Another busy one this week! Terrible fitness wise, but in the interests of transparency and all…
I spent all day doing chores, while the sun was shining and my social media feeds were filled with sunny run photos. Then, when the sun went down and it started absolutely pouring, I went out for my run. Dayve and I went for 5k along the canal and it went terribly for me; my legs hurt and my stomach was not playing ball. Not good, but I went!
This week has been so mad that I can’t remember what happened on Monday. Sorry!
I went out for a run after work and it went horribly! Bit of a theme this week…! I felt sick and my legs were absolutely dead. I stopped after a mile and headed home for pancakes and foam rolling.
Up just before 6 to get to an early meeting on the other side of London. All day on site at a client’s offices, before heading back for a 5-7 meeting at my own office, and then heading out to Canary Wharf for a completion dinner with some more clients. Also known as the most exhausting day ever.
Full day at work before having to head off early for an event I was attending at the adidas store on Oxford Street. I was speaking on a panel with adidas athlete Jazmin Sawyers, instagram health gers Twice the Health and Women’s Fitness editor Joanna Knight. The event celebrated the launch of their new women’s specific shoe the Pure BOOST X. We answered questions on running, ging, London life, nutrition, music and motivation. I also took this shoe selfie in a mirrored box, but someone else took it, which was very Kim K of me.
Friday morning was an early start for my weekly session at the Running School. It was a tough one this week, with longer running periods (working on endurance with my technique) and some steep inclines. Coach Nick said he was happy with my progress and has no concerns about my technique, so this was great news! I think worked until 8:30, because Friday nights are for doing cool shit like that right?
A total disaster of a day involving a missing sofa delivery and a lot of home organisation. I didn’t make it to the gym.
So, that’s three sessions, one of which was a total disaster and can barely even be classed as a session! Hopefully the coming week will be kinder.
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I’ve decided to start posting a round up every Sunday of my fitness activities from the past week, for a couple of reasons:
Firstly, I haven’t been too hot on ging or getting my workouts in recently, so I thought a little accountability might go a long way.
Secondly, I also think that a little transparency can go a long way. When you’re on social media it’s easy to feel like everyone else is doing more than you, going harder than you, and eating better than you. There are times in my life where I am too busy to fit everything in, and so I thought I’d be honest about how much exercise I fit in around being a full time lawyer, renovating a flat and planning wedding.
So, what have I been up to this week?
I did my Running School homework in Victoria Park! I’ve been going to Running School to work on my technique – I over stride and point my toes when I run, which means my calf muscles are always on (read: always sore). I’ve been loving it so far and have definitely seen improvements! My homework consisted of:
30 seconds running, 1 minute walk x 8
1 minute running, 1 minute walk x 6
15 minute run
This might not sound like much, but my hamstrings and glutes are finally firing after years of being lazy, and they were absolutely knackered after this session. Felt like I was making progress though!
I went to try wedding dresses in the evening and didn’t get home until 10:30, so no workouts for me!
I worked until 10pm. That is all!
I was up at 5:30 to go to Sky High Yoga with some colleagues, which is a yoga class in the Sky Garden! It starts at 6:30 and it was absolutely freezing up there, but it was so worth it. The sun rises during the class and fills the gardens with light, and you can see the sun rising to the east with Canary Wharf and Tower Bridge in silhouette. You also get 20% off breakfast in their restaurant if you go to the yoga class, so I followed up the class with smashed avocado on toast with poached eggs.
I then worked until 10pm again and was very tired.
I had to be up super early to get to the other side of London for a meeting and spent all day rushing around. I was so exhausted when I got home and couldn’t stop whining about it.
Another early start! I had a 7am lessons at the Running School. We worked on glute activation exercises and focussed on my arm swing, which took quite a lot of mental strength.
I headed to 1Rebel and did a Rumble class. Followed by brunch, obviously.
Four workouts during a manic week; not a bad effort if you ask me!
Other cool stuff:
There’s a new Get Fit 4 Free campaign from Sweaty Betty and it is ace!
I am a huge fan of SB’s Get Fit 4 Free collaborations because they provide a chance for everyone to get involved in amazing workouts. I love a chic high end studio as much as the next person, but spending £20 a class isn’t really affordable or sustainable for most people.
