Track Withdrawals

 

The last few days have been crazy busy, leaving the house at 5:30 and not getting back till almost midnight! Lots of naps and plenty of caffeine have gotten me through it though. Coffee is the answer to all of life’s problems ;)

 

Friday was my day off (I’m worked this weekend) so I had a much needed lie-in, and then headed into the city to get my hair cut. It was my first time being a hair model, and it was the best haircut experience I’ve actually ever had! My hairdresser Katie did an amazing job, and I highly recommend her, so if any of you Londoners fancy a free haircut at Vidal Sassoon on the Kings Road, just let me know and I’ll send you her details :)

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Of course I had to go and completely ruin all of Katie’s good work as I headed out for a tempo run straight afterwards. It was a great run! A 40 minute tempo at just under a 7min/mile pace, and I felt good throughout. Tempo runs are one of my favourite workouts…gotta love that lactic build up! I did mde the mistake of watching Children In Need during my cooldown though and the kind lady next to me kept passing me tissues to mop up the floods of tears haha

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This morning I headed out before work for my long run. I LOVE Sunday long runs, not just because long runs have always been one of my fave things, but because they are one of the few runs I get to run outside during the week! Running outside > treadmill running any day! It was a beautifully peaceful morning 75 min run on the trails:)

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I absolutely regretted my choice of clothing for the run though. I think it took approximately 40 minutes for my legs to regain any feeling. For some reason I apparently woke up thinking it was midsummer and headed out into the freezing weather in shorts and a tee. NOT the smartest idea I’ve ever had!

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Trying to thaw off on the couch

This week I’ve finally felt like I’m really getting back into the swing of things with my running. It’s been difficult coming back from time off running and trying to adjust to a busy new routine at the same time, but this week I finally felt like I was really getting my running groove back! The tempo run pace was much closer to the kind of paces I was used to seeing pre-injury and my easy runs are feeling much more effortless. I’m also being much more meticulous with strength, stretching and cross-training which is helping a lot with injury prevention *touch wood*. It’s never easy coming back from time off running, so if any of you guys are in the same boat, hang in there!! It gets easier and it’s so worth it:)

 

And in just a months time I will be back at the track!! I am counting the days. Seriously, I have a countdown app on my phone so that I can count down the minutes until I am there. Obsessed.

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I’ve missed my teammates. I’ve missed my coach. I’ve missed those gruelling workouts. And most of all I’ve missed our shared passion for refuelling hard sessions the healthy way…

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Carbs help recovery, right? ;)

 

Off to bed now, and I’ll probably dream of track running. These are serious withdrawal symptoms right here.

 

How often do you get your hair cut? I got a good telling off from the hairdresser for the state of my hair…apparently you’re sposed to get a trim more frequently than once every two years? Who knew;) She also found it hilarious that I don’t own a hair dryer…

 

What is your favourite “type” of run? Easy, interval, fartlek, hill, long, tempo, etc? I change my mind about this every other week, but at the moment I think I’d have to say tempo! Let the legs meet the lactic!

 

Did you get in a long run this weekend? Of course, and followed it with a round of pancakes, as per ;)

 

Have a great week! <3

Confession Time

 

Confession: Turns out yesterday there was a Buy 1 Get 1 Free offer on ‘Festive Drinks’ at Starbucks. I’m pretty sure the idea was to “spread the festive cheer” by giving one to a friend, but in case you didn’t know I really really love coffee and may have had them both…

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…but trust me, after two sugary lattes, I was definitely spreading some craziness cheer ;)

 

Confession: I hadn’t done strength training in so long that when I did it again for the first time last week, I literally crawled up the stairs on all fours after the workout. No shame. Okay, maybe I’m a little embarrassed to admit that, but in my defence my gym is in an old Victorian style house and so is spread over three floors which equals a LOT of stairs…so that makes it understandable, right? Yeah…

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Evil flight #3 of gym staircase.

 

Confession: I forgot to pack my trainer liners in my gym bag yesterday, and I happened to be wearing Christmas socks to the gym. So I rocked the long socks and shorts look with pride. Incidentally, for anyone who’s interested in trying this look themselves, you will get lots of funny looks. Just a heads up.

