Running Goals and Races

For many of my readers this post will be pretty boring as it includes what it says on the tin – running. So please feel free to stop reading now. Those of you with an interest in fitness, running and my life in general, please feel free to keep enjoying my awful English 🙂

This post is not only for me to mentally organise my years’ races and events but also to write down some of my goals on the internet so I have a way of tracking and following them. Aside from when the summer Athletics leagues open and consequently my weekends being consumed with The Power of 10 and texting my running bud Kayleigh a lot, I have actually signed myself up to what I’m hoping are going to be some successful events.

[1] Silverstone Half Marathon
15.03.15
This is going to be my first half of 2015 and my chance to try and beat my time from last year. I would be lying if I’d be gutted if I don’t. I was recovering from injury last year and I was just trying to ‘get round’. This time I want to at least beat that time!

[2] Reading Half Marathon
22.03.15
I stupidly signed up to this in excitement of my running bug without realising it was a week after Silverstone, however, I should be fit enough to be able to at least run it. I need to give my body a shock into realising I will be running these distances often if I have any chance of completing the below..

[3] 100 Miles
April 2015
This is something I’ve seen on many blogs that I follow; the challenge is to run 100 miles in a month. Now I could try and attempt that before in my weeks of training, however if I don’t, I’m giving myself April – June to do this, any later than that I will just die in the heat.

[4] Will of Iron
May 2015
As you can see, this is basically the challenge which I attempt last year to complete Iron Man distances over a week. You can pick any 7 consecutive days in May but you cannot stop/ take a day out and you must complete and track all of your miles. I think I’ll enjoy this one as I loved it last time I attempted it.

[5] Trail Blazer
06.06.15
This falls on the weekend of Ben’s stag do – perfect timing for me to keep my mind off of him being led astray haha! I’m looking forward to it because it’s a different event, however it’ll be in the peak of the warm season so hopefully my body will allow me to run 10k!

[6] Race for Life
12.07.15
Just another big event I wanted to sign up to really as the atmosphere at these are incredible. I also want to see if I can beat my time 3 years on, although we did have the advantage of the event being moved due to extremely high temperatures that year! If I don’t, I won’t beat myself up about it. This is normally a race I can rope my pals into doing with me as it’s a big charity event.

[7] Royal Parks Half (TBC)
11.10.15
This one I’ve wanted to run for about 2 years now but it’s so popular I can never get a place! I’m in the ballot, so fingers crossed for me everyone 🙂

[8] New York Marathon (TBC)
01.11.15
This one was set on a whim/peer pressure from my brother. Of course I know I mentally should be able to run a marathon but physically I am nowhere near. I am seeing a lot of my friends at my club currently training for their marathons this Spring and I am a little envious but also glad I only have 3-4 runs a week and not 5, including distances such as 20 miles – vom. I was attracted to this one as a) it’s a pretty famous one b) it’ll be in cold temperatures where my body will excel and c) I could get a potential cheeky holiday out of it! However, again, I know how hard this is to get into!

There are other races I’m currently eyeing up, but I’m waiting to see how my running goes post-skiing and after my two March halves!

Other Goals
– Cross training – this, along with the following two ‘goals’ are more of an attempt to try and incorporate them into my training schedule. Anywhere will tell you that all three of these activities will aid recovery and fitness!
– Yoga
– Abs Strengthening

Times
As I have learnt in the past 3-4 months especially, it is great to have goals but they shouldn’t have time restraints on them if it’s me setting them! I feel cornered and boxed in when I feel I have a deadline, whereas when I am able to move at my own pace I normally beat the target anyways. So I have the following hopes to improve my times but I am putting no pressure on myself to achieve them.

5k 
25mins and then 22mins
Current PB: 28.40 (treadmill)

10k 
55mins and then 52 mins
Current PB: 58 mins (Race for Life 2012)

6 miles
55 mins and then 50 mins
Current PB: 57 mins (training)

10 miles
90 mins and then 85 mins
Current PB: Not set

Half Marathon (13.1miles)
115 mins and then 110 mins
Current PB: 119mins (Silverstone Half Marathon 2014)

Obviously, if I manage to smash any of these, I’ll add a little update to my blog, but I’m not going to focus too much on them as they’re hopefully going to be gradual milestones that’ll happen as I get fitter and fitter.

