Post-Goodwood Marathon – what next?

So after the marathon last week I felt strangely really good. OK straight after I felt dreadful but the day after I was good.

I say strangely only because I’m so used to something feeling off or not right. I’m convinced I’m an injury prone runner (it would take a lot to stop feeling that way I think) but I guess I’ve found a happy balance of running, gym and general health that has kept me (*tough wood*) injury-free for most of this year. I’ve had a few calf niggles but actually nothing that has stopped me running consistently. I’m obviously really pleased about this! I just need to remain sensible in my training.

I didn’t go to the gym or run Monday and enjoyed a solid 9+ hours night sleep (having gone to bed so early and probably fallen asleep before nine o’clock). I was worried the god awful headache might have persisted but thankfully the awful pounding had disappeared. Had it not, I’d have taken the day off of work because there was no way I could have focused on a computer screen let alone concentrate on anything.Another irksome outcome of the marathon was that my right ankle was quite swollen. When I took my trainer and compression sock off after getting home it was a ridiculous size. I poked, prodded and moved about on it and it felt fine. I definitely hadn’t gone over on it during the race. I then remembered I had a bite on it the other day. The swelling was all around that. My mum mentioned that it might be due to the fact that I’d been wearing my compression sock all day and that probably hadn’t helped the bite situation. It looked terrible! Thankfully after a couple of days the swelling went down and I’m just left with a little bite mark now. But how weird, wouldn’t have had a clue that that could have happened. During the race itself I hadn’t noticed a thing.I was strangely glad to be going into work the next day it must be said. We had our sweepstakes Bake Off happening so I knew they’d definitely be cake. Happily the baker had brought in some crazy good rocky road (literally one of my favourite ‘cake’ things).

I also knew that another team were doing their own Bake Off competition and I’d already managed to muscle my way into trying their bakes too. In fact, when I got to my desk in the morning I was over the moon to find a brownie wrapped up and put under my mouse ready for me!So by 11 o ‘clock I had a chunk of rocky road, a brownie and a good slice of a five tiered chocolate cake to tide me over. Not to mention one of my colleagues had brought back Hershey’s chocolates from the States after his visit. I was well and truly making up for my calorie deficit from the day before 😉I don’t really believe in eating stupidly after a big race – at this point after 15 marathons my body is pretty used to running. But I do believe in enjoying yourself a little bit. I mean, to be fair, I hardly ever need an excuse to eat cake but I did feel like it was just that little bit less difficult in terms of sweet tolerance! I had a good appetite going on – the runger was STRONG.I was back running Tuesday. Nice and gentle I did 10k at lunch. I felt a bit tired but in general my legs felt fine. No niggles. Whoop whoop!So now with about six weeks until New York I’m not going to go ham on the training just yet. I’m enjoying running and it’s feeling good so I’m going to (hopefully) stay around 30-40 miles a week, though closer to 30 for the moment. I’m also loving the gym and doing regular circuit classes. It feels like my whole time working hard at the gym on my own for years has been training to then smash these circuit classes and see what I can do.I really do enjoy the classes. It helps to not have to think about what I’m going to do, and it’s nice to feel a bit competitive and try and work hard in a class. And they are HARD. I mean, to be fair, you get what you put in them so I always try to push myself on the weights I use, the number of reps I can get in and how hard I can push. And it’s nice have an instructor there to help with technique and form.

So yeah, things are going well. Lots of running, gym and of course cake!

Do you enjoy classes at the gym?

Have you been watching Bake Off?

What’s your favourite cake/baked item?

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?

Drizzly running and weekly workouts

And just like that summer is over. This weekend just seemed like never ending rain. Lying in bed in the early hours of Saturday morning I could hear the rain pounding down. I was so tempted to just not get up for Parkrun in the morning…

But we got up and got to it. I wasn’t certain about how Parkrun was going to go, so in my perverse logic I decided to run there (4 miles) to see how I felt. Running nice and slowly. If I felt any sort of pain then I would opt out of Parkrun. I’d rather find it out beforehand then when I’m actually running Parkrun as I know I’d never stop and then I’d cause further issues.

Anyway, I felt a bit stiff to begin with and not amazing but it was alright. It just started to rain as I arrived. Ben had already arrived and everyone was huddled under the tree branches to stay out of the rain. It looked quite funny.

Ben Parkrun rain

I decided to run with Ben instead of pursuing any sort of PB. I just didn’t think it was a good idea so close to Bristol and with my intention to run 12 miles the next day. I said I’d help pace Ben (which he was chuffed with, especially as he’d forgotten his watch). The problem was, which I only realised as we started, was I hadn’t reset my watch so it was carrying on from the 4 miles I’d just ran…so I couldn’t tell him accurate paces Confused smile 

But I could keep pushing him on and telling him a sort of average we were doing.

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In the end we did around 24mins 45seconds which Ben really wasn’t happy with but he had only just got back the night before from Romania on work so I thought he did pretty well!

I was going to go and see my parents in the afternoon but I went to see them the night before for a sneaky Indian the night before (FYI: Indian food – not amazing pre-running fuel). So instead we did something we haven’t done in ages. We went SHOPPING. Shopping for holiday clothes. AMAZING.

