Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Monday, October 5, 2015
But now I'm recovering, here's a few things you should know...
It's not a hobby and I didn't do it for fun.
When I signed up for the marathon I couldn't run one full kilometre, let alone a mile or more. This challenge was supposed to be exactly that, a challenge that I felt comfortable asking people to dig into their pockets and piggy banks to support. I have no intention of running more marathons.
It's a commitment
The reason people who train for and run these distances talk about it so much is because the requirements the training and preparation put on you and your lifestyle are vast, far reaching and personally, left little room for much else. I haven't been able to ride my bike as much, I haven't been able to eat some of the things I love, I have had to put food (as a fuel) right near the top of my priority list, and by the time I've eaten enough for a 3-4 hour run, done the run, showered and eaten enough to recover from the run, there isn't much weekend left. But see point one- there's a reason.
However much people told me so, I've never once felt I was doing something incredible
There have been times I enjoyed the training, times I enjoyed some of the races. I love that I'm now fit enough to run further than just the bus stop, but I've also cried, I've resented the training, the eating, the need to not have the glass of wine on a Saturday night, and I've been miserable whilst I try and manage my battered ankles and knees. I did something that thousands of people do every year, and the only reason it was such a deal for me is because I went from zero to marathon to keep the people I love alive. I don't feel a sense of achievement, I don't think I'm superhuman and I don't think that there are now no limits to my own achievements. I'm just glad I now have time to ride my bike, I can have cheese and several glasses of wine on Saturday nights and I can make weekend plans without worrying about where I'll find time to run for hours on end.
I had it easy
Having read people's stories and training woes and heard other people talk about what they do to train for a marathon and beyond, I realised that despite my problematic joints, I didn't have it that hard. I didn't have many runs where the added mileage felt like more than I could handle, and my aches and pains post-run have been limited (aside injury) to one day.
Carb loading and eating more calories for training doesn't mean you can eat whatever you want
Quite the opposite, I've
You must be losing weight with all this training you're doing...
No, actually I'm not especially. And FYI, that's quite offensive and relies on the assumption that so many great campaigns are trying to dispel- not all women exercise just to lose weight.
On Sunday 4th October I completed the Race For Life Marathon as part of a personal challenge to run 100km in 2015 raising money for Cancer Research UK. You can read more about the other races and my reasons for running by clicking HERE for my JustGiving Page.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
So the past tense maybe isn't quite right for this, but we'll roll with my usual title for now! It's marathon day tomorrow and I'm in an awkward place at the moment- I'm terrified and I also can't wait for it to be over so I can have my life back again.
Here's what I'll be pulling on tomorrow as I embark on the challenge of my life. If you want to know more about why I decided to be one of *those* people who runs a marathon, you can check out the rest of my Marathon Week posts HERE
Friday, October 2, 2015
Oh September. It's such a funny month- business wise, it's still summer, the season is still in full swing with what we do and it's been an excellent September for business. The early September sun was coupled with a cool breeze and the whole month has felt autumnal to me- the knitwear is back out and I've just ordered a sneaky new coat- it was on sale, in my defence. Darkness is coming in quickly and I'm back to my 'light up like christmas' campaign when it comes to sportswear for running club, oh and training has been blighted by injury.
Here's my September Favourites though, so it's not all doom and gloom!
I couldn't resist the #thisgirlcan t-shirt from Marks & Spencer since I missed out on the original ones. These are even better with new colour ways and the shape is a looser draped cut. Doing my bit to support women in sport.
As the evenings have pulled in, we're now doing running club in the dark. Cue reflective everything! My 'Thunder Thighs' House of Astbury tights don't look all that visible being black, but the print is actually reflective. Cool, right. The Helly Hansen black top also doesn't look like it screams visibility. The below was taken with flash....
Look at it glow...
I'll be talking more about this top next week- the people at Helly Hansen very generously agreed to support my winter running for the end of my challenge to run 100km this year with some of their training kit.
