Vitality London 10,000 race weekend with Steph

Roughly four weeks ago, Steph and I signed up to the Vitality London 10,000. We had been looking for races to do before our marathon in October. We wanted to see how our training was going and what kind of shape we were in. It was Steph’s suggestion, but I had heard lots of good things about it from Twitter and if we could work out the logistics, I definitely wanted to do it.

With us both living away from London we decided to get the train on the Sunday (as the race was Bank Holiday Monday) and stop over in a hotel. This meant that we couldn’t do the mile race on the Sunday, but gave us time to relax and get our things prepped ready for Monday morning.

My train journey from Worcester to London was ok, although the train was really hot and stuffy and the man opposite me kept staring at me! We also got stuck at Slough station for around 20 minutes because there was a piece of rubber stuck in the train door. It’s always eventful when I go anywhere. I was meeting Steph at Liverpool Street, which meant I needed to get on the Circle Line from Paddington. Simple right? Apparently not. I ended up getting on the circle line the wrong way  and ended up at Edgware Road, one stop along the line. I got off and got onto the City Line (the right way – I know!) and finally made it to Liverpool Street where I waited for Steph to arrive.

I started talking to Steph around a year ago on Twitter and we met up to do a park run in Birmingham in August. We have been friends ever since and she’s definitely my bestie. We always have the best time together and we text and tweet each other almost every day. I cannot remember us not being friends. We have met up a few times since our park run and have many more exciting things planned for this year.

Steph had the details of the hotel and once she arrived at Liverpool Street we worked out the route we needed to take to get to our hotel. Our hotel was in Westminster, it was called the Grange Rochester. We had chosen it as it wasn’t too far from the race start – we didn’t want to have to be going on the tube before the race. We got off the tube at St. James’ Palace (I let Steph take control of the tube as we all know I end up going the wrong way!) and Steph programmed the address into her maps app on her phone. We started following the directions, hoping we were going in the right direction and then Steph’s phone froze. At that it started to rain and we headed for shelter under a tree so we could have a closer look at the directions. I used my map app and we then realised Steph’s maps app had taken us completely the wrong way! We were by Westminster Abbey and Winston Churchill’s Statue. Our hotel was Vincent Square. My map app kicked in and huddled under one small umbrella we headed in the direction of the hotel, taking one of two wrong turns along the way and a stop off in a shop to buy water and Lucozade to keep us nicely hydrated. (If only we had waited we went past a Sainsburys which was steps away from the hotel).

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We are lost faces!
Finally at the hotel, we checked in and headed to our room. It was really really nice and only cost us £56 each. We had tea and coffee making facilities, although it posed an obstacle for Steph getting into and out of her bed. This was good for us making our porridge in the morning. We unpacked and got our race kit ready, pinned our numbers on and made sure we had everything. We laid our kit on the bed to take the obligatory pre-race kit photo. Steph said that my photo looked like we had put two bodies on the bed. I promise it was just our race kit!

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With our kit all ready (and removed from our beds) we headed out to get some food. Steph let me navigate us from our hotel back to St. James’ Park tube station as we had seen somewhere to eat near there. Although once we got there we realised that it was closed. We were having the best time but it was like a comedy of errors. We couldn’t stop laughing in between talking. I have to say it is so much nicer to experience a race build up with someone else, especially your bestie. We found a really nice Italian restaurant, after retracing our steps from earlier and rejecting a few places to eat. We had homemade garlic bread and then I had lasagne (sooo yummy) and Steph had a huge chicken salad which looked amazing too. We were very good, although I wanted wine and Limoncello, we had a large bottle of water with our meal, and we had already had plenty of water before leaving the hotel.

After our amazing food we headed back, Steph followed my lead – it appears I can navigate above ground, but underground I haven’t a clue! We got back to the hotel and I realised that I hadn’t done my 10,000 steps for the day. Steph also wanted some pineapple. We headed back down the road to Sainsburys to get our fruit fix and so I could reach my 10,000 steps. Once back in the hotel, we ate our fruit, had more water and looked at the race magazine to know the final details. We set our alarm for 7am and then went to sleep, hoping we would get a good sleep.

I slept through a thunderstorm, but managed to wake Steph up when I made a loud noise in my sleep. I had been dreaming about people breaking into our room and trying to steal my ipad and I was fighting them. Of all the things to dream about!

We woke at 7am and Steph was on porridge duty – she was much more prepared than me and had bought porridge pots for us both to have. Porridge eaten, more water drunk and numerous trips to the loo and then it was time to put on our kit and tie our yellow ribbons in our hair. We checked out of the hotel and left our bags there and headed off to the race village to meet Carl, Andrianna, Hannah, Lil, Caroline, Martin, David, Alex, Carl’s dad.

It was really lovely to meet people from twitter who I have spoken to for ages! It was good to put names to faces. We realised that Alex was in our pen and were talking about times, we all wanted similar times (Me, Steph and Alex). We then went and wrote our goals in the vitality tent and then I said to Steph that I really needed the loo. We headed back to the others, said good luck and headed off to join the massive loo queues. I have a bit of a thing about portaloos. I really don’t like them. But I realise that they are a necessity at big races with the amount of people taking part. We managed to join a shorter queue and as portaloos go, these were actually ok. They had plenty of loo role and there were people going around and refilling them. We then headed to our pen and bumped into Alex again (he is so lovely!) we were chatting again and we decided that the three of us would start together. I don’t think we decided on a pace, but we wanted to start off slowish and then get quicker. I had pace on my watch and I took up the role of pacing us sort of by accident. It was quite crowded at the start and I found myself weaving in and out of people. Steph and Alex were following me and we started off at a slow pace, but I knew we could get quicker. My legs felt good and it was fab to have Steph and Alex running with me. I couldn’t tell you anything that we ran past, because that part is really a blur (possibly because I wasn’t wearing my glasses and also because I had suncream in my eyes!). At the first water station I was on the wrong side and couldn’t get to the water, but Alex very kindly went to the water station and got water for the three of us. It was so kind of him. I held onto my water just in case – it’s like my comfort blanket when I’m racing. We ran negative splits for the first 5k which is what we wanted and we were on track for our time if we could maintain that pace or go quicker. It was so humid which really took it out of me. We ran past Carl and his Dad and waved and shouted hi. I have no idea at what point that was, I was completely unaware of anything we were passing by. It was the weirdest thing.

We got to around 7/8km and I was really struggling, my legs felt heavy and I said to Steph that I didn’t think I could carry on at that pace. Steph kept telling me that I was doing great, to keep going and keep pushing. She took over pacing us. We lost Alex at the 7/8KM point (I think) but we were both hoping that he would get the time he wanted. I remember Steph shouting at me saying we were going past Downing Street, but again I have no recollection of actually seeing it! I do remember going past Winston Churchill as Steph joked about us seeing that yesterday. I seriously don’t think I could’ve kept going if Steph hadn’t pushed me. She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. We edged ever closer, but the last 2kms seemed to go on forever. We got to Birdcage walk and Steph told me we were nearly there. Although I remember her saying it was the longest piece of road she had run down in the marathon. I somehow managed to keep my legs moving. Steph was a few metres away, she told me after that she was doing that to keep me going as quick as I was. We got closer to the line and Steph shouted at me that we had one minute and to run. I saw the finish line and tried to get my legs moving as quickly as I could. I thought we had one minute until 1:15, in fact it was about a minute until 1:10, which would be a new PB for me. Steph knew I really wanted to get under 1:10 and she kept me going all the way to the line. I crossed the line with Steph, we stopped our watches and then I realised the time. I looked at Steph, we hugged, smiled and then I broke down in tears. I literally couldn’t believe I had gone under 1:10. I pulled myself together and thanked Steph for getting me there. She really is the most amazing person I know. We ran negative splits as well!! And I not only got under 1:10, I ran a new 10k PB and a new 5k PB as well! Wow!

