Category: Uncategorized

Feeling Festive

 

Yesterday felt like the longest day of my life. I left the house at 5:30am, and got back at midnight, so I am super tired today! This is just a pre-warning that this post will probably be more rambly, non-sensical, and even more full of typos and grammatical errors than usual ;)

 

I began my day yesterday with an early morning BodyPump class followed by an easy 30 minute run. It was my first Pump class in months, and my first ever early morning one! I forgot how much I love that class. It kicks my butt like nothing else. This is definitely becoming a weekly thing.

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I got a whole new understanding of the phrase “jelly-legs” at the start of my run, but after about five minutes my legs warmed up and the run felt pretty effortless and enjoyable and was one of those “THIS IS WHY I  LOVE RUNNING” runs :)

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Black and white hides the too-early-so-tired-pre-workout look better, right? Yeah…

 

I refuelled when I got to work with a breakfast of instant oatmeal and a Vega shake, and of course the mandatory coffee. Starbucks had put up their Christmas decorations, with baubles on the counters and a wreath on the door. It looked so cheery and festive!

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The Trafalgar, which is a great pub nearby, tweeted this message yesterday, so obviously before our work teams evening meeting  we all headed over to enjoy free mulled wine and cider. Free definitely tastes better ;) It felt ridiculously like Christmas for the first week of November, sitting by a fire drinking mulled wine, but it was awesome!

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Best. Tweet. EVER.

 

With our bellies full of mulled wine, our team then sat down to our meeting, whilst managing to find room for delivery pizza, Starbucks hot chocolates, and mince pies. Man are work meetings a chore ;)

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Also the highlight of my day/year/life happened in the evening when I popped next door to Starbucks to pick up our drinks for the meeting. As usual, I was chatting away to the baristas when one of them came out with a Starbucks bag and told me that inside was my Christmas present from all of them, which was a cute Christmas mug!  LOVE IT AND LOVE THEM.

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I’m currently writing this post whilst listening to my Christmas playlist. I know that’s shameful, but apparently in Chelsea, the festive period begins in the second week of November, so I’m fully embracing that;)

 

When do you start feeling Christmassy? Our family would wait to put up the decorations and tree until the first week of November, but I’m more than okay with starting as early as possible haha!

 

Any BodyPump fans out there? What do you think of this release? I think the triceps track is killer, but then I think that every time because I’m convinced these muscles aren’t part of my anatomy.

 

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

A Day In The Life

 

When I hit the “publish” button yesterday, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it sure wasn’t the lovely comments, tweets, facebook and email messages that I received! You’re all wonderful, and I can’t thank you guys enough for your support! It’s good to be back:)

 

As I mentioned in my last post, my daily routine now is VERY different to what it was a couple of months back. So I thought it’d be fun to show you what an average Monday looks like for me now…

 

5am: My alarm goes off and I drag myself out of bed, still half asleep. Brain function is minimal, and yawn count is approximately 20x a minute. I literally throw on some clothes, make coffee, and then I’m out the door without having so much as touched a hairbrush. They’re overrated anyway.

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6am: On my way to the gym, armed with my first coffee of the day. Brain function remains minimal, the yawning never ends, and my eyes are closed 99% of the time.

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Too. Early. To. Function. Also too early to take non-blurry photos apparently

 

7-8:30am: The caffeine thankfully has kicked in by the time I arrive at the gym. It takes about 75 minutes to get to the gym from my place early in the morning, partly because of the less frequent Underground service, partly because of my zombie-like walking, and mostly just because my gym is so far away from where I live. My old gym was only about a ten minute walk away from home, but this gym is super close to my work, and that’s much more convenient. Plus it has a jacuzzi in the locker room, which totally isn’t the reason why I’m late for work so often… ;)

 

Anyways, so this morning I had my FIRST SPEEDWORK RUN in months!! I was so excited for it, so I wore my fave crop top in honour of the occasion. It’s the little things.

