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

 

Change

Woah, sorry readers – I realise I haven’t updated this in a while and the usual excuse of having too much going on is partially true but also because I’ve been deciding how to write this first post back.

I haven’t completely avoided WordPress, infact I’ve been doing a lot of browsing and reading, especially into fitness, goals and healthy eating. I’m not sure if I told you, but after my half marathon I decided to join an Athletics Club, originally to meet people with the same interests and share motivation but as it transpires, also to improve my fitness and times. I then got really ill, injured myself and then had my final German exams so I didn’t religiously start going until a few weeks ago.

At training last Tuesday I somehow got roped into one of their athletics (my first since secondary school) for Sunday just gone. It was amazingly good fun, such good atmosphere. Granted, I was absolutely shocking, but I’ve set some nice and low PB’s for me to smash 🙂

So back to the theme of my post. Goals.

I’ve been reading everywhere, ‘you don’t get anywhere in life without a goal’ and similar phrases along the same kind of lines. I’ve also got ‘fitness’ as one of my tags which, if you have never looked, is so inspirational.

So there are a couple of things floating around my mind at the moment:

1) Complete an Iron Man in a week
So I found The Will of Power online which was a fitness challenge for the month of me (which, shock, I missed the deadline for) whereby you have to complete the iron man distances of swimming, cycling and running but within a week. I know this sounds so poor for those of you who train for iron man competitions but from a girl who has run no further than 13.1 miles in a day, this seems pretty tough. So the distances are 26.2 miles for the running, 112 miles cycle and 2.4 miles swim. As I’m currently trying to get back into the swing of things with my running and I’ve got a 10k and two more athletics events in the near future, I’ve scheduled this in for the week commencing 14th July. Watch this space for updates 🙂

2) Schedule in some L.D races
I made a start on this on Saturday with my pre-running nerves for Sunday and I stupidly signed up for the Silverstone Half Marathon in March (the race I took part in this year) in an attempt to beat my time, and 3 weeks prior to that, the Brighton Half Marathon. I have a 10k in 4 weeks time and I’m looking to booking in 1 more big 10k around October time. I’ve come to the conclusion – I am not a summer long distance runner – I HATE running in the heat. Give me 5 degrees Celsius and no sun any day of the week and I am a happy happy girly!

3) Run at least 3 times a week
This should be easy, I have athletics training on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so as long as I get 1 longer run in at the weekend and potentially a 4th in somewhere else, this will so be achievable.

4) Give myself 1-2 rests days a week
This is purely for my muscle repair. I have read that you get stronger during your times of rest when your body repairs the damages you’ve done by pushing yourself! During my non-running, non-rest days I will go to the gym, do some stretching at home, work on my abs, go swimming or get out on my bike.

5) Use MyFitnessPal every day (with the exception of race days)
So I’ve been using this for the past week or so and I love it! The reviews which state that as you monitor what you are eating, and drinking in my case, you tend to make better choices and I believe this is true! I have noticed my bad eating habits and am making a conscious effort to change these. I’m looking to eat cleaner, up my protein and reduce my sugar. Bye bye chocolate 😦 I’m excusing race days as I don’t think these should be counted with nerves, physical activity and results mean I should’ve have to worry too much. I know what my body will want and need and I should be able to reward myself.

The one thing I am struggling with is going out for dinner. Why does everyone my age want to go for bloomin’ dinner!!! I used to avoid it like the plague when I didn’t really enjoy eating but now I am actually ‘watching what I eat’ NOT dieting, everyone gets on their high horse about how I am starving myself – erm what?!? NO

6) Limit my alcohol intake
I thought this would be the hardest out of them all but since my birthday I’ve managed to not have a drop! Originally I was going to do a whole year off, then after my realisation of how unrealistic this was I decided that I will have one every now and again but I will learn not to go mental every weekend. It ruins my performance and half the time it’s just through boredom on a Saturday night. Not a celebration or with any real reason behind it. You might scream why are you so boring but I am not saying I’m giving up, just limiting my intake.

So I know these are only linked to fitness and my diet, but I’m sure I’ll post about other goals in my life at the end of this week, but I didn’t want to overload you all! Plus my fitness is quite important to me. I’m not necessarily looking to loose weight, just tone up!

In other news, I sold my old guitar and amp on eBay and also found out I was owed some money, so I have a bit of spare cash which I am going to put towards a GPS running watch (shock) and also maybe towards my bucket list…I will keep you informed with these plans once I’ve made them as I may have some exciting news in the pipeline! 🙂

If anyone has any other tips on diet and exercise (especially sorting my flabby abs out) – please let me know! I will occasionally update you on how I’m doing but not everyday, as I’m sure no-one wants to read about my weird eating habits and my crap PB’s for my sprinting!