Post marathon and another adidas haul

Post New Forest Marathon I’m feeling pretty good.

I’m definitely tired though and my motivation to go out and run all the miles has naturally dipped. My next marathon (yes, I always have another in the pipeline…) is the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon (again). This is in December so I have a good few weeks before I need to ramp up the miles again.

I ran 14 miles the Sunday after the marathon with Kyle, which was probably unwise. I ran it because I’ve been enjoying running with Kyle while he trains for the London Marathon (beginning of October) and to be honest I just wanted to enjoy another long run with him before his training finishes. He’s decided it’s unlikely he’ll run another marathon anytime soon because he hasn’t enjoyed the training that much, which is fair enough. So after the marathon I’ll be running solo again.

His training has gone amazingly, despite his feelings towards it. I’m sure he’ll be absolutely amazing at the marathon and I look forward to supporting him in a couple of weeks.

I’m now enjoying some downtime though in terms of mileage. I’ve been increasing my strength sessions which will help build back some strength up and hopefully keep my injury free. This has sort of fallen to the wayside while my mileage has been higher. Training for a marathon with a little one is a tough juggle!

Anyway onto my latest adidas haul… it’s probably quite obvious, but I’m a big fan of their clothing for running and training. I’ve tried many of their clothes over the past year and I honestly can’t fault them. I recently got another haul of items and as always it was such a success. I just find their items of such good quality and in general just look awesome.

I’ll mention their sports bras again because I’ve been wearing them for ages and can assure that they last many washes. I have two of their Ultimate Bras, one in white and one in black. They’re super comfy and just go perfectly with anything I want to wear on top. They also don’t have those annoying little cup inserts. It’s just one piece of material.

As someone still breastfeeding (14 months strong!) I find the support to be perfect for running as well. OK so I don’t have ginormous boobs, but they’re definitely requiring more support than the piddly crop tops I was wearing pre-pregnancy. Running without proper support is not pleasant now!

I also love adidas shorts. Whether they’re tight fitting more cycling short style or looser fitting more traditional running shorts. I have a pair of their 4 Inch Shorts in blue and they’re a dream.

Also wearing the white Ultimate Bra here

They don’t ride up, they give a lovely silhouette to my body and the colour is just gorgeous. Normally I’d stick to black but I’m so glad I went with a colour instead. My running belt sits nicely on them and, for me, they’re a great length – not tooooo short but short enough.

I also got a pair of looser shorts, the Handball Training Shorts, which aren’t normally my style but I thought I’d try something different.

They’re like a combination of tight and loose if that makes sense. A nice thick width of a waist band that sits on your waist and then loose-fitting legs.

Both shorts are great for running.

Now a pair of shorts that might not be the best for running but it great for lounging around the house in are these bad boys, the Adicolor Essentials French Terry Shorts. These are so comfortable and so easy to wear I struggle to not put them on all week for working from home! They’re super soft and cosy, perfect for the coming winter. Checkout their tracksuits and loungewear for more of this kind of chilled vibe. Ideal for the coming colder months.

How do you train after a big race?

Do you enjoy running with other people?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent these items from adidas for free. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

Running in the heat and our adidas haul

So this heatwave is fun, eh?

Makes running tough going, as I’m sure you’re aware. Ideally you want to get out early before the sun is in full beam. For us that’s quite hard because Isaac dictates our mornings. We wake up when he wakes up and this can be anywhere from 5am to 7am. Either Kyle or I can head out separately whenever or we can head out as a three with Isaac in the running buggy.

It really depends how the night has gone and what the weather is like. If it isn’t too hot I’ll run him to nursery (meaning I leave at 8am). If it’s too hot and Isaac has woken up very early we’ll head out at 6.30am or 7am. It’s a fun juggling act!

I’d love to be sure that Isaac is going to wake up at a certain time (7am would be amazing obviously) and get out and run before he wakes up. But that’s tough with the uncertainty and the fact that he’s usually still waking up 1-2 times a night, making it a tough ask to get up before he’s awake and lose that valuable sleep!

But anyway, the hot weather makes running hard work, with or without a small human! It’s important to hydrate (water and electrolytes), keep to the shade, not go out when the sun is at its strongest and to adjust your expectations for a run (i.e. don’t go out thinking you’re going to smash a speed session perfectly).

