One year on

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so according to timehop, I started this blog a year ago! 
  
How exciting! And appropriate, as I completed a goal I set myself on Nike plus today, managing to run 120 miles in 6 weeks, which I wasn’t sure I would. 

  
I was so tempted to not go for a run today, or even go for a shorter one, because I had cramps. Being a girl sucks sometimes. But I’d been doing so well this week, and I didn’t want to let that slip as I’m feeling really good about training right now for a change. So I watched TV for half an hour with a hot water and some paracetamol, and manned up. For 12 whole miles. And I made it, without walking at all, and I’ve got plenty of new blisters to show for it. Not super fast, took me just over an hour and 50, but I made it! This has given me a total of 92 miles for July, compared to only 29 in June. 
My progress has been slightly varied over this last year, dropping in the winter due to a lack of a looming race day, but I’ve ramped it up since signing up for the Yorkshire marathon. The Leeds half was a little disappointing, but I learnt from it, and I’m determined to do better in October for the full thing! Here’s to more goals being completed in the next year. 

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Race number excitement

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My Leeds half marathon race number is here! YAY. A nice sight to come home to after today’s 10 mile run 🙂 

It’s green. I have no idea what that means. All that I know is it means training is about to kick it up a notch. I’m slacking a bit in April. Managed 100 miles in March, however between going home for Easter weekend, various birthdays and leaving parties, I’ve had little time to get out and run. I must be the worst person in history for FOMO (fear of missing out), and so turning down fun in favour of training has always been a struggle. Poor excuse I know, but I’m going to compensate for it these last few weeks! 

The race number is here, and it’s time to get serious. The diet has shifted from largely healthy to all the fruit and veg, no more takeaways here. And after my weekend excursion to Warsaw next week alcohol will be banned until that sweet post race pint. Leeds half, I’m coming for you! 

  

February progress

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So I always find February a hard month to train in. Not only is it cold and uninviting outside, but so much always seems to be happening. My birthday alone took out pretty much a week, old friends came to visit and all sorts was going on at work. This Feb, I have managed to clock up 77.3 miles in a total of 11:39 hours, which is miles better (excuse the pun) than last year’s 30.6 miles.

Now here I am just under three months away from the Leeds half marathon, and following my new found love for reading articles on running, and subscribing to Runner’s World, I have decided the key to my success will be to ignore the Nike+ training app I relied on so heavily in the past. Not ignore it entirely, I intend to pay close heed to the weekly km targets. However, I cannot help but think it’s demand for me to run 5-6 times a week is a bit of a big ask. I find I have little time in the evenings when I go for a run after work, and I would have to get up crazy early to run before work (I leave for work at 7.15). Instead, I shall take the more balanced approach of running 3-4 weeks, but covering longer distances on those runs.

I need days off to do things. Today I took a day off, and I have been food shopping, to the bank and to the post office, had time to actually come on here and write a post, AND I am going to cook dinner, make lunch and maybe even make granola bars for lunch box snacks, before meeting my housemate for a midweek drink when she finishes work later. Normally I wouldn’t even be home until half 6/7, have time to cook and shower then have to head out again. I think I’ve been neglecting myself to try and push myself in training. But no more, instead of running 4/5/6/7 miles everyday, I will maybe do an 8, a 6 and a 10 miler in the week, and keep doing my long run on a sunday.

I am enjoying my me time right now so much. I have missed posting, but I have been so busy and constantly too tired to think by the time I get home.

In other running news I got lots of new running gear for my birthday, which was most definitely sponsored by Nike! I absolutely love my new Nike Lunarglide 6 running shoes. They are replacing my old lunar eclipse 2 (which I have kept, don’t want to wear my new ones out!).

I also hit 300K nike fuel, plus I made it into the blue milestone section and I am coming up to my 200th recorded run. Exciting stuff am I right?

Bring on march, and my new training approach!

Nike+ achievements and trophies

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So this post is all about the trophies available on the Nike+ app/website that you can unlock by using the app on your iPod or iPhone. Personally I use the iPod nano 6th gen (the small square one) as I got it free from apple after they recalled first gen ones due to dangerous battery overheating issues. It came with the app preinstalled, and it has a clip on the back so you can attach it to your clothes which is cool and means you don’t have to buy one of those weird looking arm straps for your phone. I’ve always imagined them to be somewhat annoying, but who knows. 

One of the things I like about Nike+ is the fact that it tells you when you reach achievements such as your longest/furthest run, or a PR over a certain distance. Not only this, but it also uses data to inform you of cumulative achievements like months in a row you were active, or if you break a certain number of miles a month. I don’t know if any of the other apps like run keeper or map my run have this feature, but I’d imagine they do something similar. I have to say I find them a really good motivator. If I am close to the 50 mile a month one by the end of the month for example, I would run further to make sure I get that award. 

Since I enjoy getting trophies, and I now have an audience to share this with, hopefully who share this interest and sense of achievement, I thought I’d do a bit of research, see what I was missing, and see how i can get it! 

 

So here is the list of awards obtainable. The ones I have got are in bold.

