Category: Uncategorized

Heartbreak and Don’t Tell Coach… {Confession Time #5}

 

I am in a world of sadness. My BFF and world’s-best-PT Karyn has moved back to Sydney. I’m trying to be strong about it and not succumb to the urge to spend all day on the couch eating Ben and Jerry’s and listening to Sad FM. In our last few days together we had a final training session (which did in fact consist of 10000 burpees like I said it would…Karyn you need to stop reading my blog and using it against me) as well as lots of coffee/cupcake/breakfast dates. We will be reunited in a few months when I go to Australia, but until then, pass the sugary comfort food please.

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Post-training breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien

 

Not only that but two of my other BFFs Lucy and Becky (who I went to Poland with a couple of months ago) are also leaving on a five month backpacking trip around south-east Asia and Australia. I miss them already Broken heart

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I’ve decided to take my mind off of all the heartbreak by confessing some of my running sins to you all. Since I laid my cards on the table in terms of my running goals in my New Years post and committed myself to a year of solid training, it was time I ‘fessed up to last years transgressions. So to my wonderful running coach, I apologise in advance and here are my 2013 running confessions that I sincerely hope you never read…

 

  • When I said I’d stretch and do core work when I got home, I lied. Instead I sat my foam roller next to me as I watched The Big Bang Theory and ate ice cream from the tub (Tuesdays) or watch whatever movie is on and drink hot chocolate (Thursdays). Consistency is key after all.

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  • I counted strides and drills in my weekly mileage.  

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Strides adding a good 15% to my weekly mileage ;)

 

  • Every time you schedule in a cross-training session of pool running, I opt for a spin class instead. Mostly because people don’t (usually) comment when I don’t wash my hair after spin, but they never fail to do so if I skip a shower after swimming. Hygiene is so overrated.

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  • I get tired on our warm-ups. Incidentally, whenever I “stop to do up my shoelace”, it’s really just because I’m tired and want a break.

 

  • I sometimes do the odd crunch whilst I’m watching House of Cards, and count that as my daily core work done.

 

  • When I’m late for training (which is 99% of the time), it’s not because the traffic was bad. It’s because I stopped off at Starbucks for a latte.

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  • Every time you left the room during our circuit training sessions, I would flop onto the floor for a quick but totally necessary rest. And encourage everyone else to join me.

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  • I took that list of “healthy running refuelling foods” and promised to look into them. But then still continued to opt for hot chocolate. Or my teammate Abi’s incredible rainbow cake in the locker rooms.

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  • When you said to focus on hydrating throughout the day, I really took it to heart. I’m sure you were talking about coffee when you said that….

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Double fisting the caffeine

 

Obviously all of these things are in the past and absolutely none of them have continued into 2014…

 

Tell me one of your running/life confessions!

 

Have an amazing week friends! <3

Backtracking

 

So after over a month(!!) of not blogging, a catch-up post is long overdue. This past month has been crazy busy, but a FUN one. Lots of training, working, consuming vast quantities of sugar and caffeine…the usual!

 

Training

Despite 50+ hour work weeks for the past fortnight(!), I managed to hit my highest weekly mileage and best training weeks since 2012, which I am super excited about!! I’m not sure if I’ve ever done a weekly training recap on the blog before, but here is last weeks…

Monday: AM 60min easy run
                      PM Team circuit training session
Tuesday: PM 60 min team workout (25 min hill Parloff session +warmup and cooldown)
Wednesday: AM 45 min recovery run+60 min session with Karyn
Thursday: AM 60 min easy run w/last 10 min progressive
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: AM 4 mile run to work
                        PM 4 mile run home from work
Sunday: AM 90 min hilly long run (half on trails)

 

All in all, a great week of training! I was ridiculously tired and sore for most of the week (serious DOMS from strength training with Karyn…I struggled to walk for three days afterwards so thanks for that Kaz;) so I spent lots of time with my BFF the foam roller and kept my easy and recovery runs slow and relaxed.

