Sugar free: day 2

Day 2 started with an early 5:30 am run. I normally don’t fuel before I run apart from my strong coffee, but it was tough to drink it without the added sweetness but I did and the I was out the door. 

The first couple miles were a lot slower than I normally run, maybe it was the fast 10k race I did at the weekend or maybe it was the low sugar from my diet yesterday but I was a Hutu frustrating running slow. My last 2.5 miles were a lot faster though and I managed to get some good speed during my lamppost farklets so that was good. 

The rest of the day planned out pretty much the same as yesterday but I was feeling a bit peckish before lunch so I had some carrot batons and some houmous which was scrumptious! I don’t know why I don’t snack on veggies more often! 

At the end of day 2 I’m feeling good 🙂 Not wanting anything sweet but it is only day 2 so all could change! 


Sugar free: day 1

Today was the first day of my sugar detox / LJ quits sugar plan. 

I started my day without sweetener in my coffee, was quite hard to drink just a black coffee. Boy, I’m going to miss the sweetness here! 

I normally have berries in my porridge but the start of this detox cuts all fruit out (eek, I know!) so just had my normal unsweetened almond milk with it, wasn’t too bad!

I actually wasn’t that hungry by mid morning when I normally have an apple so I just power on through to lunch where I had my regular chicken salad but without a balsamic being at dressing or sauces on chicken. I’ve added a bit more fat in to lunch and it kept me going until dinner! I’d normally have a banana in the afternoon but I was quite happy to go without. 

Dinner was absolutely fine, no change here. I cook everything from scratch and have a lot of vegetables so I think dinner is going to be the easy part of this challenge. 

Recently after dinner I’ve been wanting something sweet, but not tonight. Maybe it’s because in my mind that I know I can’t have something sweet that Im not wanting it, or maybe it was because I hadn’t had much sugar during in the day so wasn’t craving it, who knows, but I’m pleasantly surprised to not have craved sugar today! 

Day one complete and so far so good! 

A bit overdue…

So it’s been a long time since I’ve posted and updated where I’m at with my running.

My last couple posts were about the Asics 26.2 competition to win training for the Paris marathon, sadly I didn’t get through to the next stage 😦 I kind of felt straight after my session on the track that because I had messed up my timings I wouldn’t be getting through. I can’t be sure that was the reason but I didn’t feel that confident about it all so it was a huge surprise when I got the call telling me I was unsuccessful in going forward. Since then I have been following the lucky 5 runners on Twitter and checking their Runners World forum posts about their training, sounds like they are having some really great training advice and help from the pros! I’ve not decided to run another marathon yet so not feeling as jealous as I might have been if I had 16+ weeks of marathon training to do! I’m quite glad I’m not marathon training, it’s nice not to have so much pressure to get in lots of miles and to spend all my mornings and weekends over winter battling the elements. Saying that, I am however half marathon training so I am spending some of my weekends out running but it’s nice to be a bit more relaxed about when I fit in my long runs and not worrying about missing a run.

My first race of 2015 is next weekend when I take part in my first officially trail race – the Brighton Longman! There’s varying distances you can run for this and I opted for the 10 mile distance. A good distance to run before the Brighton half marathon on Feb 22nd. I’ve also got a couple other half marathon races planned over the spring and will hopefully be posting more about my training and recaps for these.

I guess a reason I haven’t posted so much recently is because my head has been a little bit all over the place in regards to my health and fitness. Since my marathon back in October I’ve been out of routine. I moved house the weekend after the marathon and moved to a town 5 miles away. It meant that I had a busy few weeks packing and unpacking trying to find my feet in the new place. I also had to find a new routine and running routes. It took a while to do but after quite a few little running adventures I’ve found some really good routes and an awesome trail to run. In the mornings I’ve found it really hard to get up and run, and the area I live in involves me running in much quiet place and to have to think about my route in the morning. I live on the beach and a loop of it is only about 3 miles so I have to run back on my self to do between 5-6 miles which I don’t really enjoy too much so I’m having to find ways to make it a bit more fun. I’m sure when it’s lighter in the mornings so I can run along less residential roads and feel safer.

I also quit my old gym and started at the gym in the lower floors of my building. I’m really liking it here as they do some awesome classes. I regularly go to Bodypump and spin before work, sometimes fitting in a circuit class. I’ve also started trying the less cardio based classes such as yoga and Pilates, I’ve only done a couple of these so far but I think the yoga ones will really help with my running as I’m really noticing having tight hamstrings.

I’ve always cycled to work but instead of 2 miles each way I’m now cycling 7, so 14 miles a day in total. I’ve upgraded my bike to a nice Norco Threshold cyclocross one. It’s making the commute a lot easier and slightly quicker. I’m still getting used to it, having drop handle bars and clip in pedals take a bit of used to! It was the most scared I’ve ever been cycling home for the first time, I really felt vulnerable on my bike as if I feel, I couldn’t just put my foot down to help, I’d fall straight to the floor. I’ve actually fallen a couple times but thankfully nothing serious and not been in any danger but I’m getting more confident on my bike now. I’ve signed up to do the London to Brighton bike ride again this year and there is discussions at work about cycling from Brighton to Paris so that will be exciting if it happens!