The latest Get Fit 4 Free partnership is with city studio of the moment 1Rebel and their boxing/martial arts inspired workout Rumble. Rumble mixes up punching, kicking, ducking and diving with classic bodyweight exercises (think planks, push ups and mountain climbers) and HIIT.
I was lucky enough to try the class out at Sweaty Betty HQ and it absolutely kicked my butt. I have never, ever, in my whole entire life, been so sore from a bodyweight exercise. Somehow, through punching the air, I had sore arms. The whole class is run to an amazing all-encompassing soundtrack that drives the class, which really made it for me, along with the amazing energy of 1Rebel master trainer Mila Lazar. It truly was an all-body butt-kicking sweat fest and I thought that it was ace. In fact, I loved it so much, I’ve booked in to Rumble at 1 Rebel this Saturday with some friends.
However, to try the class you don’t need to book in to 1Rebel. You can access video workouts on the Sweaty Betty website, and you can visit live classes in store.
If you’re still not convinced, you can find 10 reasons to try Rumble over on the SB website!
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I’m stuck in a bit of a downward spiral. It’s been going on for a while now, and I think I can pinpoint where it all started. A few years ago I bought in to the hype of changing your gait, and switched from a heel strike to a fore/mid foot strike. I wanted to be faster and more efficient and so, after attending a couple of group sessions tackling technique, I spent months putting those lessons in to practise on my own.
Despite those many months practising, I’ve got to admit that I don’t think I ever really nailed it.
During my ‘transition period’ I lost a lot of speed, spending my sessions running slowly and focussing on technique. I may have taught myself to land on my midfoot, but I never learnt how to do so quickly, or with my grace. Before changing my technique I was running sub-8 minute miles pretty regularly. As someone who is not a natural runner, this is a pretty good level for me. Now I can barely manage sub-9 minute miles. My calf muscles hate me. I don’t get my feet underneath me properly and run more like a dainty deer than a human.
This ‘transition period’ also coincided with the start of my career. I work as a lawyer in the City and, as you can imagine, the hours can be pretty demanding. I’ve been working as a lawyer for three years now and I still haven’t managed to figure out how to balance work, training, nutrition, and social life. My running has suffered as a result of the constraints on my time and sometimes I am just so busy I can’t manage anything but work/eat/sleep/repeat.
Somewhere along the way my passion for running died and it’s never fully recovered. I consider this a downward spiral because the less I run the less I want to run and the worse my running gets. When I convince myself to go running my running isn’t as good as it used to be, which is demoralising. In turn, this makes me less likely to go running and I run less.
I think the problem is partly that I put too much pressure on myself, and partly that I’ve been burying my head in the sand. Rather than acknowledge and admit that my running has deteriorated and I could have done something about it, I’ve carried on and thought “I’ll go later” or “I’ll sort that out tomorrow” or “Starting next week I’ll start looking for technique coaching”. By doing this, I have wasted three years. If I’d have spent those three years being proactive, reacting to my changing lifestyle and training accordingly, who knows where I could be now?
Well, enough is enough. Writing this post is pretty embarrassing, but also pretty necessary. Today is the day I get my running well and truly back on track and, to give me some level of accountability, here’s what I’ll be doing about it:
- Getting running coaching. Just before the new year I bought a bundle of technique classes from The Running School. So far I’ve had three (including my biomechanical assessment) and I can already feel the benefits. I can feel the strain coming out of my calf muscles and my hamstrings and glutes are definitely “firing”! I’ve been making sure I take the time to do all the homework set for me, and I am determined to sort out my running style once and for all.
- Getting earlier nights. I’m a night owl, but realistically I know that my best chance to exercise is first thing before I get bogged down with anything at work. To give myself a fighting chance at getting up on time, I’ll be trying to be in bed much earlier (aware of the irony of writing this up at gone midnight).
- Shorter distances. Before I start training for the Hackney Half in May I’ll be sticking to much shorter distances. If I only have smaller distances to run I am more likely to get out there to train on dark winter morning and cold winter nights. I’m going to take away the pressure of distance and speed and I’m just going to focus on getting back in to the routine of running. I feel like this is half the battle.
- Sorting my nutrition. Realistically I know that I don’t have time to prep all of my food. While I’ll try to make sure I do prep food at the weekend, a mid-week session is harder to find time for. This is fine as there are plenty of places selling delicious, nutritious meals (I practically live in Pod) but I need to make sure I don’t get caught out by late nights or random hungry days. I’ve placed a bulk order with MyProtein (using their 25% off everything offer they were running last week) and will keep protein snacks at work to make sure I always have a backup.