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Excuse the chest shot, but don’t tell me this isn’t the best crop top you’ve EVER SEEN

 

The workout was a tempo run: 10 min warmup, 30 min @ tempo pace (avg 6.55min/mile), 10 min cooldown, followed by foam rolling, stretching and general strength exercises. It was a tough run, but it felt SO good to feel that burn again!! I left the gym with jelly-legs and the biggest grin on my face:)

 

8:30am: Commence Operation Get Ready For Work, which includes Operation Get Crazy Run ‘Fro Under Control and Operation Return Tomato Face To Normal Colour. This takes a lot of stuff…thank goodness my gym bag is the size of a small house and can accommodate the ridiculous amount of things I keep in there. This is just the very tip of the iceberg my friends…

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9am: Showered and dressed, time to leave for work!

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Of course there’s always time to make the mandatory stop off at Starbucks for coffee #2. I seriously love the people that work here, and I spend far too much so much time chatting away to them! Plus the free drinks my barista BFFs throw my way doesn’t hurt either ;)

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9:30-6:30pm: Work time! During my lunch break I hopped back over to Starbucks to down coffee #3 and do some blogging. Have I mentioned how ridiculous my coffee addiction has become? Soy cappuccinos are my kryptonite. 

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6:30-8:30pm: Sweaty Betty stores do free community exercise classes, so I stayed for the vinyasa flow yoga class this evening. It was an amazing class. The teacher was great and the energy of the class was incredible! Even though it was late by the time I’d finished tidying and locking up, I was so glad I’d stayed :)

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9:45pm: Finally home! I inhaled my dinner of leftover vegan paella then camped on the couch to watch New Girl and finish this post. And now I’m about to sleep for approximately 10000 hours. Night y’all!

 

What was the highlight of your day? Right now it’s my first successful speedwork run since May…but the deep coma/sleep I’m about to fall into will probably be a close second;)

Biting The Bullet

 

It’s time I bit the bullet and wrote that awkward first post back after what has been a loooooong break from the blog. I’ve been seriously contemplating starting back up over the last couple of weeks, but actually sitting down to write out this post has proved more difficult than I thought! So after I finished work today, I sat down in Starbucks armed with a grande soy PSL to write this out.

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Starbucks selfie. Gotta get back into the blogger ways ;)

 

I’m sorry I’ve been inconsistent and flaky and truth is, I’ve really missed it. I’ve missed you guys. I’ve missed writing about my day. I miss being able to look back on posts to find out what I was doing last week because I’ve already forgotten (yes, I really did do that…my memory is shockingly bad). And most of all I’ve missed posting ridiculous pictures of myself on the internet for the world (and all future employers…) to see ;)

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Classy refuelling right there

 

So there have been some pretty major changes in my life in the last six months since I last posted so to quickly catch you up…

 

I finished school and my A-Levels. I stopped posting in the first place so that I could study more, and thankfully the two months in which I lived in the library really paid off!

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I travelled to Italy in the summer with some of my closest friends and had an AMAZING time. Italy definitely has to be one of my favourite countries I’ve visited! We stayed in the Lake Garda region and visited Venice and Verona (my favourite!) amongst others. I’ll do a full recap of this trip soon :)

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Try not to be too jealous of my cool hat and sunnies

 

I got a real life job (I’m on a gap year) and now work full time in Central London. I work for Sweaty Betty, and I really really love my job. The location is perfect, my colleagues are all fabulously hilarious people, and I basically get paid to talk to people about running all day long. Oh, and did I mention the awesome “uniform”? Wearing leggings and running shoes all day is such a hardship.

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Plus there’s a Starbucks right next door. And I wonder where all my money goes.

 

I spent much of the spring/summer off running due to illness, but I’m on the comeback train. I always seem to forget how hard it is to come back to running after time off, and the first few weeks of running were pretty tough. But I’m feeling much more like my old self again, and am currently building my base back up. I’m counting down the days before I’m allowed to hit the track again in six weeks time! Until then, most of my runs are done at the gym before work at 5am (this has been a major adjustment for this evening runner…I’ll be doing a post on that soon), but I always look forward to my days off, because those are the days when I can hit the trails.

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Trail running in Big Island, Hawaii two years ago. Best trails EVER. Also, I miss my tan.