I've always liked peanut butter and it's a damn good job. I feel like I've eaten little else besides bananas and peanut butter, so the earned a spot.
I've talked about Serozinc before but my skin has been super upset with me of late (thanks to trying a new product, lesson learned). Serozinc really helps to dry out any spots and generally clean things up, especially at a time when I'm exercising heavily and regularly.
All this exercising also has an impact on my hair. I try not to wash it every day because it leaves the ends in really poor condition, and rely on dry shampoo both for freshening up and also for a bit of volume because my hair is quite fine. This Tresemée version was on a 3 for 2 deal in Boots recently and I really like it- it's not heavy or powdery, it doesn't smell too strongly of anything particular and it doesn't leave my hair with chalky white streaks. The holy grail?
Chafing is real. I learned the hard way in the summer after running a 10km Race For Life and suffering full on broken skin from chafing afterwards. Some people recommend BodyGlide, but I prefer this coconut oil to help avoid nasty rubbing. A true life savour and not bade for moisturising my poor dry legs either. Oh and it's half the price of a tube of BodyGlide. Winning...
Oh September, a funny month indeed, and now it's October, I can't wait to have fun things to favourite at the end of October.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
So it's the end of the 30 Day Challenge, hurrah. I've had what seems like every obstacle in the way of this challenge- injury, illness, holiday, trainer induced mat burn.... but I'm still standing (yeah, yeah, yeah!).
Day 21: Mondays in my office can be absolute mayhem, and this one sure was. At least it's a rest day. I quite liked the Daily Challenge prompt... 9 favourite ways to exercise with 9 days to go... this might have featured heavily...
Friday night wine o'clock face...
Day 27: Awkward moment when you realise your smug little attempt at good pacing is utterly screwed by a brutal 4km uphill finish. Trail running and my dodgy ankles do not mix, the Oundle Magnificent 10 wasn't so magnificent to me and I was grateful to pull off my kit, have a shower and move on from the race. 55km of my challenge down and sometimes I think I'm getting worse at this running business rather than better.
The Oundle not so Magnificent not quite 10km race....
Day 28: Monday Monday.... Can't quite believe we have a mere 2 days left of the challenge. Monday is, as ever my other rest day and much needed after a rough race yesterday and a beating from Jenna the Osteo this morning. The day 27 Daily Challenge prompt was all about goal setting and something the Grüppenührer has asked me to look at for my training sessions. Today has been a bit about concentrating on all the little things that I'd like to aim for, to see if I can come up with something good. There will be no more marathons after Sunday, so that's not up there, although I'd like to see an improvement on my 10km distance as that's been my favourite. I am desperate to be injury free because every time I have to stop doing something because a body part is giving up, my soul chips a little bit more.
Day 29: It feels kind of fitting that the day before the end of my challenge, is the first workout of the week. 4 sets of 16 repetitions for every upper body exercise complete, compared to 3 sets of 8 when I started! The Daily Challenge prompt- do something that scares you. Well, I've bitten the bullet and committed to PT for the next 2 months, in fact, right up to Christmas. Given the new tools of torture the master has up her sleeves, it became scary today!
Day 30: That's it. 30 days done and dusted. It's been awesome to have a reason to stick with a particular set of exercises and a regime. I'm enjoying the weights and strength side of things, which leaves me thinking I might be able to persuade Michelle to incorporate plenty more of it in forthcoming sessions. Because I was, in essence late to the party with joining the challenge, I don't have any before pictures or measurements- I'm a bit gutted as it would have been interesting to see if I'm imagining the new firmness of my biceps.... even if the bingo wings are still swinging a bit! Whilst not attributable directly to the 30 Day Challenge, I'm currently down a dress size in my jeans and several things I've worn lately are distinctly looser than they were last time I wore them. I will not be defined by a number on the scale, or even the number on the tape measure, I'm quite happy for you to judge me by the confidence that comes with wearing a dress & jacket that were the wrong side of snug 12 months ago, and being happy to look my reflection up and down in the mirror.