Yeah, amazing until you realise that every damn shop is now selling their autumn/fall collections. Lovely big woollen jumpers. Long cardigans. Thick skirts. Not exactly what I had in mind. However, the sale stuff was still good and I managed to snag a few bargains which I’ll show in my next post. Think lovely dresses with beautiful patterns!

We were both shattered when we got home so just had a nice chilling evening (I’ve gotten into Cougar Town – anyone else a fan? I literally laughed like 10 times during the first episode).

The next morning we were up earlyish to run again. Ben’s plan was 9 miles and mine was 12. I listened to a podcast and just lost myself in a lovely run – albeit a bit wet at the end du to the rain again. I kept the pace easy and found it a lot better than last week’s long run.

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I felt very chuffed with it. I feel ready for Bristol half marathon! I hope…

Last week’s workouts:

Monday: Spin (+ 3minute plank!)

Tuesday: Spin

Wednesday: Circuits (overhead squats – errr they hurt a little bit don’t they??)

Thursday: Running club (8 miles, nice and easy pace off-road)

Friday: Spin

Saturday: Parkrun +4miles

Sunday: 12 miles long run (+ 3.15minute plank!!)

I didn’t mean to not have a rest day. I was intending to have Wednesday off but I really wanted to try Circuits. And I’m glad I did because it was tough but a good full body workout. Lots of squats, lunges, press-ups, Russian twists and a few other arm exercises that I can never remember the names of. But it did kill my legs for running club the next day which was a bit annoying. So no circuits this week – I don’t want to do anything to tire my legs too much before Sunday. This week will be no pump or circuits and another easy Parkrun I think. LOTS of foam rolling and stretching too. I’m also aiming for 2 planks a week. Well we’ll see how long this goes on for…

Do you have any fitness goals? I’m really trying to get more core in (OK get a few planks in during the week). It’s always something I forget.

Do you mind running in the rain? I don’t really care as long as it’s not windy.

How many rest days do you take in the week? Usually I always have one. I think it’s important for your body to have a rest and repair itself. Bad example this week obviously!

Spinning fail

I was so mad Monday morning. I didn’t mention it in my last post as I wanted to just focus on the great weekend I’d enjoyed and not bring down the mood.

Sunday night I decided ‘oh what the hell’ I’d get up early Monday morning to do spin. I don’t want to do too much running this week as I want my body to have a little running-rest. So I thought I’d do spin instead. I’d rather just get it done in the morning because then it’s done and dusted and I’m up early to get on with the housework. I also booked circuits afterwards. Then I could chill later feeling smug.

So I got up at 5.40am on my day off to make this class. I got there for the 6.30am start feeling good to go. I was then informed that the instructor hadn’t turned up or bothered to ring to explain why.

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I almost cried. I was so annoyed. The instructor who told me the news explained she couldn’t take the class either as she wasn’t trained. I think she could see how annoyed I was. I mean, seriously, I COULD HAVE STILL BEEN IN BED!

But she was lovely and did a legs, bums and tums (LBT) class for us instead. Not spinning, but better than the elliptical machine I’d be eyeing dubiously as I realised I’d be there for an hour before circuits.

LBT and circuits seriously did a number on my behind (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d type) as I ached a lot the next day. Circuits involved a lot of burpees (the work of the devil), press-ups, squats, planks…all those crazy things I haven’t really been doing for quite a while and LBT was just a whole load of lower body-related pain.

So this week is all about pump, circuits and spin. I think my next run will be Parkrun. This feels quite strange but it’s nice to be mixing things up.

Speaking of mixing things up [now this is quite boring but for a simple person like me this is crazy]… At the weekend in Essex I had my usual oatmeal for breakfast but ‘normal’ people don’t drink almond milk (normal –> mainstream/non-allergic/non-intolerant) and I wasn’t carting almond milk with me to Ben’s dad’s, I had whatever milk that was available.

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[I might have taken my own chia seeds with me to Essex, shhh I know this is sad]

I had whole milk. I haven’t had whole milk in forever. Before almond milk I used to drink/use skimmed. God forbid I chose *whispers* full fat milk. But now I’m not fussed. I know that fat isn’t the devil (burpees are – we covered that, right?). I only choose almond milk because it makes oatmeal taste so damn good and it also means Ben doesn’t drink it so we never have stock control issues Winking smile

Let me tell you, people, if you’ve never put whole milk in oatmeal you are missing out. Creamy, thick, delicious…heavenly! Definitely be recreating this at home (and still doesn’t cause stock control issues as Ben prefers skimmed – everybody’s happy!)

Actually one of my friends said to me that she puts cream in her oatmeal if she has it. I’m not sure I could handle that much creaminess in my stomach so early in the day – but I am intrigued I must admit…

Has anything really annoyed you recently? Go on, have a rant. It feels so good afterwards Winking smile

What recipe/concoction have you found surprisingly yummy lately?

What’s your workout hell? Burpees. Every. Single. Time.