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 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 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.**

Vague fitness plans postpartum and adidas clothing haul review

I can’t believe Isaac is almost three weeks old. Time has flown by but equally I feel I’ve fully seen every single hour of the day, from morning to night. Being a parent never stops and a newborn certainly needs constant attention – as I’m sure you can imagine or know first hand!

I will definitely do a postpartum update for what I experienced post birth and an Isaac updated of the ups and downs we’ve had as totally unexperienced new parents. But for now I wanted to do a review post on some cool adidas gear I’ve been sent and some lofty ideas of what my return to fitness will look like.

adidas very kindly sent me some kit to try out and while at first I wondered if this was wise as at the time I was pregnant and wasn’t certain I’d fit anything then or after the birth… But actually I’m so pleased I did because surprisingly I’m back into my pre-pregnancy clothes and the kit is so comfortable that even if I haven’t been out running all the miles, I’ve still loved wearing the items as “leisure wear” around the house and doing some small gentle workouts while Isaac has been sleeping (#mumlife).

And it’s made me really excited for the time when I can actually get back into proper exercising and running!

My plan is to do some very gentle exercise from now until my six weeks check. Exercises such as body weight squats, some gentle core work (like connecting with my muscles through breathing) and resistance band glute exercises. And then at siz weeks I’ll have a “Mummy MOT” appointment to assess my body and I. While I will of course have the GP check at six weeks I know it’s not that comprehensive. It’s a shared appointment with Isaac and from what I’ve heard from others there’s no pelvic floor check or if I have a significant diastasis recti (separation of the ab muscles).

I don’t want to rush back into running too soon or cause myself any long-term or permanent damage. I also want running to be enjoyable, not painful or problematic. I have no crazy urge to rush back to running yet (tiredness is overwhelming right now!) so I’m happy to wait and be sensible about this. If it takes eight weeks, twelve weeks, or months and months – that’s fine as long as it’s enjoyable and I’m healthy.

And when I’m back to running I will have some killer kit to wear from adidas.

For example, like this Speed Tank Top. It’s super light weight so perfect for summer running and the colour is gorgeous.

The shorts (Fast Primeblue Graphic Booty Shorts) will be perfect for running. They’re slightly high-waisted and don’t slip down. I’ve been wearing these non-stop in the heatwave as they’re so comfortable and very flattering – even on my slightly jelly mummy tummy 😉 You can find the top and shorts within the adidas clothing collection.

I’ve also been living in very casual and cosy leisure wear (when it hasn’t been *so* hot), like jogging bottoms and a hoody. I mean can you get more comfortable around the house?!

And they are SO comfortable! I can see them being post-race throw ons in the future. You know when you’ve had a cold wet race and just want to be warm and dry but still have a way to go before you’re home? This is the outfit I’m wearing I tell you! It’s nice and warm and soft.

The hoody can be paired with jeans or jean shorts as well – not just for “fitness times”. I mean, I obviously don’t have to explain how to wear a hoody, eh!

And the joggers sit nicely at my hips and are lovely and stretchy.

And OF COURSE, where would I be without a pair of leggings?? I don’t wear leggings for running unless it’s seriously freezing but I adore leggings for doing my home workouts (or just lazing about/mumming about the house now).

They are high-waisted and fit like a DREAM. They’re stretchy and the material is lovely and sweat wicking. Plus the print is gorgeous and they’re very much squat proof. Ideal!

So while I haven’t been actively back into fitness yet, asides from the odd body weight session I can get in while Isaac naps, I’m so excited for when I’m back fully and can properly feel the part with some brand spanking new gear. New me, new gear eh!

Do you wear lesiure wear round the house?

What do you prefer, shorts or leggings?

**Full disclaimer: I was sent these products from adidas in exchange of a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

Life Lately

So life is pretty good right now. I feel in a very happy place.

My job is something which I’m really pleased about. I look forward to going each day and the challenges I’m given. Now that I’m fully in the grind, as it were, I feel confident and happy. Of course I still have days when i haven’t a clue what I’m doing but everyone is always so helpful and friendly that I never feel stupid. It’s been so long since I’ve felt excited about my career and I hope this continues. Of course it’s nice to work in an industry I’m passionate about as well but it’s not just that. sure the subjects I deal with are to do with cycling and running etc. but the tasks I do could be applied to any ecommerce and digital marketing industry.