Wearing the right kit helps too. Something airy and not too heavy. As you probably know, I’m a big fan of adidas and have reviewed a variety of their clothing before. I was recently sent some more items and it’s perfect timing for the weather.

I was sent two sports bras and asides from being gorgeous, they’re perfect to just wear with shorts and avoid double layers.

The first sports bra is very simple, just plain black but I love how smooth the lines are. Fittingly, it’s called the Ultimate Bra. It’s very comfortable. It has a lovely cross-back as well which works perfectly with so many of my running tops.

As someone who has recently gone up a few cup sizes (thank you Isaac) I’ve been needing sports bra with more support now. Previously I could get away with sports bras that were basically crop tops, but now this is now the case! This sports bra is perfect for running. And because it’s so simple and chic looking, it means it looks quite nice to wear out with a pair of shorts.

The other sports bra, the International Women’s Day Allover Print Bra, couldn’t be more different in terms of aesthetics. It is loud and proud!

I like the longer fit. It looks great with a pair of shorts for a hot run. I love the mesh bits as well as the vibrant design. It has good support as well. It’s just so unique, I love it!

Also, trying to take photos in the clothing was fun work with Isaac wanting to be involved, haha! This was just after he’d pulled everything out of one of our drawers as well… chaos!

I also got a pair of trainers, the 3MC Shoes.

Perfect for walking Alfie or going out to meet friends. They’re casual but chic (can you say that about trainers?). They go with everything which is exactly what I want with trainers!

They’re a beautiful white so I really will need to look after them to make sure they stay that way! They’re lovely and comfortable as well.

Kyle was also sent a pair of trainers. They’re the Kaptir 2.0 Shoes.

We took a photo after a walk so they’re very slightly dusty!

His old shoes were pretty much falling apart so this was ideal. We both walk a lot – whether that’s walking Alfie, walking with the pram (invariably to get Isaac to nap!) or just a nice walk down to the beach, so the trainers are perfect for both of us. Kyle’s quite fussy with his trainers but he loved these. He’s got quite big feet but said they fit great and were really comfortable.

So we’re summer ready with items! As I always say, adidas is one of my favourite sportswear brand. It’s quality stuff and I can never fault them Their running items have always lasted me ages.

This weekend we’re off to Cardiff for a nice weekend away. We have the 10k Pizza Run which will be fun on the Sunday and plan to run beforehand to get in some more miles to make it a long run. We’re not taking Isaac which is bittersweet. I ummed and arred about leaving or taking him but in the end because it’s such a flying visit it seemed easier for everyone involved for him to stay at his Nana’s.

Hopefully the weather won’t be a scorcher like it was last weekend but we shall see. Either way I’ve got the kit ready to go!

Do you enjoy running in summer?

What’s your tip for keeping cool in the heat?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the items for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my (and Kyle’s) own honest ones**

Our experience with reusable nappies

Before Isaac was born I decided that I was going to use reusable nappies rather than disposable ones. I’m not sure when or where this decision initially germinated from, but it became something I was very passionate about.

I want to preface this blog post with a quick note. I have zero judgement to other people for what nappies they decide to use. This is purely my own story and hopefully will give advice to anyone who wants to know a bit more about reusable nappies.

I hate the idea of creating too much waste and try to be as eco-friendly as I can where possible. I remember seeing several rubbish bags of nappies outside someone’s house and it was astonishing. When I looked into things further I found that newborn babies could be using 10 nappies a day, sometimes less, sometimes more. So in a week that’s 70 or so nappies, all heading to landfill where it would take 500 years or more for them to degrade down. It made me feel sick.

I researched into things a bit further (knowing vaguely that reusable nappies existed but only a in a very ‘hippy dippy’ land). I found a great resource from the Nappy Lady’s website.

This website is a fantastic knowledge base – lots of helpful guides, Q&A’s, videos as well as the products themselves. Well worth a look if you’re interested. I also watched several YouTube videos.

This was all while I was pregnant. Yes, it was quite overwhelming and confusing at first. There are so many different types of nappies you can buy… pocket nappies, two-parters, all in ones, etc. And then there were boosters and liners. Bamboo or synthetic materials. How do you wash them? How many do you need? What do you do when you’re out and about?