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Standard pre-work routine…run, foam rolling, and a soy latte that’s bigger than my head

 

Tuesday’s workout was super awesome. I tried to write out an explanation of what a Parloff relay is but it was so convoluted and made no sense. So to simplify, you are partnered with another person or two and you take in turns sprinting and jogging up and down a hill continuously for ~25 minutes. It’s a great hill workout because you have to sprint the downhills too, so you get the benefits from that as well. We met at the track, then ran 1.5 miles to the hill (the warm-up was also uphill…), then ran the session (about 4 miles), then the cooldown back to the track. My blurry dark picture does this hill no justice, but it’s killer! Our team does most of our hill workouts here, so we’ve gotten very familiar with it over the years.

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My partner and I “won” the session so our coach rewarded us with Mars bars and chocolate cupcakes. Refuelling after those workouts in the best way Thumbs up

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And all that sugar consumption is clearly paying off because our training group WON at the South of England championships a few weeks back!! It’s incredible what a difference training partners can make to your running. I love mine. So weird and wonderful <3

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And because I love lists, here’s some other random things from the past month…

 

1. Three dinner dates at Ping Pong in the past month. This place is the best. And thanks to this I am now poor.

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2. I did my first ever run commute last week! I bought a running backpack (I chose this one because it is super light…and also because it’s pretty and pink. We all know that aesthetics are just as important as functionality). The weather was perfect and the route took in all the best parts of London, so it was perfect:) It’s proving a great way to get in some easy mileage, so I am definitely making this a weekly thing!

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My co-workers all make fun of me for this, but I keep the most ridiculous amount of food in our work kitchen. So refuelling after my run to work was super easy. I know it’s been way too long since you’ve seen one of my beautiful photos of my AB&J topped oatmeal on this blog, so you’re welcome for this;)

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3. I went to see The Lion King with Karyn (it was SO AWESOME!), and I cried when Mufasa died. It was inevitable.

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4. In 9 days time I am off to New York!! I. Am. Pumped. On that note, does anyone else choose their hotels based on the gym facilities and the proximity to a Starbucks? You can’t ever say I don’t have my priorities straight ;) My brother sent me this photo of Central Park recently…it had better still look like this when I get there.

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5. I have managed to take my relationship with the baristas at the Starbucks next door to my work to the next level. I now have a free soy latte waiting for me every morning. Barista BFFs are my faves <3

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So I’ve just finished an awesome and killer track session (5x600s) and I’m more than ready for bed. Especially since I have a session with Karyn tomorrow morning before work. Heaven help me. (P.S. Karyn I know you’re reading this so please be nice tomorrow and can we not do 10000 burpees, thanks)

 

Tell me one highlight from the past month!

 

How is your training going? Training for any upcoming races? Track season is fast approaching, and I’m excited to tackle my PRs this year!

 

Hope you’re all having a great week so far! <3

 

 

 

2014 Goals!

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR friends! Only five days late with that…and with this post! Better late than never as I always say;)

 

As those of you who have been following my blog for a while will know, every year I make some goals for the year ahead. I’m very much a goal-orientated person, so making my goals for the coming year is a big deal, not something I decide spur-of-the-moment on NYE after a few glasses of champagne. I usually sit down with a vat of coffee, look over my training diary and reflect on the past year, discuss it with my coach/family/friends, and think about what I want to achieve over the next 12 months. My motto: dream big, but plan right.

 

I have many goals for 2014, but for now, I’ll just share my “big picture” ones:

 

1. My biggest running goal this year is to work on CONSISTENCY. I’ve gone through a lot of changes in my life  and routine this year, and the same will be happening again in 2014. As my coach has drilled into me many times, consistency is the key to successful training. Consistency encompasses all the aspects of running, from getting in base mileage to regular strength training and stretching. Thanks to the unpredictable working hours of my job, being sent a 2 month training plan (which was what my coach used to do) no longer works for me, as I’m constantly having to change around workouts to fit in with my work, and often end up missing one or two important sessions a week as a result. So this year, we’re trialling making training plans on a fortnightly basis, so that I know exactly when I’m working and therefore when I can fit in runs. More consistency=better training=watch out PRs.

