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Thursday, 22 December 2016

a running achievement

a running achievement

a running achievement

I've talked a lot about running on this little space, mainly about how much I hate it, in fact, I don't think I've ever had anything positive to say about it.  But, things have changed, now, don't panic, I'm not going to start gushing, I'm not going to tell you I love it, but there's definitely been a shift in opinion.  So for those of you who either don't follow me on Instagram, or haven't been reading my blog for a while, I thought I'd start at the beginning of my running journey.

Over the years, I've dabbled with running, and using the term 'dabbled' is even an exaggeration.  Prior to 2016, I think I'd been on approximately 4 runs in my life (school PE lessons not included, although it probably wouldn't bring the number up that much as I'd usually try and get out of those too!), every couple of years I'd give it a go.  I'd get kitted up, leave the house, and manage 5 minutes before giving up and running walking home.

The Mr (who is currently in training for a marathon) is a keen runner, and has run the whole time we've been together - rephrase, he doesn't run ALL the time, but he's always ran as his choice of exercise. On one occasion many years ago, I asked him to come with me, I think I was feeling particularly determined at this point, and had even downloaded the 'Couch to 5k' app, from memory, I don't even think I completed the first run.  At the time, I was incredibly unfit, and didn't appreciate the Mr's words of motivation, on returning to our house, our flatmates banned us from going running together ever again for the sake of our relationship.

a running achievement

a running achievement
Leggings - Nike, Top - Primark, Trainers - Nike, Headphones - Apple

Fast forward 4/5 years, and on January 1st 2016, I set myself the New Year's Challenge to complete Total Warrior, I've written about that endlessly on here, so I won't bore you anymore (but if you are interested, you can catch up on posts here), but as part of that challenge, I decided I had to start running.  To complete a 10k obstacle course, I was going to need a decent level of fitness, and being able to run a reasonable distance was crucial.

On the 9th January, I set out on my first run.  I 'managed' 3km, with the majority of the second km being walked. However, I was determined to do this, and I had sponsorship money on the line... I was completing Total Warrior for Pancreatic Cancer so did't want to let anyone down.  So, every weekend, regardless of time, weather or energy I set out for a run, gradually building up speed and distance.  By April, I'd hit my 10k aim.

I stuck with it until Total Warrior came around, and then hung up my running shoes.  I was already working out 5 or 6 times a week so why did I need to keep up doing something I wasn't enjoying.

But by the end of August, I was annoyed at myself, running is such a practical exercise, you don't need much kit, you're not committed to a certain time, you can do it anywhere, so why wasn't I keeping it up.  So again determination kicked in and I set myself a new target to try and run a minimum of 5km a week.  Thinking that keeping it low and achievable, I'd maintain my running fitness, and might learn to love it.  I'm also super enviable of runners, and those who enjoy, I want to be one of those people who just declare 'yeah I ran 6 miles this morning, no biggy'.

That didn't happen, and I found more excuses to not do it, and found myself hating it even more.

Then I lost my dad.  His fight against cancer came to an end on the 16th November.  I couldn't face going to my usual classes, I didn't really want to speak to people so I started running to keep up my fitness.  

And since then, I've been running several times a week, I'm getting closer to getting back up to 10km (I'm currently at 8.2), I'm getting my speed back up, and the biggest thing? I don't hate it.  I've learnt to slow my pace down a little, so that I'm not completely exhausted, which seems to help.  I've got a handful of routes that I like, none of them too far from home so if my legs (or stubborn mind) gives up, I can wander back quite easily, and it all seems to have fallen into place.

This week I ran my 300th kilometre of the year, it was my 53rd run, and a total of 32 hours (don't do the maths, you'll work out how slow I really am).  But I'm really proud of that, I'm not a natural runner, it's a real effort, and I have no intentions of signing up to any long distance runs, I definitely won't be joining the Mr in the marathon next year. But for me, this is a real achievement, and that post I wrote back in August about 'learning to love running' well I think that maybe one day, that might just happen.

a running achivement

And look how fast I am, blink and you'll miss me!

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

a christmas gift guide for the fitness fanatic

Seen as though every blogger out there is posting Christmas Gift Guide's at the moment, I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon and put together my own too.  Only mine is more of a wishlist, in fact, if I still wrote a list and sent it to Santa this is what would be on mine, but I've kept it 'health and fitness' related so it's 'on-brand' with this little spot.  And let's just say if I started compiling a list of ALL the things I want, then Christmas would have came and went by the time I'd finished this post, and that's just with the things I want from Jo Malone!