My only issue I have floating around with all of my training and running at the moment is that the affiliation process starts soon. As you know I moved county and so it would make logistical sense to change my club but I am a very loyal person and I’d hate to let my team down. My current club aren’t the strongest in the league, whereas my potential new club are coming 1st / 2nd in the league – also meaning I’d be competing against my old team mates. You can have a ‘1st’ and ‘2nd’ club, but I’m pretty sure my potential new club wouldn’t take kindly to coming in second place. Any suggestions anyone? Moving would be a great way to make new friends in the area but would also mean potentially losing the one’s at my old club. HELP.

XX

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Our Wedding : The Reality of Planning [Part 2]

So following on from my wedding goals post, I’ve decided to talk to you about my wedding planning I’ve been doing. After going to a few weddings in the past few years, all I wanted to be was a wedding planner. I’m in love with the idea of love, I love to see people in love and I think weddings are a beautiful symbol, not to mention have me in tears without fail. So when Ben proposed, I was more than ecstatic. I am so excited to marry the one man (and I say man because most of my ex’s have been ‘boys’) I’ve ever felt crazily in love with, I feel like a smitten young girl in his arms.

The reality of planning the wedding I’d always dreamed of is, to be quite frank, a pain in the arse. I have enjoyed some bits which I’ll get into, but in other areas I’ve wanted to pull my hair out. Don’t get my wrong, I’m still excited as hell but some parts of this planning process I could’ve done without.

I won’t get into too much detail with this one as Part 3 is going to be details of my actual wedding, the more exciting bits, so you guys can have an insight to what sort of wedding we’re going for!

First things first, being the organising nob I am I made a wedding spreadsheet.

Screenshot 2014-12-07 16.04.45Colour coded and everything! So firstly I made the above tab with basically every aspect we need to think about so we don’t forget anything…I originally forgot to budget in favours – I mean I didn’t even know what these bloody things were! Luckily Ben’s cousin is also getting married to one of the most awesome girls I’ve ever met who I’ve mentioned before in posts about sticking together with his fam…so yeh she’s been helping me with ideas too!

Another important tab I definitely think is our budgets tab! For example I didn’t even realise how expensive flowers were for a wedding, I budgeted £500 for these….you think we can find any in that region? Nu uh. I mean not everything we’ve gone over budget on, infact we’ve saved a lot of money in some areas but budgeting is a MUST before organising a wedding.

I would show you that page but I think it’s a bit controversial as some people will be like ‘HOW MUCH’ or the opposite and think we’re scrimpy tight wads!

DSC01382 DSC01380 DSC01393So after much advice, browsing on the internet and gifts like the wedding planning and notes book that I was given, the rest of the planning could commence. I think having everything organised, printed, saved, whatever your preference is a must.

The order we planned in went something like this:
– The amount of guests
– The venue
– The registrar
– The date
– My dress
– My hair and makeup (priorities girls!)
– DJ
– Photographer
– Bits for favours
– First attempt at Bridesmaid dresses
– Save The Dates
– Cake
– Flowers
– Chair covers (another thing I didn’t even think about)

Currently…
– still looking for bridesmaid dresses
– having our invites designed

What’s left to do…
– Pick our rings
– Plan a honeymoon
– Choose our wedding food
– Send out invites
– Create our favours
– Find my wedding shoes
– Get the men’s suits
– Think about thank you gifts
– Buy the page boys and flower girls outfits
– Sort out the table plan and theme (already got an idea for this one 😉 )
– Buy a wedding book/something to write in

So we’ve still got lots to do but we’ve got the worst bits out of the way. My most favourite was obviously picking the venue and finding our cake supplier – who doesn’t love cake tasting.

My most stressful parts were definitely finding my dress and (still trying) to find bridesmaid dresses. A little piece of advice to anyone getting married; do not say to your bridesmaids they can pick what they want/ decide if they don’t like your choices. With the amount of bridesmaids I’ve got, it is just not happening! I’ve already bought 2 sets of dresses and had to send them all back, so yeh, pick the dresses and they’ll have to like it or lump it!

I’ve also had a problem with one of my bridesmaids but that’s for another time or maybe not even on here! But yes, be careful all your brides-to-be.

