Feeling Good on a Friday

Gooooooood afternoon!

This week has been a great week for me: loads of training sessions AND a trip to our favourite Indian restaurant. SB even got a free beer the last time we were there. How can you argue with that?

Wednesday was the second in my running technique course. We re-capped last week’s moves, and then focused more on the plant and push part of the run. Our coach taught us that for shorter runs it’s more effective to push off the balls of our feet. This is something that I do naturally – I never have my heel on the floor at any point in my stride. Apparently it looks like I’m skipping along!

They went on to do more core activities, but I had to leave early to go to a graduation dinner. I was really disappointed, so ate my weight in Tikka Masala to cheer myself up. It was the only solution.

The rest of the week has been focused on dance dance dance dance! It’s a week til my comp, so I’ve been practicing like a nutter. My arms are pretty big at the moment…. SB is a little worried that I might beat him in an arm wrestle. Bring it on, I say!

Doesn't everyone have a posing contest with their friends on a Saturday night?

Doesn’t everyone have a posing contest with their friends on a Saturday night?

This week I also covered some pole classes while Clever Dr Dancer was ill. It’s amazing to see how much progress you can make with regular workouts. Initially they don’t need to be so frequent, or so hardcore, but consistency is the key. I love it when one of our beginners realises they’ve developed the strength to do something they’ve been aiming for :)

And I’ll leave you with my Friday Faves!

  • Green Cooking – Green things are so trendy at the moment, and typically I’m a little late to the party. Yesterday I made my first green smoothie, with spinach, banana, apple, cucumber, yoghurt, strawberries and some protein. I was really sceptical: is this really going to fill me up til dinner? ….. Yes! And to celebrate, I made Thai Green curry for dinner. I’ve gone green and I’m never going back!
My smoothie has a strawberry hat because it's fancy.

My smoothie has a strawberry hat because it’s fancy.

  • Drills – this is the masochistic part of my fave things. Our coach said that if you want to change your technique, you need to run drills 2-3 times a week. I can definitely feel more power in my strides when I focus on what she’s taught us, so I’m hoping to incorporate more drills into my life…
  • Cupcakes – So these babies came from BiBi’s bakery in Edinburgh. I bought four on the weekend and have been eeking them out all week. Today is the first day without one, and I’m a little worried about how it will go….
Chocolate Orange Cupcake.

Chocolate Orange Cupcake.

  • BamBam leggings – I got these in the Urban Outfitters sale and I LOVE them!! They are so colourful. And comfortable. I just have to cross my fingers that I’m edgy enough to pulll them off!!!
Chillin in my bambams before meeing da crew. Edgy yo

Chillin in my bambams before meeing da crew. Edgy yo

What are your Friday Faves? 

What are your running plans this weekend?

– I plan to do a 10 miler on Sunday

 

Please don’t say I am injured already!

I did a long run whilst down in Dunsborough this weekend. Up at 6am but a pal wanted to join me for the first 3km so we didn’t get going until she was ready at 7! Oh well. We got to see the sunrise which was beautiful. And more importantly I could read the directions on my hand. I spent about 20 minutes trying to find the straightest line near the house! It was torrential rain when I got back….beautiful to look at from the balcony. Not so pretty from the hilly roads.

 

It was meant to be 21km @ Medium Run Pace (MRP) with a 13km shift @ Marathon Pace (MP). I was going to run for 6km at around 5.00 m/km then take it down to 4.48 for 13km and then slow down for the last 2km. Yeah, that didn’t happen. About 5km in I realised I had picked the hilliest road to run along – I was so focused on picking a straight road I wouldn’t get lost on, I never thought about elevation. Importance of Directions > Elevation Stats. If there is a chance to get lost I will. It has become so bad when I run with my group, that if we are unsure they ask which way I think and then we go the opposite! You can see from my splits below it wasn’t as consistent as I would like but I did my best with the hills! That last one killed me! It was so tough.