And speaking of good stuff at work…As I do a lot of running and people at work know this (I tend to do a lunch time run – runch if you will – twice a week) I occasionally get some freebies to try. Recently I was given some adidas Ultra Boost X’s to test out. I can’t quite work out my feelings about them though.

Walking around in them felt very odd and not particularly comfortable as they were quite tight fitting across the tops and heels of my feet. But when running they felt great. Very bouncy and soft, and like they propel you forward. I love the colour of them and the knit look as well. Very in Vogue (like I know what’s in fashion, ha).

Along with testing the trainers I was filmed with two other girls from Wiggle not only running in the shoes but also answering questions about how I found them. I’m sure I turned into a bumbling blithering idiot on camera but it was a fun thing to do at work.

I was also given a pair of adidas shorts. I love these! They’re great to run in – crucially they rarely ride up and they’re my favourite style. I so much prefer shorts to run in than leggings! Which is funny because we all know how big a leggings fan I am in other areas of life 😉

Speaking of running then… My runs continue to be doing OK. I had a nice social nine miles with Mike last week after work and thoroughly enjoyed it. Mike and I used to do these Thursday night runs all the time and now the evenings are lighter I think we’ll be doing them more. They’re nice easier paced runs where we chew the fat and catch up while getting a slightly longer run in – usually 7-9 miles. I hope to do some more of these 🙂

I also did a good progression tempo run on Tuesday. I started around 8min/miles and got down to 7:08min/miles. It was quite windy so I didn’t manage a royal flush negative split but I felt strong and smooth running. I don’t want to do any crazy speed work right now because I’m still paranoid about injury and don’t want to risk the Brighton Marathon. But I feel like my running is naturally just getting stronger. As I always though, fingers crossed. It did feel good though sailing along at some speed rather than questioning every footstep and wondering if the niggle was still there.

My gym visits are also going well. I still go around three to four times a week and I’m honestly still loving it. It’s part of my morning routine and gets me going for the day. My routine is usually two strength circuit workouts, one legs/glutes day and one back day. One circuit workout is usually focused on upper body and the other on legs and glutes again. An example for upper body is something like this:

  • Rowing machine (3mins)
  • 20x press ups
  • 12-15 overhead presses (depends on weight for no. of reps)
  • 12-15 upright rows (again, weight dependent)
  • 15-20 front raises
  • 20x Russian wists
  • Plank (1 min)
  • 10x burpees

Repeat x4

Lower body circuit goes something like this:

  • Rowing (3 mins)
  • 15-20 hip thrusts (15w/ barbell, 20w/ resistance band only)
  • 20x kettlebell swings
  • 20x squat jumps
  • Walking lunges (1 min)
  • Wall sit (1 min)
  • 20x leg raises
  • 10x burpees

Repeat x4

I like the circuit workouts as they’re quite go, go, go and keep my heart rate raised while working my muscles. It keeps me entertained! But I still enjoy the pure strength stuff too. It’s just a balance. I try and plan what I’m going to do at the gym the night before. That way I don’t turn up to the gym without a clue and walk round aimlessly. Plus at that time in the morning the less thinking I’m required to do the better!

My only annoyance with the gym was the fact that there was no hot water there on Monday. It was BALTIC. It was lucky I didn’t have the wash my hair and so basically just stood next to the stream of ice water and splashed myself in an attempt to wash.

Luckily it was pretty much back to working the next day when I did need to wash my hair. I’m not sure I could have taken the brain freeze otherwise. This is what you get when you pay £18 a month eh! But I love how conveniently my gym is located and the fact that it’s open 24/7. I’d happily have a cold shower no and again for that sort of accessibility and cost.

So yes, life is good. Things are going well. Happy days indeed.

Do you go to the gym?

Do you like to do more cardio or strength workouts at the gym?

Do you like adidas workout gear and trainers?

