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

Advertisements

Own 2015

Happy New Year to you all!

How did you all spend your New Year’s? Were you hanging out of your arse’s and eating bad food or were you straight down the gym and having a cleansing smoothie?

I have to say I was pretty much between the two! I ended up going to a house party which was pretty fun but I tried to make sure I didn’t get too drunk so I could attempt a 7 mile run – the effort was there guys, I got dressed around half 11 after slobbing in bed all morning, headed out but could only manage just under 2 miles, what a massive fail! I was sick (which I’m pretty sure may have been the alcohol) and I was running pretty quick to get home to the toilet – not good. But I did try and eat a little better yesterday and drunk lots of water.

My mission for today is to get that 7 miler done. I’ve signed up to two half’s this year, one of which I now can’t do as my fiancé booked us tickets to the Athletics in Birmingham that weekend and I didn’t have the heart to tell him I had Brighton Half Marathon on the Sunday – for those of you who don’t know, getting to Brighton from Birmingham for a half 8 start would mean leaving at stupid o’clock and my body wouldn’t have been fully prepped. Which is a massive shame as I’ve not run in the Brighton half, I’ll have to sign up for next year instead 🙂

As it is a New Year and every New Year I like to set myself goals rather than resolutions as most people are more likely to stick to a ‘goal’, I’d thought I’d share what I’m going to try and achieve this year.

[1] Complete 5-8 more entries on my Bucket List – this one for me is important. Why have a Bucket List and not bother actually living the experiences you’ve always wanted?

[2] Get back to Half Marathon fitness – I don’t really have a choice on this one, not that I wouldn’t want to do it but as I’ve signed up for two (now one) half marathon, I need to make sure I’m going to be fit enough to complete these without injury. I wanna own sport this year, not only for my body’s sake but for myself. That reminds me: I’ve got to contact my old coach and a potential new one for the Athletics season too!

[3] Start treating my teeth with respect – the more I look at other people’s teeth, especially the older generation, the more I’m frightened that I’ve let this lack of respect go on for too long! The amount of damage I must’ve already caused with the amount of sugar I consume is beyond repair. But what I can do is prevent anymore damage. Ben got an electric toothbrush from my parents for Christmas so I’ve bought a head for it so I can use it too, it comes with this cute little timer which lets you know when you’ve spent long enough on one section of your mouth – it’s surprising how long you actually should spend brushing your teeth! I’ve also got some teeth whitening strips that I wanna give a bash, hopefully sort out the colour a little too.

[4] Turn my diet into a useful one – as you know from all of my ranting and raving, I am always ill. This year I want to make sure I’m getting the most out of my food, with lots of nutrients and vitamins to help me and also getting the right fuel for my running an exercising. This one will be pretty hard as we still have the Christmas shite still in the cupboard but I’m pretty sure Ben may be able to take some into his work and it’ll be eaten up straight away!

[5] Spend more time with my future husband – this is a given. Since moving we’ve barely spent any time in our new home which is a massive shame. I love it here and we moved here for the beautiful countryside, the benefits of being able to cycle without less traffic, talk long walks in the sun and have generally less people around us (unsocial crones!) but we haven’t had the chance to make the most of it! He’s been staying at his parents a lot what with still working in Essex, but now his transfer is scheduled for next week, I’m so excited to have some us time back!

[6] Say no – I am a sucker for saying ‘yes’ to every plan that gets thrown my way. I don’t like letting people down and I have a real time management problem. I need to learn to say to people ‘no’ as I still have other work and Uni work commitments which are more important. In the past I have been guilty for knowing I have an essay due in the next week but still seeing different friends on both weekend days then moaning I haven’t seen Ben and consequently giving myself 48 hours to get the work done! I guess this one is also about learning to manage my time better!

[7] Read 30 books across 2015 – as you can see in one of my latest posts about my most re-read books, I have so many unread books that I want to read but never allow myself the time to do so. This year I’m setting myself the goal of getting through 30 books to make sure that I can actually read the books in my beautiful mini library. I love buying the books themselves and get excited to read them, but the day-to-day running of my life doesn’t normally allow to get much personal reading done. So this is my target for this year.

I’d love to know about your resolutions and goals! I did actually have 10 but I thought 10 would be greedy and quite hard to reach.

Although everyone has been saying ‘this is gonna be my year’, I sort of agree.

This year I will:
– be getting married
– going on a surprise hen do
– taking Ben to the place I grew up skiing
– honeymooning (twice) 😛
– wine tasting
– weekend awaying
– camping
– exploring our new area
and much much more! So I have lots to look forward to.

Here’s to 2015 guys, make sure you own it too!

5631_10152596192095099_703540069_n

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!

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!