 

And last but not least, I turned 19, and ran 19 miles 9 miles to celebrate. Birthday runs fuelled by birthday cake are the best kind of runs :)

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I’m pretty sure that covers most of the missed six months. See you in six months for another catch-up post! I kid, I kid. The blog will also soon be undergoing a bit of a makeover so get ready to see a much nicer looking Sweet Tooth Runner within the next month or so! As refreshing as it was to step back from the blog for a little while after three years of blogging, I can’t deny that I’ve been dying to get back to it! I’m glad that I took a break and existed outside of the “blogging world” for a bit. To be honest, I needed that time to grow up a bit and adjust into moving into the “real world”. So I’m back, with a slightly altered life perspective, but entirely the same addiction to chocolate and dry shampooing my hair.

 

HUGS TO YOU ALL <3

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Back to Running!

 

Hey friends! Sorry from the long hiatus from blogging! I’ve been pretty ill for the last few weeks and I spent most of my time on bed rest! I guess blogging is synonymous with running for me, and I didn’t feel much like writing about how fun it was to be stuck in bed all day haha! But I’m mostly better now and I had my first run back yesterday, so life is good again! :) Thank you for the kind messages and emails!

 

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Yesterday some friends and I headed up to central London bright and early to watch and cheer on our teammates in the London Marathon and the London Mini Marathon. It was a beautiful sunny day and the Mall (where the finish line is) looked amazing!

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All the runners were handed black ribbons with their numbers in memory of the lives lost last week at Boston, and a minute silence was held before the races. The security and police presence seemed greater than in previous years too, which we were all thankful for.

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The London Mini Marathon is a race that means a lot to me. Two years ago, it was the first “real” race (I did a 10k fun run before that) I competed in. It introduced me to competitive running, to the running team that I now train and compete with, and to the wonderful and iconic event that is the London Marathon. Running it was undoubtedly one of the best experiences of my life. The race is held over the last 5k of the marathon course just before the marathon itself starts, so the crowd support is unrivalled.

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After the London Mini Marathon 2011, my first race!

 

Mo Farah himself is actually a three-time winner of the London Mini Marathon! The race is also great because runners receive the same medal and awesome goody bag as the runners of the full marathon do, which is obviously the highlight of the race ;) Last year was my final year of being eligible to run the LMM, because I’m sadly too old now, and I remember feeling tearful as I came down the mall to the finish line as it hit me that this was my last time! But I know that someday I’ll run down that finish after running the full marathon distance, and I can’t wait for that day :)

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The winning team of the London Mini Marathon 2012!

 

So yesterday although I was sad not to be racing, I had a great time cheering my teammates on! They all did fantastically and our team won again! Being able to train amongst so many talented athletes definitely has made me a better runner, and our team is so fantastically supportive of each other.

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Naomi is my “little sister” and she especially did AMAZINGLY, coming in 3rd out of over 200 girls in 18:25 for the 5k!! And she’s only 13! She’s a little star and I’m so proud of her!! Love training with these girls :)

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Naomi being carried post-race by her big sister Abi…despite “not being tired” haha

 

After my friends had finished, I headed to the finish area to find them and we watched the elites race on the big screen together. Both races were so exciting, especially the last mile of the men’s race!! We then picked up some food at a nearby Tesco’s and then headed to St James’ Park for a little picnic. Apparently the five runners needed a dozen Krispy Kremes after racing…who knew ;)

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Later in the afternoon, I went on my second run of the day (I did a short easy run that morning), taking full advantage of the beautiful sunshine! It’s always really hard coming back to running after an extended time off, but running with friends makes it that much easier :) IMG_7749

 

I also went out in the evening with two of my closest friends. Our favourite pub was having a 90’s music night, and all being 90’s kids, this made our evening! And who doesn’t love dancing the Macarena ;)

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Plus in just over a week Catherine and I will be performing a double concerto with an orchestra for the first time!! We will be performing it on tour in Italy this summer too, and I was beyond delighted when I was asked to perform it with my best friend! Right now I’m more excited than nervous, so I hope it stays that way!

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This evening was my first session back at the track for a month or so! I had a speed session, and I think I conveniently forgot how fun but painful those are! Especially when you train with an 800m runner and a 400m runner! But having them pull me along makes me faster…or at least that’s what I tell myself when I feel like my legs are about to fall off :P 

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I’m currently writing this post sitting halfway up the stairs, because my lactic-filled legs won’t carry me any further. Boy did I miss this!