We went and had our timing chips taken off and collected our finishers bags. I took my medal out of my bag and placed it over Stephs head as a way of saying thank you and she did the same to me. We then took a photo of us with our medals and headed off to find space to stretch and take on some water. Stretching complete, we tried to look for Alex but we couldn’t see him. We then headed off to collect our bags from the hotel so we could grab food before we had to head home. On our way back we bumped into Rohan (not literally!) and had a chat to him. Was so good to finally meet him after so long. We had a brilliant photo with him – a really fab memory to look back on.

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As is customary, we now try and have a Pret whenever we meet, and this time was no different, we collected our bags and headed straight there, still in our running kit, proudly displaying out medals and our huge smiles. A lovely couple in Pret were asking about our run and said well done to us, as did the guys who served us. All too soon we had to head home (sad times) but we had a plan – we would do a long run together in 2 weeks and also look for more races to do before the marathon.

We had to get onto different tube lines and once again I was useless – I got onto the wrong tube train and then had to work out where to get off, luckily I was heading the right way. I really shouldn’t be allowed on the tube on my own.

All in all an amazing experience, made even better having my bestie there.

 

Good points:

  • Amazing medal
  • Love the t-shirt – I proudly wore mine to kettlercise the next day
  • The race village was amazing – although we didn’t have time to get a massage
  • Plenty of water in the race village
  • Portaloos had lots of loo roll
  • Great support all the way
  • Loved the route even if I don’t really remember too much about it

 

Bad points:

  • Loo queues were sooo long
  • We were in the last pen and missed the minutes silence as we couldn’t hear anything through the speakers
  • The road was narrow in places and made it hard to pass people
  • Some people were unaware of people trying to pass them
  • It was really hot – maybe another water station

 

Will I be back next year? Hopefully, depends if it fits into my plans for next year (not sure what they are yet) but I’d definitely recommend it.

My marathon training is off to a great start. If you would like to sponsor me, visit the link below. I am raising money for the Matt Hampson Foundation by taking part in the Birmingham International Marathon on 15th October 2017. Please sponsor me at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/KimberleyJMiles

 

Happy running

K x

 

 

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I love running…and random things I think about…

What do you think about when you run?

I recently read Shell’s post about what she was thinking each mile during the Manchester Marathon and it got me thinking. What do I think about when I run? I often say that running is me time, time to think, time to go out and challenge myself. I always thought that I spent most of my runs just singing along to the music that I have playing through my Aftershokz. But on my run on Friday night as well as listening to music, I found myself noticing what was going through my head. And it surprised me just how many thoughts I had whizzing around…

“did I lock the door?”

“how long have I been running for?!”

“push up the hill, you are strong”

“one foot in front of the other”

“it’s slippy, be careful”

“which way do I run? Which route shall I take?”

“it feels good to be running again”

“I am marathon training”

“can I actually do a marathon?”

“I should be doing hill repeats”

“wine, I’ll have wine when I get home”

“did I charge up my Aftershokz?”

“what am I going to have for breakfast?”

“what time will I have to leave to get to the Ricoh Arena for the semi-final next Saturday?”

“will I get to see Freddie again after the match?”

“I wonder who is winning the final tonight?”

 

Is that the same for you guys? Do you think about all sorts of irrational things when you run?

 

Running recap

I was supposed to do my long run on Sunday, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I felt tired and seemed to run out of time – literally. I decided that i would do my long run on Monday night instead and drop a shorter run from this week. I headed out on Monday night and did a 4 mile run. I still didn’t really want to go. I had been putting it off most of the night. But I knew I had to do it, I knew it would make me feel better. Running always makes me feel better. It was just getting my kit on and getting out there. But boy am I glad I went out. I came back from my run with the biggest smile on my face. 4 amazing miles, just me, my music and the pavement. Pure bliss. Time to think, time to let go and time just to enjoy running and enjoy listening to music. I also almost ran negative splits too. Can’t be disappointed with that.

Along with the thoughts running through my head, Friday’s run was a slightly different one for me. I decided to do laps around my village. I had roughly calculated a one mile loop (I think it was about 1.1/1.2 miles but close enough) and decided I would do a 5k run. I wore my garmin so I could track my mile times, but apart from glancing at it to make sure I had pressed go, I purposefully didn’t look at my garmin again. I glanced at my apple watch which alerted me every time I had run a kilometre but that was it. I ran how I felt if that makes sense. I wasn’t running for a time, I wasn’t trying to get a pb, I just wanted to run a 5k and see how it went. I had left my run until late and that meant it was either run or miss the rugby final. I decided I would run and record the final, with the final being a treat for completing my run. I was also trying to avoid the rain! I managed to get out for my run in the only gap in rain that night – I’m calling that a big win! I also really enjoyed my run and loved mixing it up for a while. I was supposed to do hill repeats or intervals, but this 5k was just what I needed. When I finished my run I checked my watch and saw that I had run negative splits. I was very proud of that. Another run off my plan and another step closer to the marathon.

My race number for the London 10,000 also arrived! Literally cannot wait to get back out there and run a race. My last race was October 2016 and I honestly didn’t think I was going to be able to run much at all this year. How things can change!!

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Sunday’s run was later than I had planned. Mainly due to the fact that I stayed up late and drank some gin. Probably not my best idea, but life’s too short. I wanted some gin, so I had some gin. By the time I woke up, had breakfast and got myself ready, it was almost midday. Possibly the worst time to go for a run – it was cloudy, but really hot. I hadn’t got a bottle to take any water with me (big mistake) so I had made sure I had had lots of water and fruit tea before I left the house.

I hadn’t really planned my running route, so instead I just headed along to the main road and waited for my garmin to do its thing. I had a choice, straight on along the main road and then back through the lanes – a route I had run a few weeks ago. Or turn left and head down the lanes, running back along the main road to finish. I followed my feet and my feet went left. I hadn’t run this route since last year when I was doing my half marathon long runs. I knew it was up and down, but that was about it.

I headed off down the lane and for a Sunday it was quite busy, lots of cars, cyclists and people walking. I said hello to everyone I ran past, even if they looked like they didn’t want to say hello back. I had a feeling I was running on the wrong side of the road, but it always confuses me – should I be on the left or the right? Running the same way as the cars or running towards the cars. Please shed some light on this if you know.

The first part of my run was downhill, followed by an uphill section and this repeated again. I was trying really hard not to start off too fast, I wanted to run 9km today (5.6 miles) and I knew if I went too fast I wouldn’t be able to keep going. I tried to remember the advice people had given me about running uphill. And just kept saying, one more step, one in front of the other. I tried to recover on the way down the hill too and keep as even a pace as I could. I turned right at the crossroads and headed along another part of the lane. I remember this part being tough, but actually running is was the toughest thing I’ve done in a while. It was uphill and it just kept going up and up and up. Just when I thought it was going to be downhill, I turned the corner and it was uphill again! I thought I was going to have to give up and walk up the rest of the hill. But I didn’t I kept going. I was determined that I wasn’t going to give in to the thoughts in my head which were telling me I couldn’t do it. I knew I could. I just had to put one foot in front of the other.

