I’m starting to realise that I could probably fit more workouts in if I was more organised. With remembering kit, remembering food, remembering to eat at the right time. (Side note: does anyone else get so hungry that they get a really bad tummy ache? Sometimes I get it so bad that I can’t stand up. Once it comes on I’m pretty much a write off. It’s really awful and annoying). Anyway!
After having what felt like a useless week I went out on Sunday to run with Dayve. We ran 10km off road in Epping Forest. I cannot believe I found it so hard! God, I felt absolutely exhausted. It was really fun though. I love running with Dayve because he gets bored just running so he’s always looking for a hill to race up, a puddle to splash through, a log to jump over… a bit like running with an over excited puppy. He also pushes the pace past my comfort zone, which is really good for my progression as I need to stop running so slowly.
I managed to keep the pace below 9 minute miles for the whole run, which was amazing as I cannot remember the last time I managed that! I find it hard to believe that I am the same person who once ran a whole half marathon at sub 8 minute mile pace, and I hope I can get back to seeing some 7-something minute miles by the end of the year. Lots of work to do between now and then though!
Today I went to the gym after work, maybe at around 8:30pm. I did 45 minutes core and upper body workout, working on my tricep dips, followed by 15 hellish minutes with the foam roller. As well as being a much faster runner, I also used to be able to do unassisted tricep dips and chin ups. It’s time to get back to that. Currently my tricep dips are very assisted, but all progress is progress!
Legs now ridiculously sore after Sunday’s trail adventure. We had a friend from university staying so I left work at a reasonable time and went for burgers and cocktails. Delightful.
Legs still very sore. Regretting not stretching. Intended to go for a run, but the weather was awful so I decided to hit the gym for some mobility work instead. Ended up getting ridiculously hungry so just had dinner and massaged my legs at home. I massaged my calf muscles for about an hour (they were very sore) and I am so glad I did – they felt much better after this.
I set my alarm for an early morning workout but slept through it, as always! I don’t know why I bother. After work I joined adidas for a Supper Club in Victoria Park celebrating the opening of The X, their new temporary workout space in Victoria Park. The space is gorgeous and I love that they’ve lit up the park so that you can run through at night. It was great to see some other ging babes and to chat the night away with Charlie and Claudia.
Not entirely sure why I chose to wear tight leather trousers to a three course meal, but it was a mistake.
I went for a run after work. I finished for the weekend at around 7:30 and so headed for 5km down by the river at about 8pm. I love running down by the river at night; it is so so beautiful. After about 5 minutes my legs were hurting so I stopped and stretched off, and after that I felt a lot better. I forgot my watch, but I felt pretty strong and feel like I’m definitely making progress.
I got up at just before 6am for an early morning shoot with Greg Woodward in the Olympic Park. I did a lot of running and stretching, but I think it would probably be stretching it a bit to class this as a “workout”. I ended up in shorts for most of the shoot and after about 2 and half hours felt pretty frozen to the core! I warmed up in Counter Cafe with Dayve and then headed off to look after my nephew for the day.
Other cool stuff:
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.
Other cool stuff:
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:
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
Other cool stuff:
“Do you want to come and do a running treasure hunt around London Zoo?” – you don’t say no to this question. Cut to a rainy Saturday morning in Mornington Crescent, gathering in a cute little cafe with all my ging faves chatting to Brooks about their new Urban Jungle Pack. The Urban Jungle Pack reimagines classic Brooks shoes (Ravenna 6 and Ghost 8) in cheetah and zebra prints and the results are pretty cool indeed.
After the debrief we headed to London Zoo to start a treasure hunt. The prize? A pair of trainers from the Brooks Jungle Pack to give away to my followers! These shoes are awesome and everyone in our team (Charlie, Emma and Jen!) was keen to win so that we could host our own giveaways! We had to find five things in the zoo..
(1) Take a selfie with an animal smaller than you
Easy peasy with this little guy! (2) Share a photo of the scariest thing in the zoo
This was a close call between the SPIDER ROOM (spiders roaming free in the wild)…
…and this red-eyed demon fish.
(3) Show us some stripes
It took a lot of time to get this photo.
I also apparently really love fish
(4) Take a video of a noisy animal
It just so happened that it was really really rainy that day so all of the animals stayed inside, quietly snoozing away. This was very sensible, but it did mean that we couldn’t get a video of noisy animals! We noticed that, what with us running around all excited, we were probably the noisiest animals in the zoo that morning! We got a video of us running wild in a tunnel…
(5) Show us the comparison; which animal looks most like you?
I actually only got down to do this impression of a gorilla because I thought it would be funny, but turns out my pose is pretty accurate.
The good news is that all our efforts were rewarded – we won! This means I get to offer a pair of these shoes for free to one of my lovely readers. All the details below!
The shoes are selling like hot cakes so the competition will be open for 48 hours only.
It’s open to residents of the UK only.
Both men and women are welcome to enter!
To enter you just have to copy on this post telling me your favourite jungle animal (Spoiler: mine is an elephant! They’re not very speedy though so not featured by Brooks in their Urban Jungle Pack…).
You can also earn an extra entry by spreading the love to your own followers and tweeting a link to the competition.
The competition closes at midnight on Tuesday 17 November and a winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter!
Please note that the shoes need to be ordered by Brooks on Wednesday 18 November, so please standby and be ready to email me with your preferred model (Ghost 8 or Ravenna 6!) and shoe size on Wednesday if you are the lucky winner!
You can enter through this Rafflecopter page HERE! #WidgetWoes
A huge thank you to Brooks for inviting me for the funnest morning ever at London Zoo and for giving me a pair of Brooks Jungle Pack Trainers to giveaway!
Other cool stuff: