I moved to London and now I never run

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It’s pretty different to Leeds here. Until last night I hadn’t been for a single run here. I had many excuses. It’s always dark when I get home, I don’t know my area beyond the 10 minute walk to the tube.   
Last night I had finally had enough. It was Monday, I was bored and I’m sick of the cold I picked up last week. So I googled routes and set off on a shortish run. 
Halfway through my phone died which pissed me off beyond belief as I had no music or Nike+ record or Nike fuel. 
My nose also ran a lot. And without my phone map I was slightly lost for a few mins. 
I couldn’t run the whole way. The first half of my run was uphill and my lungs were burning.
  
It took me 30 mins to go about 4K. I am pretty annoyed that I’ve let myself get this out of shape. 
That all said, I felt good afterward. I am going to keep at this blog and maybe even start an Instagram to record my running adventures! 

Breaking through the half marathon wall

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Here we are, 10 weeks into training, and last week I finally made the great leap of faith in my body and mind’s capabilities. I ran 14 miles. Further than I’d ever run before. And to top that off I did it whilst still having a cold, in fact I think this is what caused it to move into a full blown chest infection. I had 3 days off, and then did two 6 milers, one 4 and another 13 this Sunday. 
Increasing the mileage has felt great. Actually doing it and forcing myself to keep going on those long runs has been difficult. Everything starts to hurt, and I’ve already gone pretty far… But I’ve resisted the urge to turn back, and now I feel like I can possibly do it. 
It is perhaps slightly unfortunate that this Friday I’m off travelling for 3 weeks, so it’s going to be pretty tough to fit in those long runs while I’m in Asia… But I’m hoping I can at least retain my fitness enough to not be starting over a month before the big marathon day! 
Still, maybe I can do it?  

 

Post run snacks

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I, like many others, always find myself absolutely starving as soon as I stop running. Actually more often than not this occurs as soon as I start running. Probably my own fault, I struggle to run on a full stomach as it feels a lot worse in my opinion.

So this leaves me with the need to replenish my food supplies as soon as I get home. So I thought I’d share some of may favourite post-run snacks with you all.

 

Peanut butter Toast

I LOVE peanut butter. Not only is it tasty, but it is a good snack sized source of protein! And toast is great to put it on. It’s satisfying fairly instantly, which is important to my post-run hunger levels!

Training through illness

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July has been a busy month, with moving and my trip to Belfast, yet I’ve been doing quite well with actually getting the miles in this month. And Here we are at the end of July, the weather is more akin to that of the end of October and I think this combined with my ability to never stop has left me with the dreaded summer cold. 
I woke up on Sunday with a terrible sore throat. However I had not gone for drinks as invited on Saturday night, specifically so I could get up and go for a long run on Sunday. So even though I knew what might be coming, I got up at 10 (still catching up on sleep from the previous two nights  graduation based frivolities) and I ran 10 miles outside. The weather was actually ok, sunny but not hot and it was windy. I did this in 1.37 odd. I’m fine with this, I’ve still got plenty of time to train and that was the furthest I’d run since the half marathon back in May. It was more important to me that I did not stop to walk, than push myself to be fast. 

Then on Monday the throat felt worse. No problem, plenty of liquids consumed, got some powerade for my run and put away 5 miles on the treadmill, 4 easy pace and the final faster. The sore throat was fine, I just had to have more liquid than normal. 
Tuesday was a slightly different story. I barely slept on Monday night from having a blocked nose now too. I had to load up on lemsip capsules, taking 6 during the day. I was very grumpy for 8 hours at work, but I felt fine to run. In fact I ran 7 miles fartlek quite happily. It was arguably the best I felt all day. 
My right calf was complaining a bit during that last run though, so I took Wednesday off. I went shopping for some holiday stuff, then came home, did a covering letter for a job, and made dinner (Homous, falafel and spinach baguette, yum) then relaxed for a bit. Tomorrow I will be back on it (it being the treadmill assuming this rain keeps up) and raring to push through this silly cold… Here’s to hoping ‘sweating the cold out’ is a thing! 

Here is a picture of some feet in Northern Ireland at the giants causeway. Because feet are used to run and I mentioned my trip in this post. Super relevant.  

 

Coming back after a breakΒ 

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It happened again, I was forced to take a lengthy break. And when I say lengthy I mean two weeks. But if you’re a runner you will know that kind of time feels like FOREVER. 
Why do that then, in the middle of marathon training? Well that would be for something I’ve wanted even longer than to be able to say I can run a marathon. That something would be a dinosaur tattoo. 
I finally did it, and got a velociraptor skeleton inked onto my left hip. I absolutely love it, he looks incredible! However because of the detailed nature and placement of Barney (yes that is his name), I could barely walk comfortably for the first few days, let alone run. I didn’t want to cause any excessive rubbing, and gym clothing as we all know is pretty tight. It’s also pretty sweaty, and moisture is not good for brand new tattoos. 

  
So having got Barney on May 30th, I finally went for a run on June 13th. I’ve run 20 miles in those 10 days. Shabby I know. But I ran 5 miles after work today and once I got going it felt good. So I’m going to get back into the swing of it, trying to stick to my Nike training plan as closely as possible. 
As usual last week I struggled to follow it exactly due to my demanding social life (I may have gone on a spontaneous night out Friday, worked all day Saturday then spontaneously driven down to London to surprise a friend for his birthday…!) and so failed to do the 10k ‘long’ run I should have. Here’s to hoping I can do it this week! 

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  

      

Full time work is hard

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So I’ve not only been rubbish at running of late, I’ve been rubbish at blogging too.

I went to Canada for 2 weeks (with a cheeky 4 day detour to New York) which was amazing. The jet lag however has been fairly intense. Since I got back 2 weeks ago I have been non stop working or socialising (why must so many people have birthdays in November?!). Since then I have spent two nights in. The perils of bar work I suppose. In amongst all this, I have so far managed 3 gym visits, leading to two 2 mile treadmill sessions and one 3 mile. Not fantastic, but after a month off I feel it’s best to take my time getting back into the swing of things.

Today I finally have a day off with no other commitments, and alas, my gym plans have been hindered by the definite onset of a cold. I’m still going to go, however other demands on my time like job applications and cleaning the house seem to be taking precedence.

This wouldn’t be so much of a problem, I feel, if I could actually get up in the morning. I am in some strange limbo where either I work a 9am start shift, so want to take advantage of lie ins, or a close shift ending between 1-2am, which necessitates sleeping in. I feel like I’ve still not shifted my jet lag perhaps?

That is the problem with having a physical job, I’m so exhausted that I don’t have the motivation to get up early for the gym. Consistency of routine is a problem for me right now, and it is definitely effecting my running motivation. I wish I could pinpoint the issue, but it hasn’t quite come to me yet.

So here I am now, trying to get that motivation to run, even to go to the gym. Right now in the cold of the north of England, home workouts are just so much more appealing.

If someone wants to bring me a sack of motivation for Christmas, that would be great…