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Letting my freak flag fly with my fave green shorts + reindeers in love socks

I didn’t take a photo of the full look, given that I looked strange enough already without taking a selfie of my bizarre outfit, but it was the shorts in this photo below. I’ll just let your imagination do the rest…

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Go green or go hone, I say

 

Confession: I am a laugher. Aka one of those people who not only laughs all the time, but also has a really loud, obnoxious laugh. And yesterday I made the mistake of watching my favourite comedy shows (The Big Bang Theory and New Girl) whilst cross training in the gym, and I just could not stop laughing. People kept turning round to stare at me, and I’m not sure whether that was because of the laughing or the reindeer socks. Probably both.

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Oh Nick Miller you are just TOO FUNNY. New Girl is the best thing ever.

 

Confession: In the last week, my most listened to album on Spotify was this:

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Apparently I’m a seven year old girl deep down. And while we’re on the subject of my currently dodgy taste in music, I may or may not listen to the Mamma Mia soundtrack whilst I’m getting ready for work in the gym locker rooms. There’s nothing like jamming to Dancing Queen while you’re drying your hair.

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Wet hair don’t care, cos I’m a dancing queeeen

 

Confession: When my days off coincide with a rest day (today was one of these magical days), my butt literally does not leave the couch. Well, except to make the frequent trips to and from the fridge. Oh the strife.

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Catching up on Downton Abbey with hot chocolate and a blanket. It’s a tough life;)

 

Confession time! Fess up people, what’s one of your confessions?

What’s your current favourite TV programme? I’m currently loving Downton Abbey, The Big Bang Theory, New Girl, Criminal Minds, Greys Anatomy…have I mentioned that I commute a lot? That’s my excuse for watching all these shows anyway ;)

 

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

Sunday Runday and Pepe!

 

In case you don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram and so haven’t seen the 10000 photos of this little face that I’ve spammed everyone with, then…MEET PEPE!

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One of my aunts adopts a puppy for a year and trains it up to be a future Guide Dog, and this is her latest addition to the family! This is Pepe, an 8 week old Labrador-Golden Retriever puppy, and the new love of my life <3 We are BFFs already, and apparently he feels comfortable enough with me to pee on my lap already, so that’s great ;)

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Serious kudos to my aunt for adopting little Pepe (and she’s the third one!) because I totally couldn’t raise a puppy for a year and then give it back, even if it is for an amazing cause like this! I might just dognap her…although maybe after she’s been housetrained haha!

 

Sunday long runs are my absolute favourite of the week. Not least because they don’t take place on a treadmill at 6am, but because I can hit the trails! And man was it a beautiful (and chilly) morning to run! Although a tad swampy too…

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I now do my runs to time rather than for miles, so this one was an easy 75 minutes plus 6x100m striders at the end. I’ve also been doing my long runs Garmin-less recently, which was a bit strange at first, but really makes a difference in that I find myself focusing more on myself and on the run than on my pace. It’s a lot more relaxing! I’m sure eventually I’ll get back to using my Garmin on every run, but for now, it’s nice to not feel any pace pressure on my long runs and just enjoy them :)

 

Speaking of Garmins, I am SO tempted by the new Garmin 220! The new features look amazing, and the purple one is super cute, so I’m eyeing it up as a possible Christmas present… Has anyone else seen the video for it? I love it, but then I’m such a sucker for advertising :P

 

Remember in my last post how I was talking about how festive the area I work has become? Well that was really taken up a notch on Saturday night when all the Christmas lights went up in the square and along the road. SO pretty!!

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My friend Karolina and I did a bit of shopping after work (we spent WAY too much time and money in Lush…love that place!), then grabbed Starbucks hot chocolates before heading over to check out the lights.

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I’m off to bed now ready for that lovely early Monday start ;) I’m also avoiding Twitter because the season finale of Downton Abbey airs tonight, and I can’t watch it till my day off on Tuesday, so I’ve just got to avoid all spoilers for another 24 hours or so…

 

Any other Downton Abbey fans out there? I miss Matthew and Sybil. That is all.

What was the highlight of your weekend? Meeting puppy Pepe for the first time for sure:)

 

Hope you all had a great weekend! <3

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

The Fit Crowd!

 

Hey friends! My blog has been down for a while due to maintenance, but thankfully it came back up an hour ago so I could finally post this!!

 

A couple of posts back, I wrote about my invitation to join Sweaty Betty’s The Fit Crowd. At the time, I didn’t really know much about the whole thing, but the invite was cool and I was excited to have been approached by one of my favourite fitness brands!