But I literally immersed myself into that world, watched real-life mums and tutorials on YouTube and got my head round it. Up front, reusable nappies are a big expense. To use the nappies every day you really need 20-30 nappies depending on the baby – so you can be washing yesterday’s nappies while your baby is wearing today’s nappies. Each nappy is £10-20 depending on the brand and style – not even considering any extra accessories you’ll need (more on that later). That’s a lot of money upfront to get you ready.

To combat this a little, we asked that if family or friends who wanted to give us a present (at the baby shower for instance) then to please give us a nappy. That way we could reduce the hit to us and people would know what to buy us if they weren’t sure (and indeed wanted to buy us anything!).

I also had a lovely friend who sent us some of her old reusables for us to use, which massively helped. Preloved reusable nappies work just as well!

Upfront costs aside though, using reusable nappies in the long run are actually cheaper than disposables. (Of course though up front costs straight away compared to incremental over time).

https://www.cheekywipes.com/blog/cloth-nappies-vs-disposable-nappies-money-saving.html

So let’s get into the nitty gritty. Because we were gifted a lot of nappies, we didn’t get to choose the exact ones. This meant we got a mixed bag of the different types.

Nappy Types

Reusable nappies generally fall into these types:

  • All in ones: the most simple and easy to use. Everything is self-contained in one nappy. No wrap required.
  • Pocket nappies: basically similar to the all in ones but the absorbency bit is tucked inside the nappy in a pocket. So it dries a bit easier because you can take the bit out of the pocket separately.
  • Two parters: these are made up of a fluffy nappy bit that is the absorbent layer, then you have a separate waterproof wrap that goes over that.

During the day we just use a mix of the above. We have boosters and liners that we add. Boosters increase the absorbency by adding another layer to keep the nappy going for longer so it doesn’t leak. We also use a liner (we use thin fleece ones rather than deposable ones). The liner catches the poo so you can flick the poo down the loo a bit easier and it helps preserve the nappy itself in terms of lifespan (reduces the stains in the nappy which unfortunately do happen over time).

They grow with the baby as they last for so long

We have what we call the “Super Nappy” for the night which is a two parter as it’s the most absorbent of all our nappies and we need it to last 12 hours. These don’t tend to leak. We love the Bamboozle brand for this.

Washing and care

In terms of washing, when we change Isaac we put the dirty nappy in a material bag and then the next morning we put those nappies in the wash. We first do a rinse (not a pre-rinse but an actual rinse cycle, which for our machine is about 30 mins). Then we put the nappies on a 40C cycle (if nappies are just wet) or a 60C cycle (if the nappies are soiled) which is usually around 2 hours or so.

Then we hang them out to dry or put them on a drying horse (or if we need to be quick, put them in a tumble dryer but this does wear them down eventually).

Nappy Accessories

Like I said, we use boosters and liners (which go through the same washing process). We also have a wet bag for the nappy bag. This is for when we’re out and about and we change him. Instead of binning the nappy as you would a disposable, we just pop it into the wet bag and take it home with us ready to be washed.

We also use reusable wipes. We keep these in a plastic tub with a lid and we just add water to it and then they’re ready to go whenever we need them throughout the day. We take dry ones with us when we’re out and about so we can dampen them with the tap and use them when changing him.

When Isaac goes to the Nana’s we give them several nappies and then they send back the dirty ones (or sometimes if they get a chance they wash them for us, which is lovely). At nursery they use reusable nappies too so we just send him there in one and they have everything they need there.

Our experience

I love using reusable nappies. It’s just part of our life and feels completely normal. We used disposables for a short period when Isaac was born as we only had two newborn nappies, but as soon as he was big enough (which wasn’t long) we went full reusable.

I have such a system now of washing and getting them sorted that it’s just part of the day really. The nappies are perfect for Isaac as well. We’ve never had any serious nappy rash and we rarely have any poo explosions or leakages. And the patterns and designs are just adorable. And because the costs are all done, it’s absolutely free. We don’t need to buy anything else.

I would heartily recommend using reusables. Even if it’s just one or two a day or week. That’s one or two disposable nappies you’re stopping ending up on landfill. You don’t have to go the full hog to make a difference!

Have you ever considered reusable nappies?

What things do you do to be eco-friendly?