I had a slight downhill bit, which was a welcome relief and then another tough uphill section. I felt stronger on the second uphill section and felt like I was flying at one point (I know I don’t run that fast, but it felt good). The smile on my face on reaching the top of the uphill section was the biggest smile. It was a wonderful feeling to have done it. I remember the last times I’ve done that route I had to walk lots. I was a lot less fit and slower than I was now, and definitely not as determined or mentally tough. I knew that it was mostly downhill from that point and that I was on the home stretch.

I headed back along the main road and quickly calculated in my head that I wouldn’t quite reach 9km when I got back to where I started, I decided to head back down the lanes again to finish off my run. I love running along the main road, it is the flattest part of any of my runs and it’s a stretch of path that I know very well. I used to feel self-conscious about running along the main road, car horns beeping at me. But now it feels amazing and I don’t take one but of notice when car horns beep or people shout things. I’m out there running and I am happy.

I finished my run and instantly found myself feeling a little disappointed not to have done a 10k because I would’ve got a new pb if I had carried on at that pace. But the sensible part of my head won and I stuck to the distance that I had planned. It was good to feel like I had more in the bag to run longer distances, especially knowing that I have the London 10,000 coming up on Bank Holiday Monday. I am really looking forward to this race. It means I get to see my bestie Steph again. It also means that I get to meet some more running friends, including Carl who I have met before. I just hope that I remember to pack everything I need – I have nightmares about forgetting my race number or my running shoes! It’s not happened yet. I must make a list that’s for sure.

After a good stretch, the obligatory post on Twitter about my run, refuelling with a huge chicken and boiled egg salad, with almond milk and then some fruit tea to rehydrate and my shower, I put on my recovery tights in the hope that they would help my legs. I have skins recovery tights and I love them. I don’t know how much a difference they really do make but I woke up this morning and my legs and my hip felt surprisingly good. I had much less DOMS than I thought I would and I wasn’t suffering any hip pain either. I’m hoping that this doesn’t mean DOMS is coming to get me tomorrow. If you see lots of painful face emojis on Twitter tomorrow, you will know that DOMS has struck!

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all the cool girls wear dresses with compression tights!!

I am marathon training. And so far I am really enjoying being back out running. I’m still working out my plan; do I run 3 or 4 days. I think I’m edging towards 3 days, I’m not sure my hip will have enough time to recover from 4 runs and also I don’t want to have to give up any of my exercise classes which have made me much stronger during the time I was unable to run. I’m not sure I would be running so strongly up those inclines without the leg strength I have gained from kettlercise. And there is no chance at all that I am going to give that up. So my current week shapes up like this:

 

Monday – rest day

Tuesday – kettlercise

Wednesday – pilates & run

Thursday – rest

Friday – run & circuits (occasionally)

Saturday – step aerobics or rest

Sunday – long run

 

I’m keeping my plan fairly flexible so that I can alter it if things crop up. I love having a plan, but I can sometimes get to a point where I find it hard to stick to a plan. I am lucky that I have two amazing friends who are also running Birmingham and we are motivating and cheering each other on with our training. I also have a few more close friends who keep me going and give me good advice too. And I have all of the lovely people on twitter who offer advice and support and are like my own little cheering squad. It really does make a big difference, even if people don’t think their comments and likes do.

Training for and running a marathon isn’t going to be easy. I’m under no illusions that it will all be smooth-sailing. There will be times where I don’t want to run, where my legs and body say no, where doubts creep into my mind and I think I can’t do it. But having a wonderful support system in place is going to be hugely beneficial and will keep me going when times get tough.

 

What did you find was the toughest part of marathon training?

What piece of advice would you give to someone training for their first marathon?

 

Keep running

K x

 

Freddie Burns, Friends, Ed Sheeran, Running, PBs, Race sign ups, & Rugby…

Hey lovelies

If I remember rightly it has been about a week and a half since my last blog post and there have been lots of exciting things that have happened both running and non-running related.

I will try and remember everything I wanted to write about and there will be photos too – I do love a photo. (Although if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram then you’ll have seen the photos already – I’m sorry!)

I went to step aerobics on Monday, it should have been my rest day after my really tough run on Sunday up some inclines, but my legs felt ok and I hadn’t been to Step for a while because of rugby and bank holidays. As always it is so much fun and for once I didn’t fall off the step or hurt myself! My average heart rate according to my apple watch was 101bpm – I always expect it to be higher, but we do have some brief rest moments where we are getting a drink or watching the next series of steps. I always like to go to classes after work because it gives me chance to do something fun or that I enjoy, especially if I have had a crazy busy day.

Do you go to classes or run after work? Do you think it helps relax you?

Tuesday was Kettlercise – this programme is still a tough one, but it seems to get slightly easier each week. Although I’m sure we only have a couple of weeks left until we change again. I still haven’t gone up to a 10kg kettlebell. Some exercises feel “easy” if anything with a kettlebell could be easy, but I don’t think I would be able to do many with a 10kg kettlebell just yet. I’m very lucky to have a few people who took me under their wing when I first started kettlercise last year and we always have a giggle. Especially when our instructor tells us to “walk out” or “take a break when you need to”. That usually means we don’t do an exercise that we don’t like – mine is usually jump jacks with the kettlebell or knee raises. I can really feel the muscles in my legs now and I can only put it down to kettlercise as it has been the one constant (alongside pilates) that I have been able to go to even when I haven’t been running.

On Wednesday, I got home from work and really needed to go for a run, I was getting really annoyed with myself for not having run on Tuesday as per my plan so there was no doubt I would run on Wednesday. I wasn’t sure what kind of run I wanted to do, but I wanted to mix it up a little. I’m so indecisive, so I took to Twitter in a short 10 minute poll whilst I was getting ready for my run. Interval, fartlek or hill repeats. The lovely people of twitter voted for intervals and so that is the run I did. I set my Garmin for intervals 3 min run: 2 min walk. In reality I was going to try and run as quickly as I could maintain for 3 mins and then recover by slowing it down for 2 mins and repeat for 20 mins (so 4 times) after a 5 min warm up and then a 5 min cool down (although I ended up wanted to get to 5k so my cool down was a little longer than 5 mins). It was one of the toughest things I have done and I got an awful stitch, but I will definitely be doing more interval runs. It was good to push and see how quick I could go over a short period of time, and how quickly I could recover. I managed to get my pace under 10 min miles over a short period, which means there must be some speed in the legs. This is really encouraging!

I then went to Pilates, which after a run is really relaxing and gives my legs a good old stretch. I could feel my hip wasn’t too happy after my run but I’m being really careful with it and it didn’t feel as bad after pilates.

On Thursday I had another rest day – I seemed to run out of time to do anything after work and had to get myself ready for Friday!

On Friday I went to meet my fried Steph in Birmingham. I am incredibly lucky to have met Steph on Twitter and we have become best friends. It’s just a shame she lives so far away. We went for food and spent the first 20 minutes catching up and not even looking at the menu. We text each other every day but we still had so much to talk about. We then went to join the queue to go to see Ed Sheeran. As my birthday present Steph had bought tickets for Ed Sheeran. Even as we were queuing up it still felt a bit like a dream. Safe to Ed Sheeran was incredible and we had the best time. I cannot take any credit for the photos, Steph took them all. (I’m only very short and my photos would probably have included people’s arms and heads). We went for a cocktail after (yum yum) and decided to sign up for the Birmingham International Marathon. We very quickly told the lovely Emma, another one of our friends from Twitter and she was very excited as she is running it too. I’m pretty sure Emma is already planning what we are going to do post marathon – it could involve lots of alcohol and me and Steph nodding off in the corner!