So anyway, without further ado, let me present to you Christmas gift idea's for the fitness fanatic:

1.  A Subscription to Women's Health magazine - I buy this every month without fail, but to have it drop through the letterbox so I didn't have to remember to go out and buy it, I would consider as one of life's little luxuries.  Plus I think it's significantly cheaper when bought on subscription, and they usually seem to offer a free gift, so it's win win all round really.

2. Sweaty Betty Leggings - the majority of people I follow on Instagram own several pairs of Sweaty Betty leggings, whereas I have yet to own one (sympathy please) and from the review's I've heard, these guys seem to know what they're doing when producing workout leggings, keeping those tums in place whilst looking good too.  And this marble pair are just oh so pretty.

3.  Bose Soundsport Wireless Headphones - at the moment when I go out running I just use my apple headphones, and I've developed a complicated 'loop through my armband' concoction to stop the wire getting in the way.  Wireless headphones would solve a multitude of the time I got attached to a gate mid-run, sending everything flying as I got launched backwards, true story and not one of my finer moments.  These are pretty pricey, but up there with the best from what I've read.

4.  Booja Booja Truffles - now, I'm a big Niomi Smart fan, I've been reading her blog and watching her video's for sometime, and you may recognise the name if you've heard of Sourced Box, she's one of the brains behind that business.  Niomi follows a plant-based diet, not something I have any plans of doing any time soon, but it means her chocolate choices are slightly more limited, and these Booja Booja truffles seem to be one of her faves.  And from what I've heard, Booja Booja have nailed it when it comes to gourmet chocolate, and even the biggest Cadbury fan should like these.

5.  The Nutribullet - I've had the Breville Blend Active for nearly two years now, and while I love it (it was a bargain under £20 and still going strong) there's certain things it's just not strong enough to deal with, think dates, frozen smoothie fruits, some of my baking attempts, and the Nutribullet just seems to glide through anything.  I reckon if I had one of these, my baking skills would reach new heights...ok, slight exaggeration, but I think no-bake protein balls would quickly become a regular fixture.

6.  Nike Running Pegasus Trainers - tell me one fitness junkie who isn't always after a new pair of trainers.  I am forever adding pairs to my invisible-in my head wishlists, and if I had unlimited money, I'd have one of those wardrobes like you see on cribs that is just full of trainers in every colour imaginable, so I couldn't put this wishlist together without at least one pair.  

And I'm obviously assuming that should I own all of the items above, I'd become an even healthier and fitter person than I am now, because that's how it works right? 

So once I look the part, it only makes sense that I live the part too? Ever since watching Carly Rowena's vlog of her trip to St Lucia way back in June, I've been dreaming of one day experiencing The Body Holiday myself.  It's a wellness focused, all inclusive resort and way out of any holiday budget I'll ever have, but that's the whole point in a 'wishlist' right? You just add the things you dream of having, not the ones you can afford!

What's on your wishlist this year? Are there any other fitness gifts I need to be adding to mine? Let me know in the comments, there's always time to add one or two more!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

i've been nominated for an award - i can't believe it either!

uk blog awards

It's been almost a year since I started my 2016 challenge, the challenge to get fit and to get healthy, and to blog my journey along the way.

It's been a difficult year, and setting myself that challenge has given me something to focus on.  Blogging about it along the way has given me something to answer to.  It made me more determined to keep up all my efforts, because people were reading about my journey, leaving comments on here to say well done, and liking my Instagram photos along the way.

It's a little blog, my photography skills aren't great, my grammar not always perfect, my pancakes not Instagram worthy and my sweaty face not something people want to see. But, it seems I must be doing something right, because this little ol' blog has been nominated for a UK Blog Award, and I couldn't be more amazed.  I'll be honest, I'm in complete shock, but at the same time, I am pleased as punch!!

Me? Nominated for a blog award? Never in a million years did I expect that to happen, and it's made me think that maybe I am cut out for blogging and maybe one day I'll learn how to use a camera, I'll write a completely grammatically correct post, I'll nail the perfect pancakes, and I'll be less sweaty? Ok, so that last one probably won't ever happen, but it's good to know my blog has been recognised, and some of you lot are enjoying reading it, it's all 'heart eye emojis' over here right now.

I know it's pretty unlikely I'll win, I'm up against some incredible talent, you know the kinda blogger I really want to be, and to get this far is incredible.  But, just on the off chance you are one of those people that enjoy reading my posts, I'd be ever so grateful if you voted for me, at least a handful of votes would be a little less embarrassing than none, and it turns out I can't vote for myself...goddammit.

So, if you don't mind my asking (which actually makes me a cringe to do), then maybe you could head over here and help a girl out?

And I really will appreciate it very much.
total warrior - i did it
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