My current training and new adidas clothes

What am I currently training for? Well, actually nothing right now!

I only have one race close on the horizon and that’s the Romsey 5 Mile Beer race which I love. Due to COVID, of course, it hasn’t been on for the past two years so I’m excited to do it again. It’s always a fun day.

But other than that I only have the New Forest Marathon planned for September and then the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon in December. There aren’t really any marathons nearby that I want to do and to be honest it’s probably a good thing to let me body rest for a bit. Obviously I’ll still be running but the long runs won’t be as long.

Running at the moment is just a way for me to refresh myself. Sleep has been tough going with an ill Isaac (all the nursery bugs…) and it’s been a little bit stressful. Running is my constant though and it helps energise me, chill me out and just blow out any bad moods. So it’s not so much training for any race but rather getting through harder times!

And I love that about running. It isn’t just exercise or trying to get PB’s. It’s just a significant part of my life that helps me be a better human, helps me feel better and keeps me sane.

My current week looks something like this: running Tuesdays and Thursdays (nursery commutes), parkrun on a Saturday and then a long run on Sunday, but probably nothing more than 15 miles. I also try to squeeze in two strength sessions a week and keep Mondays as a day of rest because it’s my day with Isaac.

Recently I got sent some adidas running clothes which are both perfect for summer training and also summer resting! I’m a BIG fan of leisurewear and to be honest would wear leggings every day if I could. And a hoodie, you cannot beat a hoodie for relaxing round the house in or popping to the shop in the evening when it’s cooler.

Tho it’s a dangerous colour when you have both a dog and a baby, I love the cream of this adidas hoodie. I normally go for darker colours but as it’s summer I thought I’d branch out to be a bit brighter. Yes it’s summer but you can’t guarantee constant warm weather in the UK!

The hoodie is so soft and slightly oversized, which I love. Perfect for slouching around the house in or throwing on at the end of parkrun when it’s a bit nippy but you don’t want to bring a coat.

I also LOVE these leggings (Loungewear essentials high-waisted logo leggings in Black / Gold Metallic). They’re more loungewear leggings than running leggings but definitely good for the gym. They’re very flattering, don’t slip down and are nicely high-waisted. They’re thick enough to not be see-through as well when you bend over or squat. An essential requirement for leggings!

One thing I’ve been in big need of was another good fitting sports bra. Since having Isaac and breastfeeding my boobs are a lot bigger than they used to be. I never used to have to worry too much about high support while running or HIIT during workouts but now it’s definitely something I have to be wary of.

This sports bra has good support for running and jumping. I feel nice and secure and get no back pain or discomfort. It holds everything down 😉 I like the white colour as well as I only have black heavy support sports bra at the moment but I have a lot of lighter tops. So it blends in perfectly.

I like the cross back as well. It’s a really nice design.

I also have a new summer running top which is super light-weight and airy. Perfect for those hotter runs!

I really like the colour as well (Rose Tone / White). Again normally I veer towards blacks and greys a lot of the time, so it’s a nice change to have a bit more colour in my running wardrobe.

Like I’ve said before, I really do love adidas and their sports clothing. Always good quality and lasts a long time. I’d rather pay a bit more money for items that last years then buy cheaper for things to stretch or rip soon after.

What’s your go-to sports brand?

Have you got any big races lined up?

Getting back to running after having a baby and my adidas haul

I actually cannot believe I have an eight-month-old. And that eight months ago I gave birth. Time has flown so quickly.

What I also can’t believe, and I want to stress that I know I’m very lucky and I’m so grateful, is that my return to running and fitness in general has been so smooth and, dare I say, easy. I use the word “easy” here in terms of experiencing no issues, rather than effort level. There was a lot of effort in getting back to it, as with any comeback.

I took it slow though. I didn’t return to any fitness beyond pelvic floor exercises until six weeks and I didn’t return to running until 12 weeks, after I’d seen a women’s physio for a Mummy MOT. The Mummy MOT was fantastic. She tested my pelvic floor (yes this did involve her examining me while I did the exercises – so it was rather, er, intimate) and doing different body movements. From there she gave me homework of what to improve upon. I cannot recommend having a Mummy MOT enough, runner or not. It’s so beneficial. She taught me how to really tune in to my body and ensured I was doing all the exercises correctly.