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On Saturday morning, I met Steph for breakfast before we had to part ways (sad times) so that she could drive home and I could drive to Leicester to watch Leicester Tigers and see (and hopefully meet) Freddie Burns for the last time at home before he moves to Bath (more sad times – have to admit I have had a little cry about him leaving). We put together a plan of action – we would enter a 10k to run together and also meet up for a few training runs when the miles get longer. Steph is faster than me, but it will just be nice to not have to go on long runs always on my own. And I know that Steph and Emma will both keep me on track and we will keep supporting each other all the way. We are #teamhardcore and we are determined to give the marathon everything. This may be my one and only marathon, so why not!

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We said our goodbyes and Steph left with a mission to find us a 10k, sort a hotel if we were stopping over and mine is to sort our hotel for Birmingham (if anyone has any suggestions let me know!)

I headed to Leicester and took my place on the Terrace as normal. It felt like a really sad occasion, 4 of our players were playing their last home game before leaving (Freddie Burns, Owen Williams, Jack Roberts and Fraser Balmain), we were also saying goodbye to Marcos Ayerza who had been forced to retire a few weeks before. I took some photos during the warm up – the players were wearing red t-shirts supporting Restart Rugby and #lifttheweight which is a charity supporting professional rugby players who have retired through illness or injury. Their lift the weight campaign is focused on Mental Health. We really needed a win to give us the best chance to get into the top four and the boys did good. We got a bonus point win and 3 out of 4 players who were leaving scored a try (Freddie, Owen and Jack). Freddie is a popular player with all of us fans and we are sad that he is going. He was taken off with about 10 minutes to go and was given a massive standing ovation, applause from everyone and chants of “Freddie, Freddie, Freddie”. Safe to say we want him to stay. After the game the players did a lap of the pitch and stopped to take photos and sign autographs. I had already met Freddie once but I really wanted him to sign my shirt as I wouldn’t have another opportunity. I waited for about 45 minutes after the game and he had stopped to have photos and sign autographs with everyone who had asked (he really is that lovely) and as he came up the steps to go back to the changing room he said that he needed to go and have physio on his back. I asked if he would sign my shirt and he did. Literally made me the happiest girl. Thank you Freddie! This shirt is never being washed again!

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On Sunday I went out for a run. I wanted to get at least 4 miles, if not 5 miles. However, my legs were not playing ball. Right from the first few steps it felt like I was running with legs made of lead. It felt like such a mission to just lift my legs up, my hamstrings and quads felt so heavy. Somehow I pushed on and did 4 miles. They were 4 tough miles and sheer determination kept me going. My dad said he drove past me and beeped the horn, but I have to admit I must have been in the zone as I didn’t hear any beeps of horns or see his car. I got back to my house and felt really disappointed with my run and disappointed that I didn’t go further. I then looked at my time and realised that I had actually ran negative splits and a new 5k pb during my run. It really didn’t feel that good, in fact it felt really slow. My new PB was 34:39.

I had another rest day on Monday, my legs did not want to do anything and there were no classes as it was Bank Holiday. I also needed to pack for Tuesday and paint my nails. Oh and I signed up to run the London 10000 on Bank Holiday Monday with Steph. Let me know if you are running too and we can hopefully meet before/after.

On Tuesday I wasn’t going to kettlercise, instead I was going to the Leicester Tigers Players Awards Night at Welford Road. I had myself a nice new dress (which I love), I painted my nails, gave my Marc Jacobs bag an outing and put on some make up. I was stopping at the Holiday Inn just opposite the King Power Stadium and just a short walk from Welford Road. I was eager to see which player would be sitting on my table. I was hoping for Freddie, but sadly it wasn’t to be. At my table was Manu Tuilagi. He walked around the table and gave each of us a kiss on the cheek and asked how we were. It was quite hard to talk to him but he was really nice. I asked if he was back in training and he said he was (good news for us!) and then I took a selfie with him before I left.

I was sat by a lovely lady who had come on her own, called Janet. She knew lots of the players already and was telling me about them. I told her I wanted to see Freddie and she said she lvied near him. She went on a walk around to see if she could find him and said that we could go and find him later. After our main course we went and spoke to some of the players, Luke Hamilton is really nice and looked very different in his suit, without his hat on. He gave us a kiss on the cheek. We saw Dom Barrow too and then went and found Freddie. He was as lovely as ever and had a lovely long chat with us. I was able to get another photo with him. I asked if his back was ok and he said it was, it had just been because it was cold after the game. I also told him I didn’t want him to go and I don’t think he wanted to leave either. I had photos with Adam Thompstone and Owen Williams too and then it was time to leave. I saw Freddie again and wished him luck in the future. He was walking out behind me and chatting to a few other people and then he rang his mum! Just as he was walking onto the car park I shouted him and asked if I could have a hug. He walked over and gave me one – he probably thought I was a sad case! He literally made me the happiest girl ever and I could never thank him enough.

This girl doesn’t want to find her Prince Charming anymore. She wants to find her own Freddie Burns; handsome, lovely, caring, thoughtful, humble, funny and a very special guy. He also like my tweet I posted with the photo of me and him.

I was really sad on Wednesday morning. I knew I had to go back to work on Thursday and my amazing 6 days were over. I also knew that unless Leicester Tigers win on Saturday, that will be Freddie’s last game as a Tiger and I still don’t feel ready for that.

I got home from Leicester and went for a run in the afternoon. I had planned on going for a run in Leicester, but this numpty left her running shoes at home. I went out for a 5k run and came back with a new 5k PB! It was a tough run (they all seem to be right now) and I pushed myself as hard as I could. I didn’t quite manage negative splits, but all 3 miles were under 11 minute miles and I can’t be disappointed with that. My new PB was 33:23 – I had knocked 1:16 mins off my PB! wow! The very first time I had made it under 34 mins. Losing weight has had such an impact on my running. I went to Pilates after my run but woke up this morning with my hip screaming at me. It has loosened up as I have walked more and I have an enforced rest day today.

So all in all, an amazing few days, running, PBs, signing up to races, rugby, rugby players, Ed Sheeran, but most of all seeing my bestie who I met because of running.

I am definitely the luckiest girl.

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This girl is so very special and running bought us together as besties. 

If you have made it this far, I hope you don’t mind some of my weekly round up being non-running.

 

Keep running lovelies

 

K x

My longest run since August 2016 – powered by Walking in Memphis and Eye of the Tiger

I am currently writing the start of this blog post, lay on the floor with my legs up against the wall. Like so…

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And that is because I ran my furthest distance without walking since August 2016. I didn’t run a marathon or half marathon or even 10k like so many people did today, but to me this was huge. 5.16 miles of running and I felt like I could’ve gone further. But I didn’t. I’m still very conscious of my hip pain. It doesn’t hurt when I run, but I get some pain the day after. I need to look after these legs. I also really needed a drink. I hadn’t took one with me as I hadn’t planned on being out running for an hour and my mouth was so dry. I decided to be sensible and not push myself anymore for today.

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I tried to start off slower today so I had enough left to reach 4 miles, as my longest run had been 3.13 miles this year. The route I had chosen I was sure would be roughly 4-5 miles, but I forgot to recall that it included some tough inclines!!

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(You’ll be pleased to know that I’m not lay with my legs up the wall anymore!)