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Standard post-race “I LOVE RUNNING” photo. I’ve got big PR chasing plans this year!!

 

2. Strength, strength, strength. 2014 will be the year I focus on getting strong! Meet my new personal trainer:

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Karyn was too busy demonstrating what I call the Devils Pushup to stop for a photo op. Also maybe I should make improving my photography a goal for this year…

 

One of my closest friends, Karyn, is a PT, and after she witnessed my pathetic attempt at a push-up (she didn’t believe that I couldn’t do a single full push-up…I proved her wrong haha), she took me on as an urgent charity case ;) I’ve had two sessions with her so far (one this morning!) and I have never known such pain. No exaggeration. I think I have permanent DOMS. I’ll do a post soon about my experiences of training with a personal trainer, but so far, I am loving it!! Well, loving it after the session is over anyway haha.

 

3. Working on balance. I’ve never been good at finding a work-life-run balance, and 2013 was the worst that balance has ever been! But I’ve now got a plan in place (planning is my fave) to help fix that imbalance. This year, I’m taking more time for my running, travelling, and friends/family, and fewer 50+ hour work weeks. I’m especially looking forward to the travelling I’ve got planned for this year! There’s nothing I enjoy more than exploring new places through running:)

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Dear Hawaii, I will be back this year. See ya soon.

 

I’m excited for 2014. It’s gonna be a good year. 

 

What are your goals/resolutions for 2014? I read that telling a friend about your goals increases your chance of achieving it by 72%, so get sharing!!

 

What are you most looking forward to this year? Running lots and travelling lots!

 

Have an amazing week friends! <3

Christmas Traditions

 

MERRY {belated} Christmas friends!! I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season! In-between working non-stop and trying to spend as much time with my family as possible, it’s been harder than usual to sit down and write a post, but I’ve had a lovely past couple of weeks spent having fun with all my favourite people, and I hope you have too!

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It was only looking back on some of my Christmas posts from past years (one of my favourite things about having a blog!) that I realised just how many Christmas traditions I have! Cheesy as it sounds, these traditions make me thankful and appreciate more than anything just how fortunate and blessed I am. Christmas is a BIG deal to me and my family, and these are just of the many traditions…

 

Tradition #1: Christmas Dinner with friends. Every year a few days before Christmas, my friends and I sit down to eat a Christmas meal together and swap presents. Good food and good company…what could be better?

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Tradition #2: Christmas Eve training. My absolute favourite training session of the whole year! Our session is made up of sprint relays around the track involving Santa hats and crackers instead of batons. It’s still a hard workout, but it’s so fun! And training with these awesome speedy girls is always the best thing ever.IMG_0821[4]

My wonderful running family <3

After cool down and stretches, we all exchanged presents and presented our coach with a joint present from all of us. Our coach is the most selfless and supportive man I’ve ever met, putting in countless hours every week towards our training, completely voluntarily. He comes to every race to support us, regardless of how far away it is, and his tireless efforts led our training group to 2nd place at Nationals! So we clubbed together and got him a tablet so he can read running articles and receive our training logs via email whilst he’s travelling to our races ;)

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Tradition #3: Wrapping presents on Christmas Eve whilst watching Elf and Love Actually. I must’ve seen those movies a thousand times, but they never. get. old.

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Tradition #4: Christmas morning run! Some people think that’s crazy, but what’s so crazy about doing your favourite thing on your favourite day?! I always do my Christmas Day run just as a relaxed fun run, with no pace/mileage goals, just a Santa hat and a smile! Aaaand to make this run even better, Santa was kind enough to treat me to a new Garmin(!!), so I got to take that on a test run!