 

 

I got back to the amazing house we were staying in at around 9.05 and the yoga teacher we had booked arrived at 9.15. So it was like a 90 minute stretch out after which I certainly needed. I am next to useless at stretching. I can run for 3 hours but god forbid I take the time to stretch out for 15 minutes after. Hence why I am going to the physio later! Last year when I did my marathon I had to get a cortisone injection 9 days out from the marathon after suffering some knee pain. It turns out stretching, correct shoes and strengthening exercises are good habits. Good habits that I do not indulge in. I have started feeling the beginnings of twinges so I booked an appointment with a physio for this afternoon – want to really start focusing on strengthening my core and legs. Apparently pains in knees are often related to weak muscles in your hips etc…..so if you strengthen those it helps out.

 

And wearing correct shoes. I went to a podiatrist who is in our run club and he likened the support I get from my current shoes to being as effective as “hessian sacks” and he was “astounded I was still running”. He recommended Lunar Glide and Lunar Free – I like to run in Nikes despite them being the laughing stock of runners. I find them really comfortable, good price and fun colours. Which is obviously the most important criteria. I ordered these last week – pretty tame colours for me to be honest.

 

Because I have been feeling twinges I decided to step back the training this week and took a break until today. The legs felt good but I got a mild asthma attack! I can’t catch a break. 😉 I have 23km this Saturday so fingers crossed I’ll feel back to normal then.

Catch you soon.

Gilly P

Why Kiprotich isn’t as famous as Rooney

Today I read this article. It’s so true that running has never been more popular – here I am sat on the train and I just saw a blur of multicoloured running vests running down a country lane. Forget tractors – running groups are the car’s new nemesis.

If I think about the distance runners that I know, I run out pretty quickly: Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe, The-Olympic-Winner-Whose-Name-Begins-With-K…. Sally Gunnell …(ok, I know she’s not a distance runner. And there are way too many English names on that list – my Aussie subconscious is so mad right now).

Australian Jessica Trengove, 39th place in the 2012 Olympics. She means business. And I am proud.

Here’s an Aussie: Jessica Trengove, 39th place in the 2012 Olympic Marathon. She’s having a ball. And I am proud.

The article says that there are three main issues: money, the ability to relate, and the distinction between a hobby and “serious” running.

I googled "serious running" and got this. I like it!

I Googled “serious running” and got this. I like it!

I agree with money. Footballers’ appearences in the media are fuelled by their money as much as their skill. Not a week goes by when we aren’t reading about new hair transplants, or he who is meant to have had an affair but we’re not allowed to talk about it.

And I agree with being relatable. Being able to relate to our heroes is important, or else they might not be our heroes. There has to be something that we spot and think “that’s like me! I do that!” I have a sneaky feeling that when we watch the successes of the African champions, many of us are thinking “yeah, but long distance is part of their lifestyle“. As if our lifestyle is so alien to long distance that it’s all we can do to shower each day.

Personality comes into it as well. When I think of Mo Farah, I see his face when he realises he’s won. Tennis is the rivalry between the four Big Guns*, and their different approaches to the court. In particular Andy Murray’s misunderstood grumpiness. And who can forget Muhammad Ali’s charismatic taunts?

Which country had the T-Rex on their team? Isn't that cheating?

Which country had the T-Rex on their team? Isn’t that cheating?

For me, it’s a combination of all, so I think the writer has done pretty well! There are some awesome pole superstars out there, but at least you can learn an isolated move that you’ve seen your hero do. In running, there’s the distance – and running your target distance is an amazing achievement – but for me, the pace will always mean I view our running champions as different specimens to me. But in the 2012 Olympics – I was gripped by the end of the marathon when the Ugandan Kiprotich pulled away from the Kenyan runners, so it does exist if we have the opportunity and the desire to get behind the sport (I may have Wikipedia-ed his name. Whatever). 

2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Stephen Kiprotich, Uganda

2012 Olympic Gold Medalist for the Marathon, Stephen Kiprotich, Uganda.

Earlier on in the year, I read this article in Runner’s World, and it really struck a chord with me: Julius Achon‘s running story and subsequent work with orphans is more commendable than anything I could hope to achieve in my lifetime. There are times when there are definite cultural/lifestyle differences between athletes, and these shouldn’t be ignored but celebrated and highlighted.

And now that’s done with, let’s talk Wimbledon. I am extremely upset that Nadal is out already.