I started my run and felt like I was going “too fast” so checked my Garmin and tried to slow myself down to a comfortable pace. I was running along, singing in my head and feeling good. I’d had risotto for tea last night and porridge for breakfast so I knew that I had enough fuel, it was just whether my head and my body would let me run further than 3.13 miles. I was feeling strong, but I had only just started my run and everyone feels fresh when they start their run. I just hoped this feeling would continue.

I reached a mile just as I was heading down the lanes. I hadn’t run this route for a while and honestly couldn’t remember much about it. I definitely didn’t realise it was quite so uphill. I tried to quicken a little in the second mile, but didn’t want to go too fast and not be able to finish my run. It was rather strange today, it took me almost until the end of my run to meet another runner and they didn’t even say hello. I enjoyed being in my own little world, running along the lanes, in the countryside, just me, the pounding of my feet on the ground (although I do think I am less heavy-footed recently!), my breathing and my music. The first hill I encountered seemed to go on forever, you know those gentle, never-ending inclines that lull you into a false sense of being at the top only to continue when you go around the bend. My thinking when I used to get to a hill was to get up it anyway I could. Now I let my feet take the lead and try to run up them strongly. As I was running up this incline, the song playing was Eye of the Tiger (one of my favourite songs to hear when I run) and no matter how tough this incline was, there was not a single chance I wasn’t going to get to the top whilst that song was playing. Halfway up I had a fleeting thought of “you could turn around here and then you’d be running downhill for a little bit” but I pushed that thought away and started singing along to Eye of the Tiger again.

The sense of relief at reaching the top of the incline was short-lived. I turned the corner and there was yet another uphill bit. I wasn’t sure if I was enjoying my run or whether to just turn back. Uphill has never been my friend. As a girl carrying quite a few extra pounds, running is hard, running uphill is incredibly hard. But I seem to have developed a sheer bloodymindedness and have unearthed a determination like never before. The song changed on my playlist to Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohn (not really an obvious choice for a running playlist, but it is one of my all time favourite songs). I sang this song as I was running up the incline and it seemed to give me a boost. I was running uphill, I felt strong and my pace was quicker than the previous 2 miles. If anyone had run past me they may have thought I was a total loon singing along to Walking in Memphis, but it worked and I eventually hit a downhill part (woop woop!). At one point I almost tripped over my own feet (I obviously wasn’t used to running downhill!). I was definitely feeling strong and enjoying my run by now (although trying not to eat any flies that seem to love to fly at your mouth – eww) and felt like I could run forever. I wasn’t going to though – I had to be sensible.

I was heading towards mile 4 and in the distance I could see another incline in front of me. It looked really steep, but it didn’t look like it lasted for too long. I picked up some speed and ran as fast as my little legs would carry me up this hill. I was listening to a song that we sometimes do Step aerobics too and having another sing song (even though I don’t know the right words). Singing seems to help me, it means I breathe properly (this may sound silly but I sometimes find my breathing hard to control when I run), it makes me forget a little about how tough my run is and it makes me smile. I have done one race without music and it was the longest 13.2 miles I have ever known. But having my Aftershokz means I can hear what is happening around me and still have my music.

I got to the top of the incline and another runner ran by, he barely even acknowledged me. I wonder if he was having a tough run? I still wasn’t back to the point where I started running, but could only have around half a mile to go. It was a strange feeling, still feeling strong, still feeling like I had plenty in my legs and knowing that I had almost finished my longest run in months. A big smile broke out onto my face and I felt nothing but proud of this run. I got back to the point where I had started and I hadn’t quite got to 5 miles, so I decided to carry on so I could get to 5 miles. I then looked at my apple watch and saw that I was almost at 60 minutes. So, my brain does funny things and I had to reach 60 minutes and I had to get to 5 miles. So, I kept running and running. My apple watch clicked over 60 minutes as my Garmin hit 5.16 miles. I stopped running and instantly felt like I should’ve done another mile – I could’ve done a 10k. But that was a silly idea. I had already run 2 miles further than I had in my Sunday run last week and I needed to be sensible.

This run is one run I am so so proud of. Inclines, negative splits (unintentional), feeling strong. Long may this continue. This tops of a slightly up and down week where training is concerned.

On Tuesday I was going to go for a run before Kettlercise, but there was no way I could go for a run when my gorgeous nephew was here. I needed cuddles and smiles. Instead I took my nephew on a 30 minute walk around the village in his pushchair. I’m definitely counting that as cross training. I had forgotten how hard it could be pushing a pushchair. I then went to Kettlercise later on – I still haven’t quite got the hang of some of the difficult combinations our instructor has put together so this programme is a big challenge. But I’m not someone to give in! I had an epic fail with my apple watch. I set it to record my kettlercise workout, but somehow managed to stop my workout at 7 minutes.

Wednesday I went for a 2.5 mile run around my village. I did laps around my village, including a tough run up a road which I often tend to avoid because it is an incline that seems to go on forever. In fact I think it is only around 0.34 miles. But those 0.34 miles are hard! I didn’t go to my Pilates class on Wednesday night because I went to a meal with people from work. Is it sad that I really missed my Pilates class?

On Thursday I woke up with a horrible pain in my ankle/foot. My foot and inner ankle felt tender to touch and when I put my foot on the floor I had pain up the side of my lower leg. I literally have no idea what it was but it made walking around at work a struggle and also meant no run on Thursday. BOO!!!

My friend text me at lunchtime on Friday with a single word – CIRCUITS? My reply was simple. DEFINITELY! We have both grown to love circuits – you never quite know what you might be doing and we always have a giggle too. This week we were split into 3 groups – 2 stations had strength exercises and one had a cardio exercise and we moved around each station. I had no idea what I had to do for a few exercises so I just copied everyone else and hoped for the best. We used these weighted tube things which had handles for some exercises (I cannot for the life of me remember what they are called). A few times I looked at my friend with an expression which said what the hell do I do with this. Haha!

This week I have done 2 classes, a 30 minute walk and ran 7.66 miles. Not quite what my plan said, but plans can be adapted and I’m not going to be too hard on myself not getting 3 runs in – I have to look after my body and listen to it. I can’t cope with anymore injuries.

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I hope you have all had good weeks. Are you in training for anything?

Happy running

K 🙂

Running, PBs, birthday week and rugby boys…

Hey lovelies

I’m back again with another blog. I had meant to write this yesterday (Sunday) but my day was filled with chocolate, a run, seeing my gorgeous nephew and a roast dinner. I ended up running out of time.

But today is a new day and my last day off before I go back to work tomorrow, so here goes with this week’s blog post.

I literally have the worst memory and had to look back at my previous blog to see what I had waffled on about; I couldn’t remember whether I had spoken about last Sunday’s run or not.

(I didn’t blog about Sunday, so that is where I will start)

I am back in training, but for what I am not going to reveal just yet, just in case things go wrong. But just know that I am very excited and enjoying my running right now.

My plan for Sunday said a 3 mile run. In my head, even before I had got myself ready I was thinking I can’t just do 3 miles, I have to do 5k. I wanted to see how my time compared to before my injury, to see how far away I was and to see how much work I had to do. It would be my first 5k in around a month (and that one was a tough run/walk).