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LOVE MY NEW GARMIN I’ll do a proper write-up on it soon once I’ve tested it out a bit more thoroughly! I’ve used it every day since though and so far, there is nothing but pure love for it :)

 

Tradition #5: Christmas Day church service with all the family. Never forgetting what it’s all really about <3

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Tradition #6: Burning off that Christmas day dinner with the running club’s annual fancy dress Boxing Day paperchase! 7 hilly miles on the trails chasing the “hares” whilst wearing a puffy elf costume is pretty hard, but so fun!! Seeing everyone else’s costumes is always a laugh, and it’s definitely one of my favourite runs of the year!

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The “hares” setting off before we give chase

And thanks to the torrential rain we’d had over the previous few days, the trails were one big mud swamp. All the more fun! :P

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Tradition #7: Long evenings of competitive board games. My American family come over from Christmas Eve until New Year every year, and every evening we all get together and play hours of board games. It gets VERY competitive, which is really all the fun ;)

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It was the perfect week to end my favourite time of the year.

 

What’s your favourite Christmas tradition?

 

What was your favourite gift that you gave/received this year?

 

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and have a lovely New Year! See you in 2014!! (<—- Can’t believe that’s just a day away…time flies!) <3

Thinking Out Loud #1

 

Today I’m joining in for the first time with my good friend Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud posts! I love her, and I love these posts.

 

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1. I’ve seen a lot of talk about a December running streak on Twitter recently, and I briefly considered joining in. Then I decided on doing a Christmas jumper streak instead. Far more festive.

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Day 19 and still going strong!

 

2. Talking of running and streaking…

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This moment was pretty much the highlight of my entire existence. Only in London.

 

3. I was reunited with my running family this week, and what a beautiful reunion it was! Two circuit training sessions, two runs, and a huge Christmas dinner. Perfection.

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Straight from training to a Christmas dinner! And oh look, a Christmas jumper…

 

4. I’m guessing most people’s work Christmas parties don’t include a runway show, lentil salad canapes, and a Santa that comes round and hands out little healthy gifts? Only at Sweaty Betty…! :P

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5. I can’t stop listening to Christmas music, all day every day, and my Christmas music playlist is 138 songs long. I think I have a problem. And my desktop background is a Christmas countdown. To say I love this time of year is a slight understatment I think.

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6. You know those days when you’ve got a hard workout scheduled but you just aren’t feeling it? Well we had a 8x400m on the cards today and during the warm-up I was trying to stamp out my negative attitude, but my prayers were answered as the heavens opened and a hailstorm began! So we did an impromptu circuit training session in the changing rooms instead:) Although I still had a three mile run home after the session in the pouring rain which was great fun ;)

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Incidentally I’ve done well on the strength front this week, with two circuit training sessions and a BodyPump class on top of my runs. My muscles are sure feeling it though, gotta love those DOMS!

 

7. I’m drinking a hot chocolate (P.S. vegan pals I use this stuff and it is the bomb) whilst writing this post. There is nothing better than a steaming hot cocoa after a cold wet run :)

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Tell me a random thought or something fun you’ve done this week?

 

Have you ever done a run streak, or would you ever do one? I’ve never done one, because it doesn’t fit in with my training plan, and I’m probably too injury prone for it to work for me anyway! But I think the motivational side of it must be pretty awesome, and I have great admiration for those who can stick it out!

 

How do you prepare for a hard run/workout? I try to really get myself in the right frame of mind before a workout. If I go in with a positive mental attitude, then more often than not, the workout will be a success!

 

Have a great day friends, and thanks Amanda for hosting! <3

Poland Recap

 

Hey friends! So I’m finally posting the remainder of my impromptu trip to Poland last week (you can see the first part here) after what has been a pretty manic few days at work. I’ll catch y’all up on what’s been happening soon, but for now, the recap of my trip!

 

Despite the nightmare of a journey that was getting home (thanks Ryanair for that flight delay that saw me get home at 3:30am…and then off to work just a few hours later :| ), it was honestly one of the best trips of my life. Thank heavens for spontaneous caffeine-fuelled decisions!! ;)

 

We checked into our apartment, unpacked a bit, and made ourselves at home. I travelled carry-on, so I had to be very selective about what I brought with me, and approximately 90% of my hand luggage was made up of running stuff. I knew it was going to be cold but I don’t think I realised quite how chilly it was! I packed running shoes, a L/S fleece lined top, a lightweight jacket, ear-warmers and gloves, and a pair of CAPRIS?! I don’t even know what I was thinking there but I think my calves got frostbite on my early morning run the next day.

