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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January Haul – (mainly fitness)

I have been fortunate enough to have had a little bit of spare money throughout January, which is the exact opposite of how my January’s normally go – not getting paid for around 6 weeks and scrounging off of my other half in the remaining days before pay day and checking my account at midnight to make sure my company have actually paid me! January 2015 was actually a little kinder on me.

After my amazingly great start to 2015 (cough) I thought I deserved a few treats so splashed out on the following:

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These are my new babies! When I first competed for my club back in June last year, everyone had a pair of spikes so I was incredibly jealous, but being a novice you don’t know if a) you’re going to enjoy this whole speed milarky and b) whether they’d be a wasted investment as they’re quite pricey. So after a lot of uhming and ahhing I decided to treat myself to these beauts. I’m not normally a fan of girly colours but there’s not as much choice in this area of running shoes. I haven’t had a chance to test them out but I’m expecting to put them to the test on Thursday.

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Ah god. What can I say about these bad boys? I was in a phase in January where I needed to buy anything and everything running related to give me a boost to get back into and ‘own’ running again. I was sick of getting annoyed at my regular running shoes, which when I originally bought they made me buy a size larger than my normal shoe! After getting my gait checked (I’m now a neutral gait woohoo), I realised I had loads more shoes to choose from and come across these bad boys. The shop assistant said the size is always down to preference and whoever sold me my 6’s clearly had no 5’s left in their more expensive shoes – what a mug that made me feel. So I opted for these in a comfy 5.5’s and I can only describe them as a dream to wear.

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I also decided a Yoga mat would be a good investment for our home as stretching is super important with running and with my stress levels raging at the moment, I could probably do with the ‘chilling’ aspect that comes with Yoga.

 

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Soooo I may have gone a little crazy in Sports Direct. How can I not? The prices were an absolute steal in the January sales. I’ve tested out all of the clothing above, except for the 2nd top on the bottom row as it’s not been warm enough to wear alone yet. My favourite is definitely the Karrimor pink item on the right for the gym ( it has small holes in so I don’t get too hot) and also the bottom right long sleeved Nike top, it has the hand inserts which really help to warm my hands with long distance as taking gloves, even in the snowy weather we’ve been having, is a big no no!

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Onto something a little less running related and more interlinked with my Bucket List – I’m going to see DEATH CAB BABBBBBBY! Words cannot explain how excited I am for this! I have waited to see them live for years as most American artists shy away from touring the UK…and if they do, their shortage of gigs sell out fast! We bought these tickets, as you can see at 6 minutes past 9 and 8 minutes later they were all gone. Ahhh I am so happy I’m going. This year is officially going to be amazing 🙂

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I also purchased this hoodie…however it may look mint green to you but when it arrived, I realised it was actually more green than a light mint as I think the picture shows. I’m actually in the process of sending this back for the coral version – something a little more girly and not usually what I’d opt for!

The only other bits I really bought in January were race places, event sign-up’s and ….. the entry to the New York marathon ballot! I know my chances of a place are slim, but I secretly really really want it. I think mentally I am now ready for it.

To end this, I’ll also tell you I splashed out and got my hair highlighted, not something I often allow myself to spend money on in the fear of having my hair look like a zebra crossing…there’s a reason for that…because it’s happened again! With 20 weeks to go until the wedding, I’m lucky this didn’t happen later on, but I’m still pretty annoyed as I look like a toddler has put yellow strips of Play-Doh through my hair.

Much love, Tay XX

 

My Crazy January

Spoiler alert: it hasn’t been that crazy but you wouldn’t actually read on if I’d have said my mental break down month right?

So I’ve had a strange January if anything, it’s been full of spunking money on things that I definitely don’t need, deferring my French uni module and getting back into running. Most of my friends knew that towards the end of last year I was running on overdrive, I had no time for anything, my hours were all planned from 6am- 10pm and I plain wasn’t enjoying life. Whenever I would drink I would get so drunk and either cry or to the point where I wouldn’t remember what had happened during the night – yeh, not so cool.

