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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A disappointing result

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So yesterday I completed the Leeds Half Marathon, in a time 3 minutes slower than last year, and I am a bit gutted about this backwards progress. I was hoping to go sub 1:50 and instead ended up with a time of 1:54. That’s a good time, everyone keeps telling me. It’s not that it’s a bad time, I’d have been thrilled with that last year, but this year I wanted to do better. 
I only have myself to blame, I’m well aware that I lost my time in the first half of the race which is largely uphill, as I completely neglected any form of hill training this time around. I got complacent, knowing I had done it last year, and didn’t have the fear of hills I did last time around. That has cost me 63 places – going from 327th female last time to 390th! 

Other causes I suspect include how much hotter it was this year, and the fact that my iPod apparently needs serious recalibration, as it thought I’d run 15 miles. This means I hadn’t been running as far as it told me during training, presumably, so I hadn’t trained for as far. Last year it was almost spot on, so I’m not sure how it has managed this! 
I hope this set back will motivate me to train much harder for the upcoming Yorkshire marathon, and am going to try and put my self-frustration to positive use! 
Anyway it was a nice day after and my friends and family came to support me and take hideous photos, so I shall share those with you all  

      

A slight set back

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Ok I admit it, I’ve failed the mile a day challenge. It wasn’t through laziness though, so don’t judge me too much.

How did I let this happen then? Well I went to Leeds yesterday to go house hunting. It’s a 3+ hour journey, so I got the first train to maximise available house hunting time. That train left Ipswich at 6am. I got up at 5am. I left Leeds at 7:45 and got back at 11:30pm. I thought that I’d have enough time when I got back to squeeze that mile in, but I underestimated just how exhausted I would be. I walked all over Leeds, and I just couldn’t do it. By the time I got home from the station at 11:45pm all I wanted to do was go to bed. So I did.

However since the failure to run was more down to inconvenient circumstances than a lack of motivation on my part, I decided I’d allow myself to continue with my challenge, as long as I went for an extra run today. So I ran one mile this morning and one this afternoon. Not like I have much to do right now since all my hours got cut for the week after I handed in my notice! And my gym membership has ended too. Set backs happen, and as the featured image so aptly puts it, this won’t be my only one. It’s overcoming the set backs that is important. So, on with the challenge I go.

In other news: Genuinely considering signing up to the Manchester marathon in April which a friend is trying to convince me to do, because goals give me a sense of purpose. And I’m bored. Even though it’s only for a week or so. 26 miles still feels like an awful long way though I must say. I don’t know that I could keep going for that long! I have however signed up to the pre-sale list for the Yorkshire marathon in October. That feels less intimidating, seeing as it’s over a year away. April is kind of soon…

And finally an update on my nike+ achievements. My next run should take me to 200K nikefuel so I can cross that one off. I also randomly got the year anniversary award. Which is odd because I joined in June 2013. Seriously, I’ve attached pictures! Also of my sign up and today’s two miles.

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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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