The other thing that has hindered my health and fitness level is my relationship with food and issues with my weight. I’ve really struggled over the past 7/8 months with it and over the last few months put on quite a lot of the weight I’ve lost. It’s quite heartbreaking to know I’m back where I started yet I’ve got more issues with food this time around. A lot of stuff I haven’t really spoken to anyone about apart from mentioning a few small things to some friends. I will have to right a separate blog post about it as it there’s a lot to explain, well, try to explain but I am trying really hard to resolve some of the issues in my head about it all. Hopefully I can get back on track and finally get to my goal weight and fitness level.

Anyway, I’ve got a long run planned tomorrow so I shall try to blog about it and start to get back in to posting regularly again. I will also try to build up to write the blog post about my issues with food and how it’s affected my weight, it should at least help me and if there are other people going through the same things maybe it will help them too, or prevent others from having to go through the same issues

I’d like to end on a positive note so I’ll just let you know that I’m going to be researching running watches tonight and hopefully purchase one, something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, quite exciting!

Asics 26.2 Bootcamp

As I mentioned I my last post, I made it through to the bootcamp stage of the Asics 26.2 target experience and that happened yesterday! After hearing the news I got through to bootcamp I have spent all week reading up on previous bootcamp experiences from blogs, Twitter and the Runners World forum and the excitement just grew and grew with every read. I also spent the week talking to other bootcampers and hearing their stories and excitement too which was really great as everyone has been super friendly and equally as excited as me.

As the bootcamp day grew closer I decided to book a hotel, drive up after work on Thursday and stay over night which would save the super early morning drive I’d be facing if I drive up on Friday morning. I’m not sure it saved me much time as I didn’t end up getting to the hotel until gone midnight! The room was great, I had a 6ft wide bed all to myself! Not that it did me any good as I woke up every hour fearing I’d overslept and feeling excited. It felt a bit like I was waking up on Christmas morning!

The hotel was a short drive away from the Alexander Stadium so I arrived nice and early and joined the other bootcampers that had already arrived. Everyone was friendly and welcoming and it wasn’t long before the room was full of excited runners. I then queued up to register and receive my bootcamp shirt, I was bootcamper number 33. If I get through then 33 may very well become my new lucky number! After a quick individual photo it was time for introduction where we met the Asics Pro Team and watched the video of last years final 5’s journey to the Paris Marathon. I had already watched the video online a couple times. The runners are so inspiring, thinking that could be me next year was so exciting!

Then it was on to the first of today’s sessions which there were 4 of and we would do these in groups. I was in group 4, the sub 4:30 marathon time Andy a few first timers. The first session was a Q&A with Holly Rush who is a very inspiring ultra runner. I have just finished reading ‘Eat and Run’ by Scott Jurek, another ultra runner who’s story is incredible so I was very excited to meet Holly. Ultra runners push their body’s to the extreme and getting to ask questions and hear a female runners story, tips and advice was absolutely awesome. I felt very privileged to have this opportunity.

Next up was gait analysis. I felt pretty confident that I was in the right trainers as I’ve had my gait looked at twice over the past 2 years and both times I’ve been told I over pronate. The Asics Pro team confirmed this again but recommended the next shoe up in my range. Will definitely be trying them out when I next need a new pair which I’m sure won’t be long! As this session could only be done one at a time it gave everyone else in the group a good chance to mingle and also to talk to Sarah and Malcs, who were part of the final 5 from the past 2 years. It was great speaking to them and hearing their experiences. It was good to pick their brains about the running and got some really good insights about the competition.

It was then time for a bit of lunch before heading out for a group photo shoot on the track. We then went to our third session, physio with Sarah Conners. She talked to us about common injuries and how to do our best to prevent them. I do a bit of stretching but after this session I’ll be adding a lot more stretching to my routine. I’ve just switched gyms so I’ll be going to the yoga and Pilates classes from now on!

Next it was time for the fourth and final session: the track. This was the session I was most nervous about as it’s been 6 weeks since my marathon, 4 of those weeks I only ran twice (read my other posts for why) and the last two weeks I haven’t been running that great (well, that fast anyway). I’ve never run on a track before so I was quite excited about it, even though I’m not a huge fan of running loops. After a couple warm up laps it was time for test 1, run a mile at marathon pace which for us was 10:15 minutes per mile. We set off and I was running with the front of the pack at a fairly decent pace, it didn’t feel that fast, I didn’t think I’d be running to fast a pace as my runs recently had been around 10:15-10:30 and this felt like the same speed. maybe it was the excitement or the nerves, or the ease of the track but I ended up doing a 9:40 something mile, a lot faster than marathon pace. Bit disappointed about it as I bought I was running ok and was on pace. Next up was the 5k time trail, another nervous run as my PB is just under 26 minutes (which I put on the form) but this was back in my peak running period during marathon training. I knew I could run a decent time but didn’t think it would be that close to my PB. The 5k was split into 400m (1 lap) fast pace followed by a 200m (half a lap) slow/recovery pace and then repeated followed by a 200m sprint. I think I set out a bit fast but after the disappointing first task I wanted to run a good time. I really pushed myself during the fast parts and tried to not to slow down too much during the recovery. I pushed really hard for the last 200m sprint and my watched told me I completed the 5k in 27 minutes exactly. Not too bad! Fairly happy with that run. We the. Had to run another half mile at marathon pace. After going out to fast last time I knew I needed to slow my pace but after running a fast 5k I didn’t think I’d run it fast anyway! We all ended up doing a slower than marathon pace but the coaches seemed ok with that! All in all I know I did the best I could in this run and although I failed on a couple points I hope I’ve done enough to get through to the next stage.