The reason for this was I had taken too much on; two uni modules, a now 3 hour commute to and from work everyday, 9 hours at work, the stress of wedding and hen do planning, getting back into running/trying to get in shape and all while still trying to have a social life. It just didn’t give me any free time to a) myself and b) with Ben. I think the saying is burning the candle at both ends? But I’m notorious for getting these sayings wrong!

So I decided I couldn’t do and have everything and something would have to give. After a chat down the pub when Ben’s rents came down to see us, I was basically told that I would never get anywhere near professional levels in my running career (which I knew anyway!) and therefore it should be uni I should focus on. After growing up with parents who were so chilled with what we did after we had done our qualifications, funnily enough I didn’t like being told that. So I followed my heart and chose to stick at running, my favourite outlet for stress, a sport in which, no I won’t excel at starting at the age of 21, but I love! On the rare occasion I did open my French books, I was always grumpy, stressed because my ‘tutor’ was the least helpful one I’d had so far and we got off on the wrong foot straight away and upset that I wasn’t excelling as fast as I have with German. So I deferred the year.

Many people would see that as admitting defeat but I’m someone who will often not see things through and it won’t bother me at all. I can return to it, of course, but for the time being there is no point attempting to put half of my heart into something when I could give it my all when I am at a better place in life. Over Christmas I decided to get a lot of wedding planning done so I’m no longer stressed about that and I’m actively making sure I go to as many social events as I can make so not to become a boring loner who lives in the countryside and see’s no-one but her fiancé!

So my weeks are now organised by long runs, my track training (I have finely returned to athletics), gym sessions, nights out and lots of stretching and healthy eating. My mind finely feels good again. I’ve had time to start reading again, in German of course 🙂 and even had time to slip in some bakes. Two of my closest friends are going through individual crises at the moment and I need to be there for them, especially as I experienced something similar in both of their situations.

In other, less morbid news….

– I could be crossing one of my Bucket List items off on the 8th June 😉 very exciting.

– I have entered the ballot for the New York Marathon – what I was thinking when I did this I don’t know, I wasn’t even pissed!

– I have signed up to the actual Will of Iron…which I did do whilst pissed and have just this second remembered – I think I need to quit wine.

– I think I have finally found my bridesmaid dresses!

– I may be booking another tattoo (my in-laws will love that – tehehe).

– I’ve got a skiing holiday on 7th Feb to get real excited about.

– I invested in some new running shoes……..2 pairs, oppsie. I will add photos of all of my new purchases in my next post as I want to do a haul/fitness update.

– I’m back to running 9-10 miles, adding on a mile each week.

– I’ve worked out that my new SITC box set I got for Christmas can be listened to in German! I have been glued to the telly today (I was off work due to some weird illness I have).

And finally, so this isn’t all just boring words, here are some of my photos of what I’ve been up to lately.

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Firstly, I have been loving the sunsets from our bedroom window recently, especially as they’re becoming later and later.

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Yeeees, we have dodgy windows!

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To help me relieve my stress, I’ve been having loads of long baths and getting stuck into this. It’s definitely a young adults book but that’s good for my German.

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Hahaha, had to add this, this is what I just realised I signed up to last night – why oh why do I drink!

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Loving this present I got for Christmas, it really motivates me to get out as you can see your splits, how you’re improving over time and of course, it’s green!

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I’ve been having trouble with my eating at the moment due to my stress, more so with just my body confidence so I found this picture of me when I was at my skinniest and using it as my ‘thinspiration’. I know how wrong this is but there is noway I would go back to my old ways, this is just to prove to myself that I can get to a size I’d like to be when I put my mind to it.

I’ve got a couple of post ideas lined up – now that I actually have time to myself my content will hopefully get a little more interesting. As I’ve said before, I don’t really have a direction with this blog but I lot of the time it will be my rants, thoughts, my fitness and my adventures 🙂 So I hope you keep enjoying a nose into my life and thoughts.