 

Platinum mile high trophy – run 160km (100 miles) in a month

Gold mile high trophy – run 80km (50 miles) in a month

Silver mile high trophy – run 40km (25 miles) in a month

Bronze mile high trophy – run 24km (15 miles) in a month

Celebrity – share your workouts 10 times

Sneaker head – tag 3 different shoes in your activity

Uncle Sam – run on 4th July (not sure if you get this in the UK but I didn’t run then this year so guess I’ll have to wait to find out!)

Double shot – run twice in one day

Jack O Lantern – run on halloween

Extra frosting – run on your birthday

Storm proof – tag 5 rainy/snowy days

Night owl – run 5 times between 12-3am 

Early bird – run 5 times between 3-6am 

Anniversary – joined nike+ a year ago (I don’t have this though, even though I joined nike+ about 15 months ago…)

Resolution – run on new years day

El fiesto – run on cinco de mayo

Chocolate heart – run on valentines day

Comfort zone – run a certain tagged route a number (not sure) of times

Local legend – most runs on a top route 

Dragon – run on Chinese new years

Interncontinental – tag on 2+ continents

Off the beaten path – tag 5 runs on a trail 

Beach bum – tag 5 runs on a beach 

Run more miles – set and complete a target

Run more often – set and complete a target

Burn more calories – set and complete a target

Earn more NikeFuel – set and complete a target

8K day – earn 8000 NikeFuel in a day

10K day – earn 10000 NikeFuel in a day 

15K day – earn 15000 NikeFuel in a day

20K day – earn 20000 NikeFuel in a day (I think these four may be fuel band only but I am not 100% sure so I have included them just incase!) 

5K milestone – earn 5k NikeFuel

10K milestone – earn 10k NikeFuel

25K milestone – earn 25k NikeFuel

50K milestone – earn 50k NikeFuel

75K milestone – earn 75k NikeFuel

100K milestone – earn 100K NikeFuel

150K milestone – earn 150k NikeFuel 

200K milestone – earn 200k NikeFuel

300K milestone – earn 300k NikeFuel

400K milestone – earn 400k NikeFuel

500K milestone – earn 500k NikeFuel

600K milestone – earn 600k NikeFuel

700K milestone – earn 700k NikeFuel

800K milestone – earn 800k NikeFuel

900K milestone – earn 900k NikeFuel

1M milestone – earn 1 million NikeFuel

1.5M milestone – earn 1.5 million NikeFuel

2M milestone – earn 2 million NikeFuel

 3 times a week – run 3 times in a week

5 times a week – run 5 times in a week

7 times a week – run 7 times in a week

3 weeks in a row – run 3 weeks in a row

4 weeks in a row – run 4 weeks in a row

5 weeks in a row – run 5 weeks in a row 

6 weeks in a row – run 6 weeks in a row

3 months in a row – run 3 months in a row 

6 months in a row – run 6 months in a row 

9 months in a row – run 9 months in a row 

12 months in a row – run every month for a year

 

As you can see, I still have some collecting to do! There are a few others, however I know you have to have a fuel band to get them, and since I don’t see myself being able to spend £100 odd on a monitoring band any time soon I have left those off my list. The completed a half marathon award I have seems to have come from the mobile app, as it isn’t on my online list, but is on my phone. It comes from completing the half marathon training programme on there.

I imagine that doing the mile a day challenge, which I posted about previously, will enable me to get some of these. This would be a great time to try for the early bird and night owl trophies for example, and the 7 times a week is a given. As for celebrity, Ive never wanted to bore my friends and followers sharing all my running activity constantly, but 10 twitter posts will do that nicely. Then I will stop. The three shoe one will be tricky, as I only have one pair of running shoes! I could go for a run in my dunks, 6.0s or deltas I suppose… if not that one will have to wait until I go through another 2 pairs! Also going to make sure I run on every holiday! In case there is a trophy available! 

 

How many trophies does everyone have? Do they motivate you, or do you not really care?

Attached are some photos of my awards so far, and a screenshot of all the awards together! Something to aspire too!

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No more tiny gym!

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So this mile a day challenge thing. So far it’s been four days and the drop in my average distance is making me sad. I’ve run 5 less miles this week than average, and since I have to do this for another 26 days, my average week distance will likely be effected. This is irking me somewhat. I don’t know why I care so much about statistics, especially when I’m the only one who sees them. It’s going to be a tough 3 and a half weeks to stick to my goal and restrain myself. Then I will have 8 weeks until the Abbey Dash, perfect timing to complete the Nike+ training intermediate 10K plan. Bring it on.

In other news, weird gym guy has now taken to hiding in his office every time I go into the gym when he is working. This is a vast improvement on his annoying attempts to make small talk. Fortunately for his pride, I am moving back to Leeds in 2/3 weeks (notice is in, and I’m off house hunting next week), beyond excited and it means I get to QUIT THE TINY GYM!!! And not run into people from high school on a daily basis. Whether I will be able to afford a gym in Leeds/ if there will be a convenient and affordable one near my house is a different matter. Time will tell.

Photos attached of my run records.

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