Have you ever run the London Marathon? Did you watch it this year? I definitely plan to run it sometime within the next few years! I watch it every year and I love it :)

 

What is your favourite race? My favourite is definitely the LMM, but I also love National Cross Country!

 

What was the highlight of your weekend? Being able to RUN again!! And the marathon of course!

 

Have a great week friends! <3

Decisions and Hill Love!

 

Thank you all SO MUCH for your comments and emails on my last post! Your congrats and advice were much appreciated :) I thought and prayed about it a lot this week, spoke to friends and family about it, and talked it over with the admissions tutor and I will almost certainly be deferring my place at UM. In many ways, it seems ridiculous to defer an offer with a very generous scholarship attached, but honestly this just feels RIGHT.  There are so many things that I had to take into account, but many of you also encouraged me to take the chance to travel while I have it, and I don’t think I’ll have a chance like this again in the future, so I’ve made the decision to take a year out :)

 

So the plan at the moment involves working for about half a year, and then spending six months travelling. My tentative current travel plans involve spend a few months living, training and racing in Brisbane, because my running club is partnered with one there, and a friend of mine did this last year and had an amazing time! Their athletics club usually competes in track races every weekend, so she travelled and raced with them and was in amazing shape when she came back! And I’ve always wanted to visit Australia, so training and living there would be awesome :)

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And possibly even MORE excitingly, I am planning (again, this is isn’t set in stone by any means!) on attending a running camp at the High Altitude Training Centre in Iten, Kenya! For those of you who don’t know much about the running mecca that is Iten, check out this article.

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It would be the most amazing (and undoubtedly humbling!) experience, and being able to meet and train in the same place as the best runners in the world would be incredible. Plus it would be the perfect opportunity to stalk my fave athletes Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe ;)

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So hopefully I would be going into college as a better athlete and a better all-round person :) I’M SO EXCITED bring on 2014 already!!

 

Aside from making big life decisions, this week has been pretty standard. Yesterday I had a great hill session on my favourite hill circuit with the team. Its a triangular hill circuit on the roads, with about 600m steep uphill climb. So the session was 16 hill sprints, followed by a relay around the circuit. Sprinting down the hill is the scariest thing ever, especially when you can hear a car coming behind you(!), but it’s one of my fave sessions for sure! Nothing kills your legs more like speed and hills! And I don’t know quite how I manage it but I somehow always get mud all over my legs no matter where my run is…

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HOW DID I GET MUDDY RUNNING ON THE ROADS?!

 

Hill training will do wonders for your running, and is definitely something every runner can and should try to incorporate into their training! The benefits of hill running include:

  • helps develop power and muscle elasticity
  • helps reduce injury risk, as it strengthens your leg muscles
  • improves stride frequency and length
  • develops maximum speed and strength (short hills)
  • improves lactate tolerance (longer hills)
  • helps develop MENTAL TOUGHNESS (so important in racing!!)

 

In summary, hills are fab. Let the legs meet the lactic!!

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racing up the longest hill ever at Parliament Hill

 

After the hill session, our team all signed a good luck card for one of our teammates who has been selected to run for England this weekend! GOOD LUCK JESS!!

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This week has been more busy music-wise than normal. I had an early start for a studio recording earlier this week. I’m not a big fan of studio recordings because the microphones pick up absolutely EVERY sound, and I always mess up a  perfect take by just shuffling my feet or rustling the music slightly! Plus after hundreds of takes you are just EXHAUSTED. I think the most takes I’ve ever had in a recording is over 400! That was nine hours of fun right there ;)

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on the train on the way there with my beloved viola <3

 

There have been lots of rehearsals, concerts and quartet jobs on top of that. I had a quartet gig at the Foreign Office in London for a delegation from China, and it took me twenty minutes to get through security alone!

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If nothing else, we definitely impressed them with our professionalism ;)

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Where would you most like to RUN in the world? I have a running places bucket list! So far I’ve ticked off running across the Golden Gate Bridge, running along the Seine and running up a volcano (Hawaii). Still got running in Kenya, running in Central Park NY and running in the mountains in Canada to go!

 

What is your favourite running workout? Hills, tempo, intervals, long run, etc.? I think hills are my fave right now, although I change my mind approximately every other day.

