Spring has landed

I’m still in training for the Virgin Money London Marathon in just over 3 weeks but after two early morning starts for the gym, I didn’t feel up to my 50 min scheduled run this evening. 


Instead of lacing up my trainers, I swapped them for my walking boots. Now the evenings are lighter, it feels so much easier to get outdoors in the evening – plus my walking boots haven’t been worn in much yet and really will need to fit like slippers before the summer is out! 


I took a route through the fields where birds were singing in the hedgerows and the blossom was out in force. It was peaceful and allowed me time to reflect.  Walking back through the village I got some lovely shots of the sunset behind buildings or throwing it’s glowing light on the trees. 


I still plan on making up my run tomorrow but my walk tonight really helped me appreciate the beauty Spring brings with it. I’m looking forward to walking the Pennine Way and the amazing views that I should see – weather dependent! 

A splash of colour in January

My husband has recently bought a fish tank. In it, we have 8 small brightly coloured tetras and a Japanese fighting fish that dart around and then without warning slow down or rest on a log. I sometimes feel like one of them, pedalling to get everything achieved and then sitting on the sofa to relax!

They are a welcome pop of colour in the tank and provide a nice distraction after a day sat in front of a computer. I also find that I need some colour to break up the horizon or the monotony that sometimes sets in from pounding the pavements. 

Inspired to get off my bum and go for a run, today was my long run day and I wanted to test a new route. It was raining and all together miserable for a 1 and a half hour jog. I kept stopping to check my route which meant that I paid more attention that usual to the countryside around me. Running through fields and along muddy footpaths I found my way into a birch forest. Forest sounds a bit grand, let’s call it a wood. In the wood the leaves had made a carpet underfoot hiding the tree roots and providing a soft landing. I was concentrating on foot placement and didn’t realise where I was until I stumbled across a road which Iwasn’t  expecting – I was lost. 

What does this have to do with a splash of colour? Well, it turned out I had ended up at a golf course where, despite the cloudy relentless grey sky above me, I saw manicured lawns vibrant and green and umbrellas of every shade moving around the course. This was a nice break from the mud that caked my trainers and had been underfoot for most of the run. The colour didn’t last long as I had to make my way out of the golf course but it gave me a boost. 

At home I have some colourful touches, a vase of flowers, a yellow sofa, vibrant elephant ornaments. January can often be so grey with dark evenings and it always cheers me up to see a bit of colour. 

I have one more run in January and then onwards to February running and here’s hoping for some bright sunny days. 

Balancing act 


Running a marathon takes some planning. There are the running sessions to fit in, 4 a week in my case as well as strength training and general life!

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve had to work hard to create my plan and get into my routine and I’m having to be really disciplined. Even on days where it’s been -3 outside, I’ve had to pull on my running gear and get out the door.

How do people stick to their goals? Why do so many New Years resolutions fall by the wayside?

I read somewhere that it takes 6 weeks to get into a habit. I’m currently on week 4 and to make myself stick to my training plan I have made a chart showing each session. I can move these sessions around if necessary but I’ve tried to accommodate weekend plans and other drop in activities. I don’t know about you, but I like to have a reward. If I complete all my sessions in a week I am rewarding myself with a trip to the cinema or a takeaway for dinner or seeing friends! I also seem to be rewarding myself with biscuits at work whenever I can – so I should probably try and break that habit.

This week has been particularly difficult to balance running, the gym and having a life. I’ve been doing long hours in the office but I did get out for a run after my gym session last night. It was the last thing I wanted to do but I forced myself and ran for an hour in the freezing cold. It’s days like this that make me really motivated to get out there are smash it because I want to improve my fitness and more importantly because I want to raise as much money as I can for Alzheimer’s Research UK so that they can invest in finding treatments.

No one said running a marathon is easy (me included) but with a lot of planning and determination, I will get there!

Donate now

 

Dark frosty evening run

 

 

Head torch running

 

Just keep running

I’m mid way through week 3 of my training plan this week. I have stuck to my schedule which is a 16 week plan to get me race ready. It involves running 4 times a week and strength training 2-3 times a week. I’ve never been so disciplined!

Even though I have run a marathon before, my fitness level has dropped massively since then due to not walking as much as part of my daily commute and not exercising as much (and eating crap). It’s amazing how quickly your fitness level drops, but today I have seen a real improvement and am feeling much better about being race ready.

So, I was meant to go for a 50 min tempo run which involved running 40 minutes at marathon pace with a 5 min warm up and cool down either side. I think I went a little faster than my actual marathon pace (my average pace in 2015 was 12 min 20 per mile on race day). Below is the snapshot of my run from Strava. If I can maintain that speed, it would be amazing, but I know that I can’t – so I will take all the benefit this run has given me and the boost and use it in my strength training tomorrow.

18-01-17

I also saw the picture below which is very apt – my life revolves around training, sleeping, eating and washing! Housework is suffering, but it’s all for a good cause. I can hear the washing machine whirring as I type.

16003264_1255861881135341_4188185908521563304_n.png

Wish me luck for the rest of this week. It’s a busy one with a full day at work on Saturday so I’m hoping that I am still motivated come Sunday for my long run (80 mins).

Boots for walking

4.5 mile walk completed this afternoon. I was on a rest day from running but wanted to get outside as the sun was shining. I also wanted to try out my new walking boots that Phil got me for Christmas. These are going to be my friends for the Pennine Way and I wanted to give them a test run.

From the house, I can walk straight out into the fields and wanted to try a new route taking in Hauxton and Little Shelford. I took some photos along the way.

 

 

A new year, a new blog, a new me

I know, I know, we’re already a couple of weeks into 2017, but I’ve finally gotten around to creating a blog to talk about my adventures this year. I have a lot to train for and I’m going to keep myself accountable by using this blog. Hopefully I’ll be able to share some of my tips along the way and perhaps some of my fails! Here’s to an exciting year, with more hours than ever spent outdoors.

The biggest challenge for me this year is going to be walking 270 miles across the backbone of England with my Dad, as we embark on the Pennine Way this summer. It’s one of the toughest long distance walks in the UK from all that I’ve read, and we are planning on completing it in just under 3 weeks.

Prior to that though, it’s all about the London Marathon. I received a ballot place and will be running for the second time on 23 April 2017. I have a target time in mind and want to beat my previous time of course, so I am already 2 weeks into my training plan.

Wish me luck – I need it!