So my part 3 is basically going to be details of our actual wedding so you can have a little insight in, but to go in with my planning, here are some of my other photos. [WARNING: Spoiler alert]

DSC01381
DSC01391 DSC01389

Our Wedding [Part One] : My Pre-Wed Goals

I thought I’d so a few posts in the run up to my wedding and because you can’t really talk about every aspect of your wedding in one long post – how snoresville – I have narrowed it down into sections…here’s part 1 for you all 🙂

When you’re younger and you dream about getting married, you picture yourself in the nicest dress looking absolutely stunning, not too young so it looks creepy and weird but not too old so you’re still youthful looking. Perhaps sporting a nice tan and a trim body from all that exercising we all have so much time to do.

The reality is somewhat different. I’ve not got the time to exercise, fake tanning isn’t cool in my opinion and neither are sunbeds (although I have to confess I had my time on them) and living in England isn’t the best for a ‘natural glow’. The perfect dress is also insanely hard to find, it took me forever and I was picking between 2 completely different dresses! However, I can confirm that I now have ‘the one’.

So in the run up to my wedding I’ve decided to set myself five goals to look my best and as pretty as can be, not only for photos but for myself as I’ve let myself slip since moving. Plus it’s good to have goals so you can reward yourself with treats like underwear and makeup!

Goal 1
Get fit and toned
I believe while getting fit you become more toned all round. My sport is running and I definitely found that except for the excessive leg muscles I was producing, I was getting into good shape pretty much everywhere else. Of course I needed the occasional cross training exercise to keep other muscles in shape but I definitely think running is a great all-round exercise.

I know from my own experience that increasing mileage quickly is the fastest way to get injured, so I’ve come up with a plan to reach a certain mile amount every other week. I won’t bore you and tell you what miles and when but considering I have a half marathon in February and one in March I need to get my butt moving. My problem with these events is that after the big day I get so lazy because I know I’ve achieved what I wanted and then have no reason to go exercise. The wedding is now my goal!

Goal 2
Get sparkly gnashers
This one, unless you have spare cash, is quite difficult. Once your teeth are a rank colour, unless you have them whitened, there’s nothing you can do about it. However when we were in Barbados we met and amazing couple who had gorgeous teeth and they let me into their secrets of teeth whitening strips. I bought some from ebay – 3D Crest Whitening Strips – I’m not gonna lie, I’ve not seen any difference yet and I’m pretty sure they’re not working so I might ask said couple which supplier they use because their teeth looked brand new!

The reason I want white teeth is mainly for the photographs, how vain I hear you say. Yup I am. I don’t normally care about my teeth but as the front two are half false, I often get crap caught in them and they can look pretty grim so I would say I’m doing this for both the wedding and general as I’ll carry on using them once a year for a top up I think!

Goal 3
Get that tan
I’m going to have to have sunbeds I think, Ben has said I can have them up until the wedding but after I have to promise to stop. I know this sounds controlling but I made this agreement with him because he’d never stop me using them, he just shows his displeasure when I use them. Rightly so when one of his best friends died from cancer. So these ‘cancer cocoons’ as he describes them will be my friend for the next 6 months, well hopefully only 4 and I can keep topped up with the British sun…PAH YEH RIGHT! I know these are so bad for you and I know the risks I’m taking but I have promised to stop after 20th June!

Goal 4
Improve my posture
I know this sounds ridiculous but I’ve had awful granny posture since I was about 12. I gave up ballet and all other forms of dance at the age of 11 when I thought it was uncool, what a mistake that was! Now I have a hunch which is awful. I normally ask people who I’m out with to pull my shoulders back and keep reminding me to do so, I even had a back rest bought for me at work to force me to sit in a better position but I tend to sit forward and not use it properly – sorry guys what a waste of money! But anyway, I need to try my hardest on this one cause no-one wants to marry a hunch-back bride!

Goal 5
Sort out of my immune system
This one isn’t just for the wedding, this is a must! I get ill so so often, I’ve been for numerous blood tests and they’ve all come back clear. I changed my diet to add in all the great stuff that everyone recommends, that still didn’t work! Personally I don’t fancy coughing my lungs up while saying my vowels and wiping my nose with the free hand while Ben’s putting on our wedding bands. No way hose-ay. So I’m thinking in the run up to my wedding I need to be eating all of the right foods, lots of vitamins, minerals and protein. I’m going to pack up with fruit and veg and eat very clean. If I still manage to get a cold…I will officially give up with life.

So are they any other goals anyone can suggest pre-wedding? I want to look hot so when Ben turns round to watch me walk down the aisle, that fucker sheds more than one tear!