 

Have a great weekend friends!! <3

Miami or Brisbane…?

 

I have some big news, which some of you may have seen if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, but for those of you who don’t know…

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…I received my acceptance to the University of Miami this morning as an international undergrad! I haven’t discussed on here what I’ll be doing next year, because I’m not entirely sure yet to be honest. Right now I am planning to either take up my place at UM (that’s dependant on finances) or at George Washington University, or I’ve also been offered the opportunity to take a gap year and live and train with a running team in Brisbane for a while and then go to uni the following year! I’ll talk more about it once I’ve decided :)

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Brisbane, Australia! Living and training here for a few months would be awesome:)

 

I’ve had a pretty wonderful week all round! Last Friday night saw an end-of-exam-week celebration at our favourite pub, followed by an early start the next morning with a 5 mile run and a yoga date with my bestie.

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sorry Gabs for ruining a perfectly good photo of us;)

 

After our BodyBalance class, we headed out for lunch. Our favourite cafe was full, so we headed to a new place to us, which we ended up loving too! I had a soya latte and an aubergine (eggplant) dish, which was delicious!!

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Gabby is a photographer, and is doing a music section for one of her portfolios, so she accompanied me to the afternoon rehearsal of a concert I had that day. We had a three hour afternoon rehearsal before the evening concert, and it was definitely one of my favourite concerts I’ve ever played in! The program and energy of the orchestra was so great:)

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I had some of the coldest runs of my life earlier this week. For some reason the snow has returned AGAIN and not only was it snowing yesterday but there was also a wind chill of approximately –1000 degrees (possibly a slight exaggeration…). Yesterday involved a run in the park with the team, where we almost got blown over by the wind/blizzard, followed by a circuit session, then a two mile cooldown when I got back home. I honestly have never been so cold on a run, and I’m pretty sure I got face frostbite. I am beyond amazed by those of you who live in much colder places and still brave outdoor runs!!

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Our circuit session was a tough one! We started with exercises with medicine balls and a few rounds of planks, and then we did four sets of 40 seconds of the following:

  • Bench dips
  • Alternate side sit-ups
  • Star jumps
  • T-leg raises
  • Push ups
  • Burpees

I cannot do 40 seconds of push ups, especially not four times! I have zero upper body strength, but I’m working on it! :P

 

I resorted to the treadmill for a couple of runs, but thankfully the multitude of running magazines I have stashed in my gym bag kept me entertained. Being able to read and run at the same time is a talent of mine ;)

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I almost always would prefer running outside to on the treadmill, but I do love using the ‘mill for tempo runs. I am one of those runners who absolutely cannot do a proper tempo run outside. I always start off far too fast to maintain the pace, and my tempos always turn into a strange sort of fartlek. Running them on the treadmill keeps my pace steady and honest, and gives me a proper tempo! (P.S. For more on tempo running, see these two articles).

 

And now I’m off to spend the rest of my evening cuddling my dog and catching up on the latest episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Criminal Minds. Criminal Minds genuinely creeps me out when I’m watching it home alone in the evenings, but my little Buddy will keep me safe;)

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Where did you go for university/college, or where do you want to go?

 

Do you incorporate tempo runs into your training? I don’t do them very often at the moment, but I hope to incorporate more of them in the future! To be honest I’m more of a fartlek/intervals gal…I love speed!

 

If you could live anywhere in the world for a few months, where would it be? Probably Hawaii or Australia…anywhere where I have access to a beach haha!

 

Have a great weekend friends! <3

Weekend Recap!

 

On Friday I had a fun speed session on the track with my running team, and I went straight from that freezing cold snowy run to a meal out with friends. It was definitely one of my coldest runs yet, I was completely numb, even under layers! After the first set most of us ran back inside to grab gloves and hats before continuing. Dinner was eaten at my favourite local Mexican restaurant…their guacamole is to DIE for!! It was a fun evening! You can’t beat a night of running and Mexican food ;)

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Not only has it been FREEZING cold outside, but our boiler broke a few days ago so we have had no hot water or heating in the house! It has been SO cold that I’ve been carrying a space heater around with me from room to room…it never leaves my side! :P Also try not to be too jealous of my super cool slippers…

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Because of the lack of heating, I spent the weekend staying at a friend’s apartment in Central London. We spent our evenings watching Friends episodes (I used to be completely obsessed with Friends when I was about 15…I would watch hours of it every day!) whilst eating cereal for dinner…truly living the student life!