Rants and Raves #33 and Phoenix Fit UK Elastic LaceSystem review

Hello, hello! I shan’t mention the obvious (to us in the UK) this morning as I don’t want to go into political discussions on my light and fluffy blog…however, I will say that I just hope that the future is as bright and cheery as the Leave campaign pledged it would be (*cough*). For me it’s a rant but to others it might be a rave. We shall see! Anyway I have other rants and raves for you today, hope you enjoy!

Rant: My name just seriously causes problems for people. It’s Anna Smith-JAMES. I get so many variations and people just don’t seem to get the hyphen. The two names are relatively simple, why is it so difficult to understand? This was the reserved sign for our Sadlers meal at the weekend.

Come on people!

Will I change my name back to just James when Ben and me complete our divorce? Probably not. I like my name at the moment and it’s such a ridiculous faff to have to go through so much paper work to change it.

Rave: New gym and running gear. Yes the obsession continues to live on. I can’t help myself. I buy more workout clothes than I do normal clothes. And to think if I do get into climbing I’ll need to buy more stuff for that I’m sure

A lovely lady was wearing some really nice Adidas shorts at parkrun and I asked her where they were from and she said Sports Direct! And they were in the sale too. So I literally went out and bought them that day.

They have pink shorts underneath the black material which looks really cool and prevents any unfortunate moments of exposure. Oooh er!

I also bought three new sports bras from Forever 21. I love Forever 21 as it’s very cheap and the colours and styles are always really bright and fun, and you can choose between low, medium and high impact.

Rant: When I was bouldering on Sunday I got a savage blister on my finger. I won’t share a picture because I hate it when people do this as I hate wounds and things like that on the Internet (I suppose you could argue that vegetarian/vegan readers might feel similarly to my excessive meat pictures on my blog, sorry!).

Anyway it is ridiculous how painful my finger is. The pain woke me up in the middle of the night! It’s only a small wound but it’s basically exposed flesh from where the top layer of skin has been rubbed off from the climbing. I have a true appreciation for the pain that Ramsey Bolton’s victims went through. I would not survive well under torture I can tell you that!

Rave: On the meal at Sadlers on Saturday there was a party of twenty people. Happily we had ordered our food and been served before them so our service was tip top and quick. This did mean though that during our meat coma at the end we got to see there food arrive.

And arrive it did! They had meat platters for everyone and this basically meant three HUGE wooden platters just piled full of food, following by bowls of chips coming afterwards.

It was insane. We just looked on in awe (though none of us craving ANY food by this point!).

Though despite saying I wouldn’t need to eat meat again for a good week, I have started to get the cravings again. I tend to eat a lot of fish during the week but I’m glad I have the contents of my swan of shame in the freezer…

Rant: [Game of Thrones spoiler alert] What is Sansa thinking?? Withholding crucial information from Jon because…? Either it’s bad writing or Sansa is not who we thought she was. Also, there are some ridiculous Sansa pregnancy rumours going around social media. This will really annoy me if it comes to be true because in the books Sansa and Ramsey haven’t actually met.

And I fully topped up Alfie’s food bowl that evening

Phoenix Fit UK Elastic LaceSystem

I was recently sent some new elastic lock laces from Phoenix Fit UK.

Basically you swap your regular laces for these elastic laces and, due to the lock system, you don’t need to actually tie the laces. They’re primarily aimed at runners.

The pack comes with easy-to-follow instructions (and there is a YouTube video you can watch as well) so it didn’t take long for me to put them in my trainers. You then snip the excess laces and add the lock system onto the end. It sounds more complicated than it is really.

I chose a pink colour and they go so well with my Helly Hansen trainers. And, having worn them many times now, find the laces to be very easy to tighten, keep my foot secure in my trainer and are really comfy. It’s actually upgraded my trainers a bit as previously I had just plain white laces that had seen their best.

I imagine they’re ideal for triathletes because they’re super quick to loosen and tighten, which is handy for the transition areas. You can buy the laces in many different colours from Amazon for £6.49, which in my eyes is a bargain.

What are your rants and raves this week?

Lock laces or regular laces?

Game of Thrones watchers, did you enjoy the last episode?

**Disclaimer: I was sent the laces for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.***