I won’t lie, my pelvic floor was definitely weakened from being pregnant and giving birth but doing the exercises literally three times a day massively helped. I felt weak during my first few runs. And when I say I felt “weak” it was like towards the end of the runs I’d feel like I’d need to have a wee, or that I could lose control potentially (thankfully this never actually happened). But like with any training plan, I got stronger and stronger until now I feel back to normal.

I took my comeback slowly. Building the miles gradually. I didn’t attempt any sort of speedier runs at all in the beginning, because that really tested things and it wasn’t a particularly pleasant feeling.  However as I got fitter I naturally got faster and my body got stronger and stronger. Now I can comfortably sprint, jump and skip without any risk.

My advice to anyone would be DO THE EXERCISES. I had a reminder three times a day on my phone and basically did the pelvic floor exercises when I was feeding Isaac as I was sat down without much else to do. They take like 5 minutes in total. And don’t push yourself too much too quickly with coming back to “proper” exercises. Take your time. There’s no rush.

My running is back to how it was pre-pregnancy. And if anything, I feel stronger and fitter. I’ve run two marathons since Isaac was born and while I don’t necessarily recommend this as a comeback strategy, for me it’s exactly what I wanted. I love marathons and getting back into marathon training, something I truly enjoy, was exactly the right motivation and drive I needed. I had a focus, I had a rough plan and I had an end goal to reach.

Now I’m regularly running long runs every week, knocking out some faster parkrun times, hitting strength PB’s with my personal training and just feeling good. I could do with some more sleep (as every parent agrees I’m sure) but honestly I’m really enjoying where my fitness is currently. I mean, of course, this is when I’ll get injured but… fingers crossed!!

This isn’t a post to brag about how great I am, but it’s a reminder that pregnancy and having a baby doesn’t mean the end to the things you love. It just takes patience, perseverance, the right advice from educated specialists, and a lot of privilege of course. My situation is that I have a lot of support and patience from loved ones (especially Kyle) who understand my love for running and help me reach my goals. I mean, they adore Isaac so it isn’t too much of a hassle for them 😉

Anyway I was recently sent some incredible kit from adidas as part of their Blogger Community and let me tell you, having some awesome workout gear to wear is another thing that massively motivates me to exercise. There’s nothing better than exercising while feeling confident in clothes that are both flattering and comfortable. adidas for me is one of my absolute favourite brands and they always deliver the quality.

I received a mix of gym clothes and running clothes. For running, I was glad to have tank tops as well as a light weight long sleeve top (the Parley Adizero Long Sleeved Running Tee) – perfect for this transitional period of winter temperatures to spring-like mornings.

Fast Running Shorts and Parley Adizero Long Sleeved Running Tee

It’s slim fitting and really airy so keeps you feeling cool as the run goes on. I also love that it’s made with yarn containing plastic waste (40% in total). What with climate change and excessive plastic consumption, I love brands that are putting in an effort to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

To pair with this, I have the Fast Running Shorts which I adore. They’re also made with recycled content so that’s another tick for me. And they have a pocket! Perfect for your parkrun barcode, keys or a gel. They’re quite short but they have inner briefs and they’re really comfortable and don’t ride up – an absolute essential for shorts.

And obviously as a legging loving, I’m so pleased with the lovely green pair of Optime Training 7/8 legggings. They’re super flattering and squat proof (a must!). And again, made from recycled materials. I really like these leggings as they’re high-waisted and give such a nice silhouette.

Optime Training 7/8 Tights and Badge of Sport Tank Top

To pair with the leggings the Badge of Sport Tank Top is perfect for gym and home workout sessions. But I know I’ll also be wearing this when it gets warmer for running. It’s really light-weight and moisture wicking so you know it won’t get heavy or uncomfortable when you start working hard.

I really love the pieces I got and can’t wait for the weather to get warmer to wear the sleeveless tops outside – get that tan going again! Especially the tank top (Parley Adizero Run Tank) version of the Parley Adizero Long Sleeved Running Tee. And I have to say I really love that adidas is doing more recycled materials range. The quality isn’t compromised, which really shows that companies can be making more headway in this direction.

**Full disclaimer: I was sent the adidas products for free in exchange for a blog post. All opinions are my own honest ones.**