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Once we had our fill of Friends, we hit the town! I was so excited when I found some Bansky street art…obviously I had to obnoxiously pose with it ;)

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For those of you who have been asking, yes I do go out most weekend nights, but I fit it around my running! I have no worries on Friday nights because Saturday is usually my rest day (unless I have a race on Saturday, in which case I hit the sack at approx 7pm;), and on Saturday nights I keep it fairly PG before Long Run Sundays! I try to get at least 7 hours sleep even after a late night out and that way I am certain that my long run won’t be affected!

 

Long Run Sunday was a beautifully sunny but chilly 8 miles on the trails. For fun, I threw in some mile repeats that averaged a 6.30min/mile pace, and finished the run feeling refreshed and happy :) There is nothing better than a relaxing run on trails on a sunny morning!

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Over the 2.5 years I have been running I have become the master of the quick change. I was hired to play at two weddings on Sunday, and I had to get to the first one straight after my run, so I had to change and sort out my run-hair on the way to the first hotel. Both weddings were BEAUTIFUL though, and I love playing at them, even if I do start to reconsider my life after the millionth rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon ;)

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It’s on days like these that snack bars are an absolute LIFESAVER! I have some stashed in my bag and in my viola case too for emergencies! :P

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After the weddings I ran home to make a quick dinner before heading back out to give a short recital at a care home, which I do once a month. I love the residents of the home- they are always so excited to see me and are the best audience ever!!

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making a dinner from random leftovers that I found in the freezer! leftovers are a lifesaver.

 

The lovely residents surprised me with flowers after the performance! It was so sweet of them, and it totally made my day :) One of the women also invited me to join them for bingo later, but I decided to pass up on that one;)

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Anyway, I need to step away from my laptop now and turn off New Girl (obsessed) and start the work that I avoided doing all weekend!

 

Where was the last wedding you went to at? I’ve only actually attended one wedding before, and that was in India when I was younger! I’ve been hired to play at a number though, the coolest being a military wedding at the Ritz, which included a sword parade down the Thames!!

 

What is your go-to snack? Almost all my snacks are energy bars…I love Clif and Luna bars!! I’m going through a Clif Z bar phase right now…they’re soooo good!!

 

Where is the best place you have ever travelled? I know this is a random question but I am trying to decide a place to holiday this year, and I’m stuck! I definitely want to go somewhere new to me, and I was thinking Canada, Mexico, Dubai or the US somewhere? And the best place I’ve ever travelled to is Hawaii!

 

Have a great week friends! <3

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Trail Running and a Yoga Date

 

Last week was one of the most stressful weeks I’ve ever experienced. I had some major deadlines to meet on top of everything else, which meant too many all-nighters, one of which happened to be on Valentine’s Day! So instead of going out, I stayed up until almost 6am doing work, but it was all made better with some pink champagne to celebrate V-Day ;)

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Coffee was my absolute LIFESAVER last week. I might as well have had a coffee IV with the amounts I was getting through! When I stayed up at night to work, I had a kettle and a jar of instant coffee next to my laptop so I was on a caffeine buzz all night long! :P

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Since Friday though, life has been back to normal! I had a quiet night in on Friday night and caught up on my sleep, and then celebrated the end of a stressful week with friends on Saturday and Sunday night, which was so fun!

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There have been lots of fun training sessions in the past week in the freezing cold! Does anyone else get headaches after running in sub-zero temperatures? It feels like my brain has frozen and is slowly (and painfully!) thawing. Still, running in the cold > running in heat any day!!

