2014: Practically Perfect in Every Way

So here we are again, at the start of another year. My email inbox is flooded with sales promotions (damn you Asos!), fitness suggestions, and the excitement of other bloggers for their New Year running goals.

 

I too have jumped on the New Year bandwagon, and based on what I’m planning, 2014 is shaping up to be quite a year. It includes a marathon, a sub-1:40 half, and a new dance routine. I have also signed up to Jantastic with my running club to get the year off to a perfect start.

 

It is exciting to reflect on your achievements over the past twelve months, both great and small, and to think about what you’d like to do with the twelve months ahead. Even thinking about it gives you a sense of achievement, and as Mary Poppins likes to say, ‘well begun is half-done’ (After watching ‘Saving Mr Banks’ last week, I re-visited my favourite childhood film and remembered why it’s so awesome).

 

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She flies with her umbrella. Need I say more? 

 

2014 has been really chilled so far. For the last two weeks, I heartily embraced The Big Eat 2013, so yesterday some splits stretching eased me back into the frame of exercise. Today will be my first run since Christmas Eve, and I’ll be in some new shoes. I can’t wait! I blame driving from Durham to Birmingham to Devon and back for my lack of Christmas running (772 miles in total), but it could also have been all that chocolate and cheese I ate too.

 

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I received some amazing presents for Christmas, which I can’t wait to try out:

 

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Nike Free 4.0s, Sweatty Betty leggings, ‘Twin Ambitions’ by Mo, 2014 Lorna Jane Sports Diary

 

Thinking of last year, I pretty pleased with what I was able to do. As I mentioned last week, I hit some pretty big running goals, and here is how my splits looked at the end of the year:

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Prettttty close! Just need to straighten the legs a little more, and to creep further down to the floor. It’ll happen….

 

This month I have a 10k run with some friends from school. I am beyond excited because:

  • I will be running with my best buddies
  • We’ll be running around the town where I spent my teens. I might take a time out and hang by the war memorial with the other 14 year olds. Except they won’t be awake at 10am on a Sunday.
  • Winter runs are ace. You have to battle hard, but you feel so fresh at the end
  • My 2014 running calendar will have kicked off!!

 

My plan for the next few weeks is:

  • Speed/hill work at least once a week
  • Ease my feet into the new Nikes – I’ve never run in barefoot-esque shoes before
  • Dance at least once a week and stretch twice a week
  • At least one 7k run a week, and at least one 10k+ run a week

So that should leave one rest day a week!! A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, and a plan of attack helps you hit the streets. Not quite as catchy, but just as true.

 

Here is a view from a walk we did when visiting my Mum.

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How is your New Year shaping up? Do you have plans to get out there and get running?

 

London: Food and Running.

This week I was in London for work. It was a great opportunity to indulge in things that Durham doesn’t quite have enough of: tapas, dim sum and free running events.

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Porthouse in the West End = Delicious calamari

 

Those of you who live in London may be familiar with different brand events, like free training for races, and club runs during the week. This doesn’t happen where I live! So I was pretty excited to learn that  Aussie clothing brand Lorna Jane were holding a free 5k club run for anyone who is interested from their Chelsea pop up store last night. I was in London, with my gear, and in the mood to run. And then shop.

 

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They set off at 6.45pm, so I rushed across London to get there in time. It was the first really cold night of the year, but 4 other hardcore runners as well as myself were there, and we were warmly welcomed by the lovely Lucy and Sophie. It was so nice to see all the pics of Australia in the shop and hear the familiar accent twang :)

 

London is one of my running cities, in spite of all the crowded footpaths! No matter where you go, you stumble across an awesome monument or sight. Last night’s run took us along the Thames through Battersea park, across the Chelsea bridge, and back, with some mini drills thrown in for good measure. I kept messing up my Garmin, and dropped my iphone twice (smooth), so I don’t know exactly how long it took. I think one of the other runners said just over 25 minutes.

 

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When we got back, we had power bars, drinks, and were able to look at their lovely clothes. They also had a 10% discount too – even better! In all the endorphin-filled excitement about joining in my first London runners event, I treated myself to this jacket:

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It matches my shoes, which is extremely important. It’s also really bright, lightweight, breathable (as well as matching your shoes, these things are also important) and  I love the colours of their range – so bright for grey Winter days. It could all pass for everyday wear as well as sports gear. I’m excited to see them in the UK.

 

Including the quick mile run to the tube, and the mile run from the tube to the store, last night’s total mileage was 5 miles. Not bad for the coldest night of the year so far…

 

This week I’ve also done a really good job at working on my Winter layer. Unfortunately that means a bad job at eating healthily all round. These dark nights don’t scream ‘mmmm, stir fry for dinner!’ in the same way Summer did, but now I’m back from the excitement of the Big Smoke I’m planning on changing that. If any of you are feeling the same, then check out this really easy banana bread recipe. Check it out before  you decide to get back on the veggie wagon, because there’s a heck of a lot of sugar in it. But it’s delicious!

 

Happy Wednesday :)

 

Ellie