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After unpacking, we of course headed straight next door towards Cupcake Corner (my favourite ever cupcake shop), which we proceeded to visit every day, sometimes multiple times… But it was a great little place that did amazing food and coffee, so really, how could you not?! Also it was SO COLD that I ended up wearing every sweater I brought with me at the same time underneath my coat, and I was still cold 99% of the time! Such a wimp.

In our second home aka Cupcake Corner


It was quite late, so after popping back to the apartment to shower and change (or in my case, to hunt down more jumpers to layer with), we headed into town to find dinner. On recommendation from our apartment’s management, we decided on an Italian restaurant called Mamma Mia. It was the best decision ever- everything was INCREDIBLE! We ordered everything from appetizers to cocktails, and demolished it all. If you’re ever in Krakow, go here!!


On our second day in Poland, we embarked on a couple of group tours, one to Auschwitz and the other to the salt mines. One of the biggest reasons why I decided to come to Krakow was because, as a bit of a history geek, I’d always wanted to visit Auschwitz. Visiting the place that I have read and learnt so much about over the years was surreal and really put everything into perspective. As harrowing as it was, I couldn’t recommend visiting there highly enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then went on a tour of the famous Krakow salt mines, which was incredible! We were walking through tunnels that were more than 100ft underground, and they were incredibly beautiful!createImage

 

We got back to the apartment that evening and said goodbye to Becky, who had to fly back home :(  To drown our sorrows at her departure, Lucy and I headed back to the same restaurant that we had fallen in love with the night before (you can’t say that we’re not adventurous ;) ) and enjoyed the restaurant’s incredible cocktails. After all, there’s nothing a great Cosmopolitan can’t fix ;)

 

On our final day in Krakow, Lucy and I wandered around the city and took in all the sights. And somehow ended up at the mall…oops! But at least it was super Christmassy and cute!

 

After stopping for a Starbucks and doing a bit of shopping (mostly in H&M and Sephora…sticking to the traditional Polish places of course;), we headed back out into the cold to do a bit of sightseeing on foot. Krakow city square is beauuuutiful!

 

Before I left for the airport and Lucy for Budapest, we just had to make one last visit to our beloved Cupcake Corner. It was sad saying goodbye to my friends for another few weeks, but our annual Christmas dinner together (one of my absolute fave Christmas traditions) is on the 22nd, so it’s less than two weeks until we are reunited over a turkey (or a Tofurkey for me :P) I CAN’T WAIT!

 

Aaaand on a totally random and unrelated note, in case you didn’t realise it’s just a fortnight until Christmas Eve, and I for one could not be more excited!! :D

 

Have you ever been to Poland or Europe? I’ve been to over 15 different European countries, and this trip to Krakow has to have been one of my favourites! I really love Europe :)

 

When/where is your next vacation? My friends and I are planning to {hopefully} go to Hawaii in a couple of months time…excited!!!

 

                                                                  Have a great week friends! <3

Hello from Krakow!

 

HELLO from Krakow, Poland!! In my last post I briefly explained how I’d decided to make a spontaneous trip to Europe with a couple of friends. After two days of booking flights, transport and accommodation on my phone en route to work (thank heavens for travel apps!) and a late night packing session, I touched down at Krakow airport on Tuesday morning! I’ve been lucky enough to visit quite a few European countries over the years, but Poland hasn’t been one of them! 

 

Airports at 5am = ultimate comfortable attire necessary, aka jeggings and Uggs. P.S. Leaving the house and getting on a train at 4am was the most painful experience ever and only made easier by vast amounts of coffee.