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Every Monday we have a team conditioning session after a run, which always kicks my butt! We start off with hurdle drills (leg swings over hurdles, jumping from standing start over hurdles, etc.), which are great for mobility and increasing muscular power and explosiveness. I suck at hurdle drills (reason #1000 why I am not a hurdler!!) but I am improving each week :) I find this the hardest- you never realise how high they are until you have to try this:

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After hurdles, we do planks, then go into the circuit, which is different each week. We do our circuit workouts progressively, so we increase the intensity and time for each exercise over four weeks, then cut back for a week before increasing again. This week was a cutback week, so the circuit was shorter than usual:

 

Hurdle drills and planks, then 3×40 seconds of the following, with 1 minute between each circuit:

- lunge jumps
- push ups
- T-leg raises
- mountain climbers/sprint thrusts
- alternate leg V Sits
- burpees

 

The last couple of days there has been SUNSHINE here for what must be the first time all year! It has made for some beautiful trail runs:) This is one of my favourite spots, and I often sit here at the end of my run and just watch the river.

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As with every trail run, I was pretty muddy by the time I had finished! I lost track of the time when running and realised as soon as I finished my run that I was seriously late for an appointment at the hairdressers, so I had to go straight to the salon, muddy legs and all! Thankfully I’m good friends with my hairdresser so she just laughed as I turned up all windswept and traipsed mud all through her salon! :P

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Last night I went on a yoga date with my bestie! Gabby and I went to a BodyBalance class (a mix of yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi), and it was not only her first time doing yoga/pilates, but it was also her first EVER group exercise class! She loved it so we’re going to make it a weekly date :)

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loving that sweaty post-exercise glow ;)

I hadn’t been to a BodyBalance class in a while, and I had forgotten how much I loved them! I had conveniently forgotten how beyond awful I am at balancing….! I also didn’t appreciate the abs track after Monday’s conditioning session. Breathing hurts today.

 

After the class Gabby came back to mine and we chilled on the couch, ate Chinese food, and watched The Vow. Saddest movie ever.

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And this evening we watched Dear John, which is another sobfest. I can’t take all these emotional movies!! Channing Tatum makes it all better though ;)

 

What was the last movie you saw? Before these two movies, it was Les Miserables, which was AMAZING. But also a tearjerker. I need to watch a comedy ASAP…

 

Do you take yoga/pilates/BodyBalance classes? What is your favourite group exercise class? I used to go weekly to BodyBalance or yoga, but I fell out of the habit a few months ago. I’m looking forward to getting back into it! :) I also want to get back to spinning, because I loved that!! I only stopped because the instructor I liked was on leave, but now he’s back, so I can’t wait to get my butt kicked again!!

 

Do you have a favourite running route? What is it like? My favourite is on a trail that I have to drive to get to, but I have some nice ones nearby too that I enjoy running on. I also have a favourite hilly 7 mile route on the roads that I love!

 

Have a great day friends! <3

My One True Love

 

I feel ashamed that I have never talked about Mystic Brew on the blog yet. Going there again for lunch yesterday just reminded me of that sad fact.

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all decorated for Valentine’s Day!

 

It is my local coffee shop and it is my favourite place in the WORLD. Their coffee is amazing, their food is all freshly made to order (the falafel wrap is to die for!) and the people who run the place are the nicest people ever:) My friends and I are obsessed and we practically live there.

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their soy cappuccinos are DIVINE

 

I seriously needed that coffee after having a packed Friday evening! I did 6 miles on the treadmill whilst rereading an old running magazine and blasting out my Les Miserables album (one of the many benefits of having the gym all to myself! :P) I can’t stand running at the same pace on a treadmill for an entire run, so I made the run a relatively easy progression run, upping the speed every o.25 miles until I reached a 7 min/mile pace.

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I followed the run with a half hour strength circuit from the Nike Training Club app that nearly killed me. I find burpees tough normally but adding a plank row to that…!

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I am so achey today, but I LOVE that feeling because it reminds me that I’ve worked hard!!

 

After that I headed off to a quartet job, and that hour flew by! I seriously have the best part-time job in the world! It’s well-paid, fun, I get to play at amazing venues, and almost always at weddings and other functions we are told to help ourselves to the food, which I take full advantage of ;)

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I then headed to a friend’s house for an evening of girliness and wine. There’s nothing better after a busy and stressful week! :)

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I spent the following evening with my bestie, snuggled up in dressing gowns watching quality Saturday night tv shows and eating Chinese. I am so in love with her new kitten that I genuinely contemplated stuffing her into my bag and making a run for it.

