Yey it’s Friday!!!

I love Fridays. Work meetings are generally more relaxed. I get to carb load for a long run. And we have drinks in the office – well I have lemonade and chocolate. So essentially a kids party for me. Just need Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

It’s been another busy week with work and training. Apologies for saying that every week. But all good – I’m not complaining. I got this in my inbox from the Marathon organisers this morning and it both scared and excited me.

 So what have I been up to? Besides moaning?

Well I have been eating at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in Perth.

 

I have to preface this by saying I am a HUGE Jamie fan. I like his enthusiasm and think that his books and shows are fun. And he seems – to me at least – to genuinely care about the causes he pioneers. He could just sit back, take in the money and do nothing. But he chooses to spend his time campaigning to bring awareness to great issues. So yeah, I like him. His restaurant – not so much. We got there at 6.45 and were told it would be an hour and a half wait – which was fine. So we went to The Stables Bar for drinks whilst waiting. When we got a call to say came back Franman skulled his pint and we were there in 5 minutes. From when we got back it took another 45 minutes to seat us! I was ravenous and ready to give up. But we had waited so long we stayed. And the food was ok but not amazing. I had a salad to start which was so bland and a tuna pasta dish for a main. Again ok but not amazing. I’d go again but wouldn’t be rushing back.

 

 

What I have been distracted by – Humans of New York.

Have you seen this cool website – soon to be a book? Check it out and come up for air in about an hour! 

 

What I have been buying

ASOS! I could spend hours on ASOS looking at dresses and putting them in my basket. I think I get as much pleasure from doing that as actually purchasing anything. Which is handy. I got the navy dress for an upcoming wedding – hopefully it looks as nice on me as her. I also got 2 sundresses which were on sale. It’s still winter and raining here in Perth but I can dream. It’s been a good shopping week for me as I got some new trainers too – Nike Pegasus. I prefer these for my long runs and Lunar Glide for intervals. Ideally they could do with a bit of neon but for 50% off they will do.

 

What I am reading: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

 


I’m only half way through it but it’s good so far. It delves into the morality and ethics around eating animals. And things like why it is ok to eat a cow but not a dog. He’s a great author and he brings humor and philosophy to his discussions. Very interesting.

What I am super excited about!

Apparently there are FIVE – yes FIVE!! – new J.D. Salinger books to be published from next year.  Like many people who read Catcher in The Rye at school I fell in love with it. So I can’t wait to see what else he has in store for us.

This weekend promises to be a good one. I have 33km in the morning so lots of pasta and chocolate tonight. We have our ladies who bRUNch monthly catchup tomorrow – will be right after my 33km so whatever I eat will be good. And Franman is Downhill racing so I will go and watch the race on Sunday. All and all, nice clean and wholesome fun. Have a good one whatever you do. J

Gilly

MetaFit? MegaSweat!

Last night I tried something new. I went to MetaFit.

I am not a ‘class’ kind of girl: I’ve never been into BodyPump or Pilates or YogaLates or StepAerobicsTilYouPassOut. But some girls from SB’s work have been going, and they said it was really hard. The clincher for me: it only lasts 20 minutes, and is 5 minutes from my house.

So I went to my first class last night, and I had that new girl feeling where you’re convinced everyone’s looking at you cos you don’t know anyone. But I sucked it up, and prepared to get my ass kicked.

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20 minutes? It can’t be that bad surely….?

The next 20 minutes were INTENSE! The class was broken down into different rounds, with 4*30 second exercises and 30 secs rest in between. The first three exercises in a round repeated themselves, and the last was always a plank.

The exercises included lunges, squats, sprinting on the spot, and burpees. It sounds ok, but by the final round of each one I was knackered. You know you’re working hard when plank is a break!

During the class I had sweat dripping down my face, which is unusual because I’m not generally a sweatter. SB is: he says that the more you sweat, the fitter you are. Not sure if that’s true, or if he’s trying to convince everyone that sweat is cool. Anyway, today I can really feel my upper legs have taken a beating, so I’m going to go again! Walking upstairs is overrated, right?

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I know, selfies aren’t cool, esp extreme close ups. But now you can see what we’re dealing with.

Coming back from the class, I felt like I’d received enlightenment, so I went online to get even more enlightened. Metafit works on the premise of HIIT: high intensity interval training. The MetaFit website says it’s the ‘metabolic workout that lasts 24 hours’, which comes from the idea that increasing the metabolic resting rate will help you burn more calories.