I got myself ready, put on my hat and some sun cream as it was a hot one out there and I hadn’t got myself out for an earlier run. I was running just before midday. I started off running and got myself into a pace I felt I could keep up. I wasn’t pushing too hard and the route I had chosen was relatively flat. I had my running playlist on and I was using my Aftershokz (I love my Aftershokz – they are one of the best pieces of running kit I have), singing along to the music in my head. I had taken my running belt with me and had a small bottle of water with me just in case. As I was running I felt that my leg was wet, but thought nothing of it. I then realised that it was my water bottle which was leaking down my leg. I had to chuckle. At the same time I was trying to cross the road but cars were blocking my path. I paused my Garmin and then instead of pressing resume, silly me pressed save. I wasn’t sure how much I had run but I knew I hadn’t quite done a mile. I was having an epic fail of a run. I am like a comedy at times. Garmin found my location again and I was off and running again. In my head, I had planned to go just over a mile more along the road and then turn back. I’m really liking running x miles and then turning back rather than running loops at the moment, but that may change. In my head, I was thinking that I could just add the two times together to see what my 5k time would’ve been, it wasn’t ideal but it was still a 5k, right? However, as I got further into my run a determination to run an actual recorded 5k took over. It was hot and I was starting to feel a little sick towards the end of my run, stopping to walk for 10 seconds so I didn’t throw up (I didn’t may I add) and then I carried on running until I got to 5k. I had only glanced at my watch a couple of times to see how far I had gone. I think that turning off the virtual pacer (which I used to use on every single run) has really helped because I run how I feel rather than what my watch is beeping and me and telling me to do.

I looked at my watch and I was shocked to see the time for my run and also my mile splits. I had run a new PB for 5k. My PB had been the same since June 2016 (I believe) and I was literally gobsmacked. I had no idea that I could run that quickly, especially after such a long time of no running. It appears that my cross training and strength training, combined with losing weight really has had an impact on my running. I also seem to have a new determination.

It’s so easy to get caught up in my splits and times, but the flip side is, how is my hip going to hold up.

I got home from my run and did some exercises with my rugby ball (this is one of my new favourite ways to exercise at home and makes a nice change to the kettlebell). I then had a really good stretch, including my new favourite stretch – pigeon pose (I’ve spotted some of the rugby players doing that as part of their warm up), which really seems to be helping with my hip/glutes. I made sure I wore my recovery tights for the rest of the day as well.

Monday was my “rest day” according to my plan, but my new apple watch 2 came and I wanted to try it out doing a workout, so I went to step aerobics and switched my rest day to Friday instead. Monday was also the start of my “birthday week” and my apple watch was my birthday treat to myself. It took me ages to figure out what I was doing with it and It didn’t seem to track my steps or anything for most of the day. I went food shopping and it said I had only done about 60 steps. I loved the apple watch but it was like it hated me. I used the apple watch to record my step aerobics class and it’s really interesting to see what the heart rate data is. I always thing that Step is quite a hard work out and end up out of breath, but I did realise that we do get a few breaks, which means my heart rate goes down, that I hadn’t realised. My average heart rate for our 42 minute step workout was 102 BPM (compared to 127 BPM for kettlercise, 68 BPM for Pilates and 163 BPM (a relatively flat route) and 174BPM (a route with inclines) for my runs. I thought my average heart rate would’ve been higher, how wrong was I.

 

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Happy Birthday to me! How did I get to 29?!

Tuesday was my birthday! I turned 29 (I’ve no idea how I am 29!!). I had a plan for my birthday. I was going to go for a run, as per my plan, I was going for a walk with my friend to our local garden centre for a cuppa and a cake and then a walk back, I was going out for my birthday meal and then I was going to kettlercise. I got myself ready for my run, a rare treat of an early run, opened my presents and then headed out. Boy was it cold out there at 7:30am. Luckily I had put my long sleeved top on over my t-shirt but I hadn’t put on my gloves. My plan said 2 miles, but I wanted to test out my apple watch and decided I would do a 30 minute run. My watch said I had done 2.61 miles and my apple watch said 4.20km (I haven’t worked out if you can change it from KM to miles) so for a short run the apple watch was pretty accurate. I loved my birthday run. I didn’t get to do one last year and it felt like such a treat to myself. The best way to start my birthday. Not long after I got home and stretched (and showered) my friend asked if I was ready to go for our walk and a cuppa. We had the yummiest fruit tea, but no cake. The selection of cakes was poor. But we weren’t too disappointed – it was the last week of KSFL and our weigh in on Thursday. I got home and my mum asked if I wanted to go shopping. I really wanted some new running leggings but didn’t come back with any. I am so picky when it comes to running leggings. My birthday meal was at Frankie & Benny’s and I had New York chicken with sweet potato fries followed by salted caramel cheesecake (well it was my birthday!) It was 7:15 and kettlercise started at 8:00. My mum drove me home because I was adamant that I was going to kettlercise – I’m very stubborn at times! The people I usually stand with at kettlercise sang happy birthday to me and gave me birthday hugs. I had taken some cakes for us to have after – we do work hard in kettlercise! This programme is a tough one with lots of exercises combined together – plie squat, bicep curl, shoulder press and lunge, shoulder press etc… it’s a challenge for the mind and the body. Kettlercise was the best way to top off my birthday.

Wednesday was a day with my sister and my nephew. We went shopping and I wanted to get running leggings. Instead I bought a handbag. That’s practically the same thing, right? I will get some running leggings, but Wednesday was not that day. If you have any recommendations on running legging please let me know!

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Pretty much the same as running leggings, right?!

After my day out with my sister, I had Pilates.  Pilates is the perfect way to unwind, although one of the guys in the class always makes me laugh with his antics. He starts counting out loud because he knows I can’t do the exercise and count or he will say something funny. Laughter is good for the soul for sure. My plan said cross training for today, but I didn’t have time.

On Thursday I was supposed to run, but literally ran out of time (forgive the pun). I don’t know where the time went. Before I knew it, it was time for me to go out for a meal with some people from work, just before our final session of KSFL where we were doing our measurements and fit test. I was nervous at how I was going to have done and didn’t want to feel disappointed with myself.

The measurements part is always funny – me and my friend Rachel can never use the tape measure properly. We have been known to have it the wrong way (starting from the wrong end!) Whatever my results, I was happy with how I had done and had already decided that I was going to try and stick to the eating side as much as I could, allowing treats and introducing some things back into my diet.

We had a photo taken on the first session and another photo taken to show how much we had changed. It was amazing to see. My back had changed a lot and you could see a difference in how I looked, as well as how I felt. Now without further ado…

I lost 16lbs and a total of 35cms from my body.

I was incredibly proud of that. I had worked hard for that and I am never going back.

  19th January 16th February 9th March 13th April Difference
Body fat 42.9% 40.4% 39.8% 37.8% -5.1%
Weight 13st 8lbs 13st 1lb 12st 10lb 12st 6lb -16lbs
Chest 111cm 105cm 104cm 103cm -8cm
Waist 100cm 98.5cm 94cm 92cm -8cm
Hips 116cm 112cm 110cm 109cm -7cm
Right thigh 65cm 64cm 62cm 61cm -4cm
Left thigh 64cm 62cm 61cm 59.5cm -4.5cm
Right arm 32.5cm 29.5cm 31cm 30.5cm -2cm
Left arm 32cm 31.5cm 31cm 30.5cm -1.5cm

 

I have gained so much more than I could ever have thought when I first started and I have to admit I was a bit sceptical as to whether I would see any results as I had been stuck at the same weight for a while. But this has kicked off my weight loss again and has really made me feel so much better.

I did miss proper roast potatoes though, that was really the only thing I missed as I did still have chocolate at times.