IMG_6072 true love <3

 

On a random side-note, I just watched this amazing documentary on the story behind the Kenyan domination in distance running, called Man on a Mission. The video follows Eamonn Coghlan, an Irish distance runner, as he travels to Iten and follows the story of Brother Colm and David Rudisha, amongst others. It is the best running film I’ve seen, and can’t recommend it enough! You can watch the hour-long programme online here for free.

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What was the highlight of your weekend? My long run this morning in the sleet…that was a real test of fortitude, but I really enjoyed it!

 

What is your favourite coffee shop or hang-out spot? It used to be Starbucks or Costa until Mystic Brew came along! Now I’ve seen the light!

 

Do you have, or did you used to have a part-time job? I used to babysit a lot, and I did waitressing one summer, but doing paid music gigs is way more fun ;)

 

Have a great week friends! <3

 

P.S. Thanks for all your advice on my video problem in my last post! I will sort it ASAP :)

Currently….

 

I am the world’s biggest tech fail. Last week I recorded a vlog to post but had some major issues uploading it:

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So I waited the 900+ minutes for it to upload, only for it to to then be stuck in the “processing” stage since then. And it’s been five days. So if by some miracle YouTube manages to finish processing my vlog by Christmas, then I’ll finally post the video I’ve been promising for a year now! :P Hopefully I’ll figure out a better way to do it ASAP!

 

In the meantime, I borrowed this “currently” survey from the lovely Julianna’s blog…

 

Current book(s): I just finished Tender is the Night by Scott Fitzgerald, which I got on my Kindle for 77p! I am a HUGE Gatsby fan, but this book just blew me away.

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Current music: The Les Miserables album, non-stop. I actually have four different recordings of it (loser alert…;), but this version is my fave:

 

Current guilty pleasure: Friday night cocktails with friends

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Current nail colour: Essie’s Mojito Madness, see the next photo ;)

 

Current drink: Naked Green Machine juice. At first I was really put off by the colour (murky green…) but it tastes AMAZING and I love having it especially after runs:)

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Current food: I quite fancy a cupcake right now.

 

Current favourite show: Grey’s Anatomy! Not that I haven’t professed my love for the show enough times on the blog already…

 

Current wish list: Saucony have just brought out a new natural running shoe: the Virrata. I am currently on my fourth pair of the Saucony Kinvaras, and these seem similar, but lighter and even more “natural”.

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Current indulgence: Buying expensive running magazines that I can read on the elliptical when I cross-train so I don’t die of boredom. This habit is burning a serious hole in my purse.

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Incidentally, I went on about how much I loved the Parliament Hill cross country course in my last post, and this magazine agrees with me!! :)

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amen.

 

Current blessing: Having amazing people to work and train with that help make me better. My training group are a crazily speedy bunch, which constantly challenges me and pushes me to become faster. Ran a fab hill session today with this lot, and we made up the best hill sprint relay team in the world!

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It’s the same story with my music too- I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by so many fantastic musicians! I’ve been playing in orchestras since I was six years old, and without others around me to inspire me to make myself better, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

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after a concert last week!

 

Current slang: I don’t know if it’s slang, but I do say “blimey” a lot. When I was in the US last year people laughed whenever I said it, saying that I was “so British”! :P

 

Current outfit: It’s been three hours since I got back from training, and I’m still in my running clothes with muddy legs. Standard.

 

Current excitement: Being invited to be a member of Sweaty Betty’s “Fit Crowd”! I love Sweaty Betty and everything the company stands for. I’ll post more about this soon :)

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Current mood: Sleeeeeepy! I am always more tired after having a running workout in the evening!

 

Current link: I know I’ve already talked about Saucony running shoes in this post but I just saw a sneek-peak at the newest Kinvaras!! To say I’m excited is an understatement. I have my eye on those purple ones, because let’s be honest, it’s all about the colour ;)

http://running.competitor.com/2013/02/video/shoe-talk-saucony-kinvara-4_65497

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P.S. I’m not sponsored or affiliated with Saucony, I just really love their shoes!!

 

And CURRENTLY I’m off to shower and wash my hair. Who am I kidding I’m about 0.001 seconds away from falling asleep. Hygiene is overrated.

 

What is on your wish list right now? I would kill for my own treadmill. Or a cupcake.

 

Tell me one of your current blessings!

 

Have a great week friends! <3

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