Hope you are all well and 2015 is being kind to you. Much love XX

Bucket List Update – 2014

I’ve got a few ‘end of year / new start’ themed posts lined up to write, which is unusual for me to be thinking about as I am such a NYE Grinch. I think there’s so much pressure for you to go to an awesome party, be around all of your friends AND family and try to live up to the saying, ‘how you spend NYE is how you’ll spend the next year’. Well to be quite frank I’d rather sit in drinking a bottle of wine and eating cheese and if that means I’ll be doing that for 2015, I will not be moaning!

But alas I’m being dragged out to a party where none of my friends will be seen as they’re all in different places this year so it makes sense to see all of Ben’s friends! So I’m putting my foot down and hosting a New Years party next year. My friends and I haven’t spent a NY’s together in…ever? We couldn’t do it this year as we’re having works done the house and the ground floor is so cold you pretty much have to wear a coat and slippers as soon as you walk down the stairs – not cool.

Rather than talking about my resolutions in this post, I will save that for maybe tomorrow or a week from now as my post timings have become really irregular due to the fact I have been crazy busy over the ‘relaxing’ Christmas period. Instead, I’m going to look back at the whole reason I made this blog – My Bucket List.

I started this blog last year with the intention to get 5-8 things ticked off of my bucket list each year…let’s see how I did…

22) Rent a cute cottage in Ireland with a log fire

So this one involved Ben’s proposal, a holiday and discovering S.West Ireland – which by the way is incredibly beautiful and some bike rides to remember. We went away on June 26th and he proposed on the 27th! A date to remember 🙂

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BIKE FRIEEEEEEENDS

36) Go to the Ice Bar

I completed this one with the help of two of my best friends to celebrate my birthday. Unfortunately I was horrendously hungover from my birthday bbq at our old house, so getting the motivation to get up and get a train was proving to be somewhat of a mission. I think that morning has got the be the most hungover I’ve been in 2014. I’ll take my bow 🙂

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40) Run a Half Marathon

In March of this year I completed the Silverstone Half Marathon, my first half marathon of hopefully quite a few, if my body decides that it will allow me to push myself this much! I really loved this day, I can’t lie it was harsh conditions with a lot of wind and considering I was injured the week before, I didn’t fancy my chances. I completed this in 1hr 59, which I was happy with as my goal was sub 2hrs! Woohoo! We celebrated with wine and steak that night at one of my favourite restaurants. Check out this tired, sweaty mess !

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49) Go to a PROPER Christmas market (none of these British City wannabes)

As featured in one of my recent blog posts we visited Cologne, Germany just before Christmas which was incredible. As this is still pretty fresh for the blog, go check out the page as I won’t bore you with the details I’ve written in the past fortnight.

53) Have a pint of Guinness in Ireland

Again, this one I completed on our holiday where Ben proposed in Ireland. I had tried Guiness before this point but really hated the stuff. But I felt it had to be done – when in Rome and all that!

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61) Drink Champagne in a Hot Tub

This one was a bit of a cheat because my friends and I actually had Prosecco. But if I’m honest I actually prefer the stuff, it’s so much easier to drink – dangerous. The hot tub was rented out for my bestie’s little sister’s birthday as a surprise, so once she’d got over the novelty of the hot tub, we took our chance and had a night in there! It was pretty sweet actually, I felt like a rich and famous person. I know hot tub’s aren’t too expensive but I don’t think I’d ever want to invest in one, especially now we’ve moved to Suffolk!

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SIX! I managed to complete 6, which is pretty much the goal I wanted last year – I’m happy with that one. One of my resolutions is to get through a few more of these next year, I have a few in mind, can you guess which ones?

If you’re struggling for a New Year’s Resolution, I suggest making a Bucket List and trying to get through 5-10 each year, it’s such a fun way to make sure you’re not wasting your life. I am constantly adding to mine throughout the year when I remember something I am desperate to do!

Did you guys tick anything off of your Bucket List this year?

Happy New Year!! (It’s taken a lot for me to say this so be nice) 🙂