 

 I then spent so long relaxing/napping in the airport Starbucks that I very nearly missed my flight! I looked up just in time to see “Final Call” flashing and was then forced to do an epic sprint to my gate. Incidentally it was Gate 42 which put all that long distance running training into good use.

 

I entertained myself on the flight with the help of Women’s Health mag and the movie Australia. Thankfully the flight was short because I had what felt like 2 millimeters of leg room…gotta love flying with Ryanair ;)

 

And after a flight and an eventful bus journey from the airport to the centre of Krakow (I may have managed to empty my suitcase contents all over the floor…only me), before long I was in our apartment in Krakow, reunited with my BFFs! Becky (on the left) got to Krakow the day before me and left a day earlier and Lucy (on the right) has been backpacking around Europe for the past few weeks, and is off to Budapest tomorrow! I’m super jealous because I LOVE that city, but we have big travel plans for next year when I can take more time off :) 

 

We decided to stay in Crystal Suites Self Catering Apartments, not least because of the cheap prices and the 5* rave reviews on TripAdvisor. And when we got there, we realised why! The apartments are AMAZING and if they were in London, they would cost a small fortune!! Plus the service was incredible. Oh, and did I mention that there’s a cupcake shop right next door? Heaven.

 You see that balcony above the door? THAT WAS OUR BALCONY. Loved that.



Oooh my flight is now boarding! I’ll post Part 2 of this post soon, but now I’m off to board my plane home! Hope you’re all having a great week!! <3

 

Thankfulness and EXCITING NEWS

Happy Holidays friends! Now it’s December, I can finally say that!! I hope those of you who celebrated all had an amazing Thanksgiving!

 

My Thanksgiving started at 5am with two cups of coffee and some fartlek. It was my first “proper” speed work run (not including tempo runs) in months, and it felt SO good to get the legs moving fast again! It was tough, but a great run: 15 min warm up, 12×45 seconds @ 1500m pace with 90 sec recovery, 15 min cool down. I actually did this one outside (although for safety reasons I’ll normally stick to the treadmill when it’s dark outside and I have to run alone) and I feel like my super-cool neon orange fleece earwarmer made me even faster. Safety AND style in one go;)

 

In the evening after work my co-workers and I sat down with PSL lattes and a vegan pumpkin pie from Whole Foods to share. This was the first slice I demolished, followed by at least three more… Top of the things I am thankful for this year is my bottomless pit of a stomach when it comes to pumpkin pie ;)

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I also may have gone a tad crazy with Black Friday shopping, which I blame entirely on the fact that the day coincided with both my day off and with payday. My wallet took a beating, as did my toes thanks to my fellow crazy shoppers, but I made it out alive {just} with almost all my Christmas presents for family and friends! I am a reformed last-minute panic Christmas shopper :) And I couldn’t resist picking up a couple of things for myself…

 

…including the iPad air, which I am obsessed with already!! I’d been planning to buy one for a while so I could blog/do work/watch tv shows etc. on my commute without having to lug my laptop around with me. And of course the first thing I did was download a running book that I started reading whilst running on the treadmill this morning. 6 easy miles of Greg McMillan’s wisdom was perfection. I’ll post my thoughts on it when I’m finished :)

 

During my run I also listened to my new fave running track: Imagine Dragons’ track “On Top Of The World”. It’s AWESOME and I may or may not have listened to it on repeat for the entire run…image

 

I just got home from work, and it’s definitely a breakfast-for-dinner kinda night. After a long day, all I want is something quick and warm to eat. So oatmeal (topped with the mandatory mountain of almond butter and strawberry jam) it is with a side of New Girl. Same old, same old.

 

Oh and EXCITING NEWS I have just booked some plane tickets and am jetting off to Europe the day after tomorrow!! I am meeting up with one of my BFFs, Lucy, who has been backpacking around the continent for a couple of weeks! I can’t wait to explore my destination (which I’m keeping secret for now hehe;) and be reunited with Luce <3

Love this chica!

 

Did you celebrate Thanksgiving, or do any good Black Friday shopping? What was the highlight of it for you?