Since June 2015 when I started running I have lost: 25lbs

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On Friday I had another rest day and drove to Leicester to watch the open training session that the Leicester Tigers were holding. I treated myself to THE BEST doughnut I’ve ever had from 96 coffee by numbers which is owned by Tom Croft and Ben Youngs (two of the players), I was served by both Tom Croft and Ben Youngs and handed my coffee by Jono Kitto (another player). I also got to have photos with my favourite player, the very funny, extremely lovely and incredibly handsome Freddie Burns (I’m still in denial that he is leaving at the end of the season – there will be ugly crying) and I also had a photo with Owen Williams too.

I had another rest day on Saturday as I was going to the Leicester Tigers vs Newcastle Falcons game. Although, I do watch how the players warm up and stretch and see if there is anything that I can include in my warm ups/stretching. Owen Williams and Dom Barrow use a resistance band around their shins to do exercises that activate their glutes and lots of the players do frog walks (that’s what we call them in circuits anyway), rotating squats, leg swings. It helps that the players have nice legs and bums in their shorts! What?! It’s hard to not look – the shorts are quite short.

We’ve finally made it to Sunday, runday. I have to admit, if I’m being honest, that I really wasn’t feeling a run. It took me ages to get my running kit on and even as I was heading out of the door I still wasn’t prepared for my run. I walked to where I was going to start my run, put my music on and headed on my way. I had decided to run a different route after reading somewhere that you shouldn’t run the same route over and over. I headed down the lanes near where I live. I had my aftershokz on so I could hear my music but also the cars/cyclists etc… The route I was taking had some inclines, although they were tougher than I remembered! I was determined that I was going to run up the inclines, no matter how slow. I felt really strong and actually felt like I was powering up the hills. I didn’t look at my watch (apart from to see how far I had run so I knew when to turn back) and this really seems to be helping me; running how I feel, not worrying about pace at the moment. The inclines were tough, but a nice challenge and it made a nice change to my other runs. I’m an idiot though, who can’t read her watch, so I turned back too soon and had to add a bit onto the end of my run to make it to 5k.

I stopped my watch and realised that I had run another 5k PB, on a tough route and it was sub-35 mins. Literally had no words. I had a nice walk back to my house and then I did some exercises with my kettlebell and my rugby ball whilst watching the rugby highlights from Saturday’s games (I spotted myself in the crowd too). I then had a good stretch, I’ve switched up how I do some of the stretches because I can get a better stretch (e.g. a kneeling hip flexor stretch instead of standing and pushing against the wall when I’m doing a calf stretch). I wore my recovery tights for the rest of the say as well and only felt a slight twinge in my hip just before bedtime.

All in all I had a pretty awesome birthday week. I missed out on a little bit of cross training and one run, but on the whole I am sticking to my plan.

I now just have to try and stop eating all the chocolate.

Thank you for all of the birthday messages and well done messages for my PBs on Twitter. I try and reply to everyone and they really do mean a lot to me.

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Happy running

K x

Running!!! This girl can (at the moment anyway…)

 

Hey lovelies,

I’m back with some fabulous news…

Well those of you who follow me on Twitter will already know, but I’m still really happy and excited.

 

I AM BACK RUNNING!!!

 

Yes really. It has been way too long since my last run (in reality only a few weeks, although I haven’t run consistently since I completed the Birmingham half in October) but this run felt different. I had been talking to two of my amazing friends and they, along with the incredible runs from everyone at the Manchester Marathon, inspired me to out together a plan to include running and my classes (the best of both worlds).

My hip still isn’t 100% so I am being careful and looking after it. I have made friends with my foam roller and my tennis ball and have found my skins recovery tights to help with recovery. I’m also hoping I can fit in a sports massage if I start running longer distances.

I did my first run on Tuesday afternoon/early evening after I had finished work and had cuddles with my gorgeous nephew. I got myself ready, laced up my running shoes, remembered my hat because it was warm, put on my aftershokz and turned on my garmin. My garmin took ages to find a gps signal so I used this time to get moving. I had decided not to use virtual pacer on my watch and just run. On my plan my first run was 2.5 miles. I was going to run and see how far I got before I needed to slow down to a walk.

It felt so good to be out there, hard, but good. I set off running and had a quick glance at my watch and thought I was maybe going too fast but I stayed with it and just ran how I felt. My first mile was 12:02, I then started to feel a bit sick (this happens quite often once I’ve run a mile). I often think it’s just because my body has finally realised what I am doing! I kept going and didn’t feel like I needed to walk. I was singing to myself (in my head) and this really helped and I was smiling too. I managed to run the second mile even faster than the first mile ( I know I was shocked too!) 11:29. I then ran the last half a mile in 5:45.

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I literally have no idea where this speed came from. From what I remember, this is a lot faster than I had run since September. And considering I had only run 7 times since October I wasn’t expecting to have any pace or fitness. I know it is only 2.5 miles and not a long run, but for me this is huge.

It appears that losing some weight, continuing to do strength work, incorporating hiit and circuit classes and doing some cardio work in step aerobics has all had an impact on my running. Changing the way I am eating also seemed to give me more energy on my run.

I felt amazing after my run. I then went and did my kettlercise class. It was a new programme and even tougher than the previous programme. Nicki our instructor sure does love to find new ways of challenging us. I don’t think I will be going up to a 10kg kettlebell anytime soon with this new programme. I stand with a group of people who have taken me under their wing and who I look forward to seeing each week because they make me laugh and we have so much fun whilst working hard. The way exercise should be… fun.

On Wednesday my hip hurt, it was like someone was stabbing me in the hip everytime I moved. Combined with doms I ended up practically waddling around work. I took some ibuprofen and used my cool gel. As the day went on, everything loosened up and ached/hurt a little less. I put on my recovery tights when I got home and did 20 minutes on the exercise bike before tea and then went to my pilates class.

On Thursday morning I woke up with inner thigh doms (which is possibly the worst kind of doms) but my hip felt ok. I had a 2 mile run on my plan and also a hiit class. I went for a run after I had eaten (and hoped that I wouldn’t feel too sick because of it). I have to say that this run felt even better than Tuesday’s run. It was so hot out there and I wished I had taken a drink (I will next time) as my mouth was really dry but I felt good. I didn’t feel sick after a mile, I felt amazing and determined and happy. I did my first mile in 11:44 and my second mile in 11:19. Which was even quicker than on Tuesday.


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Hiit class after a 2 mile run was a killer. We did 4 lots of squats; wall squats, wall squats and pulse, zig zag wall squats and wall squat and hold. My legs were on fire. We also did shuttle runs and side steps and so many other things. I love hiit classes but they sure are tough. I think hiit classes appeal to me because you get to do lots of different exercises and work as hard as you want to. You can push yourself and challenge yourself.

I think back when I first started my running journey I would’ve been really reluctant to do any form of circuits or hiit class. I wouldn’t have felt confident enough, I wouldn’t have been able to push myself, I would have given up. But I have grown so much because of running, because of exercising, because of all of the support I have had and continue to have from my friends and everyone on Twitter, because I have gained so much more confidence in myself and my abilities, because I believe in myself and I now push myself to try new things, to be the best I can be, to take chances.

What I’m trying to say is… don’t be afraid to try new things, don’t be afraid to push yourself, challenge yourself, you never know what might happen.

Friday was supposed to be my rest day but I decided to go to a circuits class on Friday instead and have Saturday as my rest day instead of going to Step Aerobics. In circuits we worked in pairs and me and my friend Rachel pushed each other and kept each other going when we were finding it tough. We had a giggle too trying to hula hoop (experts we are not!) and I think during a few exercises we mouth FFS at each other haha! We sure worked hard!!