HIIT is also a great way to make sure you get your exercise in when you’re busy: according to Runner’s World, 15 minutes of HIIT can have the same impact as three hours of long, slow running. HIIT does favour the fast-twitch fibres, but these will support you on longer runs when your legs start to feel the burn.

So that was my first foray into the world of MetaFit! It’s really hot in England at the moment, and there’s loads of classes to choose from. Plus I like any marketing campaign that makes me feel like I’m a marine.

Hope you’re all having a good week!

Ellie B

Running: Mind, Body and Soul

This weekend I did a bit of a road trip across the country for the last long weekend here til Christmas. It was SB’s birthday last week, and so we went to his hometown to celebrate with his friends, and then I drove to Cheltenham to see my Mum. Every year Mum goes to this arts/music/folk festival called Greenbelt. It’s really good fun: camping in tents, listening to music, going to talks. I imagine it’s what Woodstock was like, but without the LSD and with better port-a-loos.

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My Mum and her half pint

Yesterday I went to a talk about running and spirituality. They had a panel of four runners: Abid, a Muslim from central London, Bob, a Vicar in central London, Jenny, a Fund Manager for a charity, and Sky, a 17 year old triathlete on the GB Junior Team.

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The panel

They were talking about the links between their running and their individual beliefs, and how they converged. It was really interesting, because there’s lots out there on running as a meditative exercise, and this was along similar lines.  It wasn’t as heavy as it sounds! I thought I’d share some of the highlights:

  • Bob suffers from epilepsy, and says that knowing he’s a runner, and that’s his identity rather than being disabled, helps him handle his epilepsy
  • In Islam, you’re supposed to take your time with anything to do with God. So Abid doesn’t use his running as time to meditate, as when he’s running his mind is everywhere
  • As a shy, timid, scared child, Jenny found that running expanded her horizons, and helped her connect her mind and body in its rhythm
  • Sky uses social running to establish her identity away from competitive sports, and to give her time to consider other aspects of her life
  • All highlighted the collective alone-ness of running: you can be running in a group of people, and still be on your own with your own thoughts and space
  • Abid highlighted the links between discipline in his belief and running: no one knows if he doesn’t get up for his pre-dawn prayers. Sound familiar?!

It was cool to listen to these runners talk about how running impacts them and their very different lives. I think everyone who runs recognises the feeling when your mind, body and soul meet during a run.

When I run, there’s a period when I feel at  my strongest, both mentally and physically, and I think this is where the link is. This is usually just before I start to feel knackered and wish I was closer to home….

In other news, the festival food was amazing. I had the best felafel, hummus and haloumi wrap ever. It was so big that I had to open it up and eat it like a salad. Today I did hill sprints to complement all the healthy food I ate to make up for the last long weekend in England before Christmas, and all the tasty delights it brought with it. :)

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See the size of my fingers? That’s how big this wrap was

Happy running!

Ellie B

 

Festival Of Running – Marathon Training Week 11

Whoooo – Peak Week is over! And I survived. And I still like running. Result!

This was always going to be a hard week of training. It’s looming 8 workouts over 7 days has been scaring me since I first got my program. I wasn’t sure how I would cope with it as we all know I am a big fan of the rest day. But it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. That’s a life lesson right there folks. And I won’t even charge you for it.

I went into the “Festival of Running” with tired legs – I had run on the previous Friday, Saturday and Sunday. But what can you do. Also, I like how my coach calls it a festival. As if that will distract us from it’s magnitude.

  • Monday started off ok with a 6.4km Recovery Run @ 5.15 pace. I did it after work…….nothing too strenuous.

     

  • Tuesday was long intervals. We do this session every Tuesday and it never gets easier. As you just keep running them faster. Because we do them very week you can see your progress over time.

     

    • 4.5km Warm up
    • 3*3km intervals – my program has my pace bands at 4.14 – 4.30. I just checked those bands just now…..should keep a better eye on this kind of thing.
      • 4.24
      • 4.21
      • 4.12
    • 1.5Km Cool down

    This session is always hard but as with all intervals and hard work comes rewards. So I enjoy doing them for that reason. Well actually if we’re going to be honest I enjoy telling everyone I have done them when I am finished.

     

  • Wednesday

I was down to do 2 runs on Wednesday – this was going to be my first ‘double’ and I was excited to do it. I did 18km before work with a pal, Kelly. It was a gorgeous morning and she is great company so was a very enjoyable run. I then did 6km after work which I found hard – I could definitely feel the tiredness in my legs and was glad to be done. I had a work dinner after which finished at 9 and I crawled into bed afterwards!