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For those of you who haven’t heard of Sweaty Betty, or don’t know much about the brand, let me give you a brief introduction…

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Sweaty Betty are first and foremost a women’s activewear brand, but the company is so much more than that. They are all about empowering women through fitness- something I endorse whole-heartedly! Their core beliefs are listed here on their website, and I couldn’t agree with these more!! I mean, “passionate, bordering on obsessive” is probably what will be written on my epitaph ;) They offer free weekly fitness and running classes at their stores to the local community, which is one of my favourite things about the company:)

 

On Wednesday night, fitness bloggers from around the UK were invited to come to the first ever Fit Crowd event. I’d been waiting to post about this event until the photographer’s photos went up online, and they finally did yesterday, so most of these photos are borrowed from Sweaty Betty. I’ve been dying to tell you guys all about it!! :)

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The Fit Crowd at Barrecore studios in London

I arrived at the Sweaty Betty boutique in Kings Road and was greeted by the organisers of the event. I was shown around the store and talked through the clothes by the lovely Erin, who is not only a style advisor for Sweaty Betty but also a professional ballet dancer(!!)

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Their run collection was especially amazing, and Erin kindly focused mostly on that for my benefit. She was fab and showed me all of her personal favourite items too, most of which I ended up getting and loving too! The lovely people at Sweaty Betty gave all of us bloggers some gift vouchers to spend, which was so generous of them!

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The best thing about Sweaty Betty clothes is that they make all their clothes stylish, but geared towards optimal performance, and boy do they get this right!! They make the most perfect workout clothes in the world (in my completely unbiased opinion;) Having the right running and workout clothes is so important to me, since I spend so much of my time in them! The right running gear can make or break a workout, so performance and comfort in my gear is a top priority for me, and thankfully Sweaty Betty understand this:)

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I ended up choosing the above clothes, which are:

Rhythm Workout Pant: The Rhythm Workout Pants are my new favourite thing on the planet. I have worn them every single day since I got them, and my friends will tell you how obsessed with them I am! I wear them during the day because they are SO soft and comfortable, and have worn them to yoga and in running workouts and they are perfect!

Athlete Workout Vest in Coastline Blue: I already have this vest in two other colours, and I love it! I wear them for running and other workouts. The colours are awesome, and the length is long enough for us tall people too:)

Sirsha 2-in-1 Yoga Vest in Lagoon: This was just so pretty I had to get it, and it is so comfortable and stretchy and perfect for yoga.

Body Map Thermal Run Tight (unpictured): Up until I bought these tights, I was not a running tight fan. They never fit me right, I got too hot or cold in them, etc. But these are amazing. They fit fantastically and keep you warm but without overheating. I am never going back to any other running tights!! The five star reviews across the board on the website should convince you that I’m not exaggerating my love for these;)

 

The only downside to Sweaty Betty clothes is that they are pricey. However, as I said, quality running and workout clothes are so important to me that I am willing to spend a little extra for them. In fact, in my last running season I went through four different pairs of running tights, two of which fell apart and the other two fit awfully and kept falling down. So a more expensive but lasting pair is so worth it for me!

 

The Sweaty Betty team then took us bloggers down the road to the Barrecore studios for a group workout. Barrecore is “a one-hour series of movements designed to stretch every muscle group in the body, using a ballet barre, your own body weight and isometric exercises”.

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I’m not sure why I thought this class would be easy, but it was literally the hardest exercise class I have ever taken, and it totally kicked my butt!! Walking up stairs after the class was a real struggle! :P

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Meeting other running/fitness bloggers at the event was awesome. I chatted to Dawn for ages (who had come all the way down to London from Wales!!) after she saw me huddled in my athletics sweater, and it turns out that she is an ex-international 400m runner! It was so inspirational talking to her…and humbling that she can run a 400m in the same time that I run my 300m repeats…! :P

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My fellow Fit Crowd members are so inspirational, and I feel so honoured to have met them all! It was such an amazing evening, and I can’t thank Sweaty Betty enough for it!

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Plus, swag bags too, what more could a girl want?! ;)

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Disclaimer: Although I was given gift vouchers to spend at Sweaty Betty and an invitation to this event, I wasn’t asked to review anything or post about it. I chose to do so though because I love this brand and everything they stand for!

 

Are you passionate about any particular fitness brands? Saucony are my running shoe loves, and Sweaty Betty for everything else!

 

Have you ever taken a barre/Barrecore class? Man they are tough!! My respect for ballet dancers is off the charts after that workout!!

 

What are your thoughts on blogger reviews/endorsements? To be perfectly honest, unless they are to do with running stuff, I usually skim over them on my Google Reader. I have a one-track mind ;)

 

Hope you are all having a fab week! <3

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