I’d also love to find someone to run with, so if you fancy running (kind of slowly) in London any time soon then I’d love to join you.
I’m going to make 2016 the year I finally kick my butt back in to gear and sort my running out. 2016 is the year I start running properly again, and hopefully setting a few new PBs along the way!
Do you have any other tips? x
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2015 was a seriously mixed bag. While some parts of my life reached lifetime highs, other areas sank or got discarded. I felt like I went through immense change, as did some of my family and close friends, and it’s made me feel elated and excited but also occasionally sad and usually out of control. I haven’t really ged much recently but, in an attempt to reconnect with my and in the spirit of the January fresh start, here’s a round-up of 2015 (good and bad) by way of catch up.
I got engaged!
My number one top highlight of 2015 was when my boyfriend of thirteen years asked me to marry him. He proposed on our thirteen year anniversary in the most amazing way and I am super pumped to be marrying him! I’ve been umming and aahing about doing an engagement post, because it isn’t really fitness related, but I might do one anyway because I love telling the story.
We bought a flat!
Close second in “amazing things that happened in 2015” was buying our first home. We’ve been living in Bow Quarter for four years now and I’ve always dreamed of owning a flat there, and this year that dream came true! We bought a top floor one bedroom flat in the converted warehouse building and I love it. I am so grateful to everyone who helped us (especially Dayve’s family and their amazing generosity) buy a home. I thought we’d never be able to have our own place and here we are! It’s definitely a fixer-upper but I’m enjoying the renovation process so far.
I got a new Nephew!
I was already an auntie of six (three nieces, three nephews!) when, at the beginning of the year, my sister found out that she was expecting a baby. In September we welcomed little baby Arthur in to the world and I am really in love with him (obsessed). Now we have seven little bear cubs running around and they are all amazing. I am so lucky to have such a big beautiful family!
I haven’t been fired!
I survived my first year as a qualified solicitor and now have 1 years PQE under my belt. I love my job (despite the very occasionally gruelling hours) and love being challenged every day. Sometimes it feels like I’m hanging on for dear life, but I am definitely enjoying the ride.
I survived an expedition!
“Looking away” is the best pose to disguise the fact you haven’t showered for a week
I was lucky enough to go on a once in a lifetime trip to Ethiopia with my work to trek the Simien Mountains. This was physically and emotionally challenging for me but an absolutely incredible experience. You can read all about it in my write up.
I’ll explain more about this in another post but my running (and, to be honest, fitness in general) went massively downhill in 2015. I had so much going on that it’s always taken a back seat, but my mental health has definitely suffered as a result of moving less. Having to drop out of Berlin was the final straw really – I felt so heartbroken and humiliated and I never want to feel like it again. I’m hoping I can find a way in 2016 to get a little more balance.
As I mentioned, my mental health took a bit of a beating this year, mainly in the latter half of the year. I sought some help from my doctor but it has been a bit of a turbulent time. I’m pretty confident that getting back in to a regular exercise routine will really help, and that’s my main motive to get back to it really. That and my ever expanding arse.
I have been terrible at ging! When you don’t exercise as much, you don’t have so much to write about. When you’re not really digging yourself, you doubt anyone else would be digging you either so you don’t write anything, or you write it and then delete it for being boring/stupid/a failure/a fraud. When you’re working a lot, you don’t really feel like sitting at your computer after that’s what you’ve been doing all day, so you don’t write a lot. For all of these reasons (and many others) I have no written very much. I love ging as a way of connecting with like-minded people and I’m hoping I can get back to writing more regularly going forward.
That said, the has given me some amazing opportunities this year (Berlin with adidas, going to Bestival, swimming my furthest ever distance, filming the campaign video with adidas, getting chased by David Coulthard at the Red Bull Wings for Life, having a ball doing the Nike #werunlondon run with my best bi***es, etc) and I am incredibly grateful. I’m hoping I can be a better ger in 2016!
To be entirely honest, the ugly parts of 2015 have happened to those around me and not to me, so they’re not for me to share on the in any detail. However, seeing friends and family go through awful things is heartbreaking and I’m hoping that there are better days ahead.
I hope you all had a wonderful 2015 and that your 2016 is even better! x
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