 

Tell me one thing YOU are thankful for!

 

Next post will probably be from the airport! See ya then! <3

Becoming a Morning Runner

 

I’ve had quite a few requests to post about how I’m adjusting to a new routine in terms of fitting in runs, etc. As those of you who have been reading for a while will know, I am was most definitely an evening runner.

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Sweaty post-run selfie in the dark #standard

Almost all my runs would take place after 6pm, whether it was an easy solo run or a team training session at the track. The closest I came to morning runs was at the weekend, and they were done at a pretty leisurely time of 10am or so, after a nice lie-in and a relaxed breakfast.

 

However, when I started my job back in June, I soon realised that my running routine would have to change. After a long work day, the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was drag myself back out into the cold and dark to run! So now the majority of my runs now are done after a 5am wake-up call, which has been a major adjustment to say the least! So here are a few of my tips on making that adjustment…

 

1. Be realistic.

When I first started my job, I was convinced that I could get myself to run once I got home from work. However I soon realised that was not going to happen, and knew that if I wanted to continue running (which of course I did), I needed to get it in early. Some people can do those post-work evening runs, and kudos to you if you can, but unfortunately I am not one of those people! A 5am alarm time sounded scarily early to a girl who was used to “early” meaning around 8am, and although it was difficult at first, you soon get used to it.

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2. Get organised.

I am undoubtedly one of the most disorganised people in the world. Seriously I think everyone who knows me would agree wholeheartedly with that statement. But I had to plan a lot to work out how to fit my running schedule into my workday. So I wrote it all out. I wrote out what time I had to be at work, then figured out how long it would take me to get to the gym to work, what time trains to get, etc. This way, I knew exactly how I could fit it all in without making myself late through trial and error.

3. Be prepared.

Getting everything ready the night before makes a big difference the next morning. I make my lunch, have my coffee ready to go, pack my gym and work clothes and set out the clothes I need to wear the next day. I try to make my mornings as smooth as possible so that my half asleep brain doesn’t have to think at all. It also means it takes me 15 minutes max to get out of the door in the mornings, which is great!

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4. Don’t hit the snooze button.

Maybe this is just me, but whenever I hit “snooze” on my alarm, I promptly fall back into a deep sleep and then wake up three hours later. So I have banned myself from using the snooze function. Whatever time I set my alarm for is the time I will get up, no excuses. On that note…

5. No excuses

I am the QUEEN of making excuses to skip early morning workouts. My favourite is “I’ll just do it in the evening instead, no problem!”. And while I sometimes manage to do it, more often than not I just either end up skipping it because I’m too tired after work, or something comes up and I can’t make it to the gym. So as soon as the lazy part of my brain starts making excuses, I just tell it to zip it. I know I’ll always feel better after my run, and my days are always not as good when they don’t include a morning workout! I think I’ve become addicted to those morning endorphins ;)

6. Become disciplined with sleep

I got into a really bad habit during the summer of staying up late on Instagram/Twitter/Skype/watching Grey’s Anatomy, etc. It’s an easy trap to fall into, with our phones buzzing with texts or social media notifications every other minute! Plus obviously the lack of sleep is not conducive to running performance or recovery. So now I have a strict bedtime on work-nights of 9:30pm, and the phone gets put on Do Not Disturb at 9pm so I’m not tempted to respond to texts or emails and then get caught up. Sure some most of my friends think I’m crazy for this, but I know I’ll be suffering the next day if I don’t sleep enough.

7. Persevere

It’s hard at first, but it does get easier! It’s not just the earlier rising time that is a struggle, but also running early in the morning on an empty stomach is difficult at first. My first early workout (a tempo run) was definitely a shock to the system! There’s a big difference between running hard when you’ve fuelled and when you haven’t, but again, you’ll adjust! And as my coach has assured me many a time, running hard on empty will make running hard when fuelled in races seem easier in comparison, so it’s a good thing!

