my knee so forced myself to keep my mileage to a minimum until I’d seen the physio. The good news is that I saw him yesterday and he has given me the green light to RUN! He is not 100% sure as to what caused my pain, but he suspects my extremely tight left quad was to blame. He spent half an hour massaging my lower back, hips and quad to ease the tension. WOW what a weird feeling that was!!! It didn’t hurt but it was an odd sensation. My quad is pretty tender today but he advised me that I should be good to go tomorrow…yaaaaaaayyyyy! I’ll let you know how I get on.

He also advised me to foam roll daily. Anyone else do this? I have had friends recommend the benefits of foam rolling, so I ordered one from Amazon earlier in the week. It arrived yesterday, perfect timing!

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Pic from Amazon – Physioworld roller

I got the large one…it’s huge! Trying to find somewhere in the flat to store it is proving tricky.

Bad Move

I was really naughty today and ignored my delicious goats cheese and beetroot salad and had a bowl of chips instead. Disgusting, I am quite ashamed of myself. I swear I am feeling the effects already – I feel sluggish and tired. Booo. I’m going to try and get out of work in good time and head to the gym to spend some quality time on the cross trainer. I NEVER use the cross trainer – I have zero coordinaton and feel stupid when I try it, but as I’m not meant to be running I figure it’s the next best thing.

Fun Times

How cute is this pic that our friend took of me and Danny in Scotland?! I had no idea he took it until he sent it through yesterday. um, please don’t sue me for copyright infringement BB. I would credit you but I assume you prefer to remain anon!!! Tweeted it earlier as I was thinking about last week and what a great time we all had.

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I hope you all have a great weekend. Have fun with your training!!!

Jx