Poor Nadal yesterday :(

Poor Nadal yesterday :(

He is my favourite of the top 4 because he is so serious, and is a great defence player. Plus, and this is obviously low down on the list, he has nice arms. Now I don’t know who to cheer for – the tortured Murray or the smooth Djokovic?

Ellie B

Click here to find out more about Julius Achon’s Uganda Children’s Fund. 

Who is your favourite Athlete/Sports person? 

What do you think about Runners in the world of fame and sports?

nadal 2

Hang in there Nadal! You’ll be back!

* The tennis four Big Guns are: Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Federer. But the biggest of these is Nadal. Apart from right now.

Monday Musings….or how to avoid working.

Monday Morning – two words that can spark fear in the minds of 99% of the working population. So let’s get you smiling before we start off on what is distracting me from my inbox this morning.

 

Ah, I love this show.

It appears that Kim Kardashian has named her daughter North . As she will be using her father’s surname, her full name is North West.  Aw, thanks Kim & Kanye, that is just awesome! There was a chance you could have picked a normal name but true to form the Kardashians don’t disappoint. In related news Kanye has managed to offend people with Parkinson’s disease…..Kanye = a twat

If you are over 35 and want to have a baby you HAVE to read This Article Apparently “The widely cited statistic that one in three women ages 35 to 39 will not be pregnant after a year of trying is based on an article published in 2004 in the journal Human Reproduction. Rarely mentioned is the source of the data: French birth records from 1670 to 1830.”  There’s so much more interesting reading – and some of it might even make a woman – gasp – optimistic!  Hurray – I can relax!

However if you do have a child, work a normal job and live in NYC Good Luck

 

7 out of the 9 writers on Mad Men are women. And they all look bad ass.

 

 

How awesome are these!


 

 

 

This is why I don’t think Australia is cold

Weddings & Facebook = classy


 

 

Now Back To Work!!!

 

Have a good one.

Gilly P

Eating our way through Edinburgh

This weekend SB and I went to Edinburgh. This city is amazing: it has everything that you could possibly want in a city: great shops, lots of nice bars and restaurants, parks, gorgeous scenery, cute coffee shops, and and AMAZING cupcake shop! I would take a trip to Edinburgh just to get some more of these bad boys.

 P1060846

We chose the best weekend to see Edinburgh in it’s truest form: it poured with rained on and off the whole weekend. It was the perfect excuse to buy some Hunter wellies. Anyone who’s anyone has them: Kate Middy, Kate Moss, Kate Winslet, and now me (you don’t have to be called Kate to own a pair).

We checked out a few places to visit, but didn’t want to pay to get in any of them (£16 to get into the Castle! What?!). But we did check out all the gift shops, including the gift shop for an optical illusion museum where we took family classic:

We don't do Christmas card photos, but I might do one just to use this.

We don’t do Christmas card photos, but I might do one just to use this.

As everyone knows, the best bit about going away for a weekend is to check out the hotel pool. This hotel didn’t disappoint: the pool and jacuzzi were fab. Today I did some ab work with SB in the gym, and then we hung out in the jacuzzi until it was time to check out. We did the same yesterday before dinner, and we still smell of chlorine. I was really stiff from last weeks runs and pole work, and swimming really helped loosen my poor legs.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

We ate dinner in a fab restaurant called The Honours. There was only room at the bar, but that was fun: we watched all the cocktails being made. I had a crab cappuccino to start, and then we shared a steak platter. There was so much red meat on the plate that I didn’t even have to fight to get SB’s hands off my food. Believe me, this means there was a LOT of food!

Big Plate of Meat

Big Plate of Meat

On the way back SB said he would do an upcoming trail 10k with me. This has made me very happy 😀 So now I have a trail 10k, a total warrior, and two half marathons before October.

I had visited Edinburgh a few times for work, but always wanted to see more of it, and I wasn’t disappointed! Even in the pouring rain it was still gorgeous. And did I mention the coffee?? …. And the cupcakes?!!!!!

Ellie B

Wellington Coffee: Strongest coffee in Edinburgh.

Wellington Coffee: Strongest coffee in Edinburgh.

Looking to the sea

Looking to the sea