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I honestly never thought I’d become an early-morning workout person. I really love sleep. And lie-ins. But I guess I love running and endorphins more. And nothing beats that heady combination of an endorphin high and lots of caffeine first thing in the morning…

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My co-workers think I need help. They might be right.

 

I guess the bottom line is that if you are motivated enough and it is important enough to you, you will find the time to make it happen instead of letting life circumstances dictate everything.

 

Happy Thanksgiving for tomorrow my American friends! I of course will be celebrating in my own special way….by busting out my infamous Turkey Hat :P

 

Are you a morning/afternoon/evening workout person? I am definitely a morning person now! I notice a huge difference in my mood, energy levels and productivity throughout the day when I get my run in first thing.

For you morning runners, got any tips to add? I used to sleep in my running clothes so I’d be ready to go the next morning, but I don’t quite go that far any more haha

What are your Thanksgiving plans? I’m working tomorrow, but also Turkey-Hatting it and sharing a pumpkin pie with my coworkers after work :)

 

Have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow friends! <3

Quick Week Recap!

 

After a 54 hour work week, it’s safe to say that I’m pretty darn tired! It’s a good thing that I love my job, because despite the long hours this week, I’ve really enjoyed it! Inbetween fitting in my runs and working, I’ve had very little time to do anything else (like blogging or having a social life haha!) so here’s a quick recap of my week…

 

There have been lots of early pre-work morning workouts! If I don’t get it done first thing, then usually it won’t happen at all, so it’s 5am or bust! My favourite ones are Monday mornings (awesome spin class followed my an easy run) and Wednesday mornings (BodyPump followed by an easy run). My legs feel like jelly for the first few minutes of each run, but then I get in the groove and it feels amazing. I usually run about 6 miles at recovery pace, and I leave the gym with the most ridiculous grin on my face every time. Morning runs make my whole day great :)

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Not a round number = bothered me endlessly! Does anyone else have this problem?!

 

And then I bundle up with a ton of layers and cozy scarves (it has gotten freeeeezing here in London!) and head out into the cold and off to work!

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Yesterday I was sent to work in Selfridges (I was SO lamely excited about this!), aka “the best department store in the world”…or so they have written on their doors anyway ;) Incidentally, the security for Selfridges workers is worse than airport security. After checking my passport(?!), drivers licence. AND going through my bag, I was given a badge and let loose on the shop floor! Their mistake there obviously. Maybe they should up the security a bit more…

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Selfridges is so pretty and Christmassy right now! Obsessed. I’m planning to come back on Friday to do all my Christmas shopping (TIP OFF it’s a store-wide 20% off day!), not least because they’re always handing out samples in the Food Hall;) I made BFFs with the guys at Godiva in my lunchbreak and shamelessly munched away on all their samples whilst chatting away to them.

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Talking of BFFs it was my best friend Catherine’s birthday yesterday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY CATHERZ) and because I was working, we couldn’t do anything, but I have this coming Friday off so we’re going out for birthday cocktails to celebrate! Here’s a fun flashback to that time Catherine, myself and a few of our friends thought it would be a good idea to dress up in our animal onesies and take public transport. Oh the things 15 year-olds find amusing… (Disclaimer: I actually still find this hilarious. What maturity?!)

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Catherine is our cow leader and I am the apparently stoned monkey on the left

 

In Catherine, I found a fellow weirdo and an amazing friend and hugger. Friends and hugs are my favourite.

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PDAing in Paris, circa 2010

Anyway, I had better get to sleep. Those 5am alarms are only made easier and by seeing this little face first thing :)

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ISN’T HE THE CUTEST?!

 

What was the highlight of your weekend? Free Godiva samples. Don’t judge. They were like little bites of heaven.

Are you a coffee drinker? How many do you have a day? I usually have about three coffees a day…is that normal?!

When do you get your Christmas shopping done? I usually do it in the last week before Christmas but I HATE leaving it that late and swear to do it earlier every year! So this year I’m aiming to get most of it done before December hits to avoid all panic shopping!

 

Have an amazing week friends! <3

 

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