Saturday has been my rest day and I have to say I probably needed it more than I realise. I am so tired today (I forgot how tired running makes me feel). I did consider going on the exercise bike for 30-40 mins but I let the sensible side of my head take control today and for once listened. Rest days are so important; I just need to remember that.

Tomorrow (Sunday) is my third run of the week. My plan says 3 miles. I’m going to take it easy and see how it goes. I have run the same route for my two previous runs. It is possible the flattest route I could take so I think I will run the same route again. I may change it up next week but we shall see. I don’t want to push too hard too soon. I’m going to try and get out early before it gets too hot.

I’ll keep you posted on how my run goes in my next blog post.

On Thursday of next week it is the final session of the KSFL 12 week transformation programme and we have our final fitness test and measurements session. It will be interesting to see what the difference is between then and now. What I do know is that I feel completely different, I look different and I feel like I have much more energy. Look out for my next blog post to see how the final session goes.

I have next week off work as it is my birthday on Tuesday, so I am going to try and get my runs in early if the weather stays nice and I am definitely going to do a run on my birthday. I didn’t last year and I regretted it.

 

This girl is back running. This girl is happy.

 

Happy running lovelies

 

K x

 

Progress with KSFL and a new class I love!

Hi lovelies

I thought I had written this blog post last Sunday, but it appears that I wrote it “in my head” but didn’t translate it onto the screen. (There really is no hope for me!)

We are currently three weeks from the end of our KSFL transformation programme and I have to admit that I have been struggling with sticking to the foods we can and can’t have. I have been having some chocolate and a few Percy Pigs here and there. We have been told we need to stick to the foods we can have 80% of the time to see changes happening. It is also a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix diet. I know that I am not going to go through the rest of my life without eating chocolate or potatoes or Percy Pigs, and therefore if I do have some during these 12/13 weeks it’s ok. I am overall eating so much better than I ever have before and have so much more energy than before – especially when I go to my exercise classes in the evening after a day at work. I still feel tired and I am still not sleeping the whole night through, but I haven’t slept very well since I was about 15/16, so it isn’t going to be easy or quick to solve my sleep issues. I have noticed an improvement though and I’m not waking up as many times during the night, so for me that is a big win.

The big test will be when I am back running longer distances. I need to work out how I am going to fuel longer runs without using gels etc and also what I am going to eat pre and post runs/races. I will keep you posted on that when I get back to doing longer runs. The advice that I have been given is to eat more carbs (but not starchy carbs) the day before my run and refuel after a run with carbs.

Anyway…

An update on my progress. I was weighed again on 9th March but we didn’t do the fitness test. We have one final weigh in on 13th April and our last fitness test as well. I have a goal I would like to reach, but as long as I have made some positive changes I will be happy. As my friend Carl does for his races I have three goals:

  1. To lose a stone in weight during the 12 week programme and to lower my body fat percentage by 4%
  2. To lose a stone and a half and lower my body fat percentage by 6%
  3. to lose more than a stone and a half and to lower my body fat percentage by 8%

I will keep you posted with how I do! It is my birthday on 11th April (although not a big, special birthday) so hopefully that won’t hinder my progress!

So without further ado, here are my results from the 9th March:

19th January 16th February 9th March
Body fat 42.9% 40.4% 39.8%
Weight 13st 8lbs 13st 1lb 12st 10lb
Chest 111cm 105cm 104cm
Waist 100cm 98.5cm 94cm
Hips 116cm 112cm 110cm
Right thigh 65cm 64cm 62cm
Left thigh 64cm 62cm 61cm
Right arm 32.5cm 29.5cm 31cm
Left arm 32cm 31.5cm 31cm

The differences weren’t as big as they were for the previous weigh in, but I wasn’t disappointed at all. My waist for sure is much smaller and my trousers are too big! I am also no longer in the 13st weight range, which is huge for me. I haven’t been 12st something for quite a while. I actually felt quite emotional when I realised and when we were talking about our progress after our HIIT class. I think it was only then that it struck me how much of an impact this was having on my life, my health and how I feel. I know I keep saying it over and over, but for me this isn’t a quick fix. I don’t expect this to make everything better, I’m not expecting miracles and it sure isn’t easy. But it is definitely worth it. It is time for me to do what is right for me and do things that I enjoy.

In one of my other posts I wrote about going to Twickenham to watch England vs Scotland in the Six Nations. I had the best time on my own! And it was an incredible game to watch (a much better than my last trip to Twickenham when England lost to Australia in the Rugby World Cup in October 2015.) I didn’t let my eating plan detract from the amazing experience I had and I enjoyed 2 pints of beer and some fish and chips as well.

I know it’s not strictly about running, but here are some photos from the day!

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It’s also quite interesting to see how I have changed since my last trip to Twickenham in October 2015:

I think my face has changed quite a lot, even without me now having my glasses. Hard work and determination does pay off.

I am finding it hard to fit running in at the moment, I do an exercise class 5-6 times a week; step Monday night, Kettlercise Tuesday night, Pilates, Wednesday Night, HIIT Thursday night, Step Saturday and my new favourite class which is circuits either Friday night on Sunday morning.

Circuits on my new love; it gives me yet another way of pushing myself and doing different activities. I also love that we are never quite sure what we are going to be doing. On Sunday morning we split into two groups, group one did a body weight exercise (side plank, push ups, narrow arm push ups, v sit, roll ups etc) and group two did an exercise with weights (side lunge and chest press, curtsey squat and tricep kickbacks, single leg deadlift etc…) and then we would do a cardio activity in the middle using a step and then swap sides.

The week before we had 5 different stations and did a cardio exercise after each station exercise. I think it helps that we have such fab instructors who make it so much fun, challenge us, push us, but also adapt exercises if we have injuries. One week we did box jumps which I hadn’t done before but actually really loved and now want to be able to jump onto the red box!

Do you do any classes?

Which are your favourites and why?

As I’m writing this, I have just got in from Step aerobics – we worked so hard tonight. One of the combinations included squat jumps over the step. Nicki sure does like to challenge us and give us a mental workout too! We had new music to do step to as well which included Shape of you by Ed Sheeran. Everyone seemed to get a lift when that song came on and we were all flying around and over the step.

Tomorrow night I have kettlercise and it is the last week of the current set of 6 classes. I love kettlercise but I will be glad to go onto a new set of classes because this one has been extra hard and has included lots of shoulder exercises which I have found hard with having a tight, achey shoulder. It doesn’t mean that I don’t work hard, and I still very much enjoy it.

Pilates on Wednesday always signals that I’m over halfway through my week at work and leaves me feeling really calm and relaxed. It definitely isn’t an easy class though – we work hard in Pilates too. It also really helps to loosen up and stretch out my tight shoulder.

Thursday is HIIT class which is part of the KSFL course. We do something completely different each week, but we always do 4 lots of 6 (different) exercises. Last week we used the kettlebells and a step, we have also used weights, the big exercise balls, gliders (I think they are called) and our own bodyweight. We do 50 secs of exercise and 10 secs rest. After the first 6 exercises we get 10 secs rest. But then after set 2, and 3 we get 50 secs of rest and after set 4 we do a cool down and stretch. It may only be a 30 minute class but I have to admit I have ached in places I didn’t think I could ache after a HIIT class.

I think that all of these classes will have a positive impact on my running when I can work out how to fit it into my routine. I will keep you all posted with how my running is going. My arms, core and my legs feel so much stronger than before and I am excited to get even stronger as I continue on my journey.

Thank you all for reading!

Happy running and happy exercising

K

x