  • 18km@ 5.17 pace.
  • 6km @ 5.01 pace.

 

  • Thursday

Short intervals were on the program. So the usual warm up, 4*500m & 2km and do that twice. If you run this session properly – really push the 500m and keep the 2km honest – it’s a great session. But it’s easy to end up running it all at the wrong pace and not getting the best from the session.

  • Warm up: 2.2km
  • First Set:
    • 3.53 / 4.05 / 3.51 / 3.53 (4*500m)
    • 2km @ 4.17
  • Second Set:
    • 4.00 / 3.48 / 3.56 / 3.49 (4*500m)
    • 2km @ 4.08
  • Cool Down 2.3km

I was really happy with this work out – I felt I pushed the 2kms and even though it was hard I was able to hold a decent pace. Hopefully this means I am getting a bit faster.

  • Friday
  • 7km @ 5.06 pace.

Ran before work – when the alarm went off I nearly cried but besides that it was fine.

  • Saturday

I was sooooo nervous before this run – not sure why! I have run 33km before but for some reason I was expecting it to be awful. Last Saturday’s was tough so maybe that had unsettled me. I ran with Jarrad who I love running with. He’s an amazing runner and an even more amazing person. We have great chats and after 3 hours running you get way beyond small talk. So the time goes fast. And because he’s faster than me it pushes me.

We did 33km @ 4.58 (according to Strava – I feel it was 5km on my actual watch)

We picked up the pace towards the end which is a good reflection of where we are with our pace and fitness. From 21km on our pace stayed mainly under 5. I would LOVE to run the race at 4.50 so this bodes well for that!

  • Sunday - 
  • 11.3 km recovery run

Sunday was the City to Surf here in Perth. It is probably the biggest race, not necessarily the best, race in Perth with a 4km walk, 12km walk and run, ½ marathon and a full marathon. I have done the full the last 2 years. It’s a fun event as so many people take part. As I had 33 on Saturday I didn’t want to race on Sunday. But still wanted to take part. So my coach had me run the last 10km with a club member who was running his first marathon.

He had a bunch of us do this and calls us his “little Mexicans”…..as he puts it so nicely:

I was really excited to be a “little mexican” and it meant I got a few km’s in myself. Greg, who I was paired up with did a great run. He struggled a bit with cramps towards the end but fought through them to finish in 4.04…..was a great experience for me and I am hoping I helped him out.

And in even more exciting news Franman did the 12km and SMASHED his PB by 9 minutes.


So I finished out the week with 8 runs and 109km. Phew! That wasn’t the best thing about this week though. There were actually 3 others.

  1. Seeing Franman smash his PB – I was so proud of him. He only started running properly a few weeks ago and is already killing it.
  2. Making each session this week and enjoying them!
  3. Seeing a great pal DESTROY her marathon PB. Like achieve a time that scares me to say! You can check her out here if you want to know more – http://thebakingjoggerblogger.com/

7 weeks to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gilly

Finally Friday!

So another Friday is upon us :) I love the 6pm feeling!

This week, instead of “What I’m Loving Friday”, I just have one word for you: chocolate. This week has been all about the chocolate. It started with the chocolate pav I made for the BBQ, followed by chocolate milk on Monday, lots of Dairy Milk leftover from a Dairy Milk-Banana-BBQ experiment gone wrong, and all topped off with some birthday cake. It was SB’s birthday yesterday – and I celebrated with muchos birthday cake 😀

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Here’s a run down on my training this week:

  • Monday: 11.5 mile run at just over 8 mins a mile. I didn’t feel any pain on the run, but the next few days, my adductor and my IT band were really tender. So I eased off the serious training for a few days.
  • Tuesday: 6 mile cycle, and a dance class. But I was teaching the class, so it’s kind of cheating to include it in a training wrap up.
  • Wednesday: Really gentle 6.8 mile run with my running club, in 1hr 5 mins. I had been foam roller-ing like a bad ass since Monday, so wanted to take it nice and easy.
  • Thursday: Gentle jog for 2 miles with my friend in the countryside. The scenery was gorgeous. Generally we chatted and solved all the world’s problems.
  • Friday: Hill reps for 8 miles. 2.5k warm up, and then 6 reps of hills, and a 2k cool down.

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I’ll leave you all to your Friday nights now. I’m eating cake, drinking Baileys, watching Breaking Bad and foam roller-ing.

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Good times.

Ellie B