After the final session we then had a debrief and collected our goody bags. Sadly the day had come to an end and it was time to head home. As soon as I got to the car I opened up the Asics bag to discover a lot of great stuff, the snacks I ate on the way home but the rest is all shown in the photo below.

We find out on Tuesday if we have made it through to the next stage. I’m not feeling overly confident but I know I gave my best shot; running the best I could, being involved in conversations with the Pro team and other runners and trying to get my personality as well as trying to show my enthusiasm, love and passion of running. I don’t know what the team are looking for, I hope it’s someone like me but if it’s not then I know that I’ve been very fortunate and fell privileged to have got to this stage of the competition. Over 3,700 applicants applied and I managed to be one of the lucky 50 bootcampers, I never once thought I would be lucky enough to get noticed! I had a fantastic day, I doubt I will ever experience something so special again in running and no doubt I will be talking about it for weeks, months and years to come!



Asics Target 26.2

A few weeks ago Runners World posted a competition to be one of the five runners in the ASICS target 26.2 experience. What is this exactly? Well it’s this:

The ASICS Target 26.2 experience
Training for a marathon is never easy, but imagine if you could train like a pro with your very own coach, bespoke training plan, plus all the guidance you could possibly need from a physio, nutritionist and sports psychologist. ASICS Target 26.2 gives five runners just that – it’s a taster of what it’s like to train like an elite. After 16 weeks of coaching, we’ll challenge our final five to run their best ever marathon at the Paris Marathon on 12 April 2015.

What’s on offer
VIP entry to the Paris Marathon
One-to-one coaching and a bespoke training plan from coach Sam Murphy or Steve Smythe
Nutrition, physio & sports psychology guidance from the ASICS Pro Team
Two training days with the ASICS Pro Team
Entry to one of a selection of ASICS Spring half marathons
2 x head-to-toe ASICS kit plus a VIP experience at the ASICS store in Oxford Street, London
A year’s subscription to RW magazine

Now how awesome does that sound?! Pretty darn awesome if you ask me! I’d get to train with the best, get my marathon time to under 4 and a half hours, run a race in Paris (PARIS!) and learn to be a better, faster and more efficient runner.

So after about 3 attempts of filling in entry form and blurb I felt reflected my feelings and history of running I finally sent off my application.

I didn’t really think anything of it until I had an message on my answer phone from Runners World stating it was ‘Good news’ so I excitedly rang them back and they confirmed I had got one of the 50 spots at bootcamp! I was beyond happy and excited!

I then started researching about bootcamp, the competition and previous runners in the competition. I only started reading Runners World magazine this year and so I had no idea that this was a yearly competition and how prestigious it was to other runners, and how do many have applied each year and have been unlucky. It was then I realised how fortunate I was to be selected as one of the 50 bootcampers! I couldn’t believe that such an awesome magazine and website had chosen little me to be a part of it!

I am super excited about going to Bootcamp in Birmingham on Friday, even just what I will learn and gain from speaking to the experts involved in the campaign and from the other runners will be invaluable. Plus il be getting to run on a track which I’ve never done before!

I really hope I make it through to the next round where it gets whittled down to about 20 and then the final five selected. I would love to be a part of the full experience!

Brooks 10k

A few of us from work had decided to sign up for the Brighton Brooks 10k, a nice flat seafront run with 3000 other runners. I knew this wasn’t going to be a race for a PB because it was a few weeks after my marathon and I hadn’t been running due to the house move and giving my legs a break. Although I cycle 14 miles a day my legs only had a couple runs in the. Before the race, however I was going to be running with a few friends so I was more looking forward to running with them. My fastest 10k is 53:35 which was a few months back during the peak of my training but my latest runs had been much slower so was aiming for about an hour for this 10k.

One of the people running from work was Jemma, who had recently run her first 10k in training and had managed to do it in just under an hour. Both Jemma and I started running with Alex and Oli but they had speed past and we’re off up ahead. Jemma and I continued on and were passing km points on track to finish just over an hour. For someone how has only run 10k once before she was doing amazingly well but I knew I wanted to make it in under 1 hour so for the last k I increased speed a little and right towards the end I knew I could make the finish in just under an hour so I sprinted the last few hundred yards to the finish to come in at a time of 59:59, I did it!

Although this wasn’t my fasted 10k by far, I was happy given the circumstances. The next 10k race I do I would like to have a new PB butfor now I’ll just work on my time and speed during my normal runs.