#2x10k Week Five

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I think I need to run more. I've been thinking about it this week and although I'm getting stronger and my cross-training is on point, I've not actually been running that much. Which is ironic because I'm training for not one, but two races. Saying that I am reluctant to run too much, I tend to find that three runs a week is my happy place, but at the moment I'm barely making two. And often one of those is more drills than miles under the feet. I need those miles under my feet, it's the only way I am going to get my endurance back (and I REALLY miss my endurance), so going into week six (!) that's my focus, miles under my feet. 

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So, this is what went down this week: 

Monday - walking 

Tuesday - STRENGTH at Ministry Does Fitness

Wednesday - rest - I was travelling for work all day, which really takes it out of you

Thursday - Pilates at Heartcore Notting Hill

Friday - dog walking!

Saturday - 5k run (with Mike and Flora) and dog walking

Sunday - dog walking and a 6 mile run

Sunday's run was so difficult, but mile four I was struggling. I'm not sure if it was the hills, the drizzle or the really nasty chafing between my thighs, but I was not feeling it. So you know what I did? I hauled myself to the top of a hill (and I will not lie, I walked at least part of the way up there) and threw myself down on of my favourite sections of trail. And it felt so good. It reminded me how it feels to fly. It didn't mean that the run was easier, but it was much more manageable. It gave me the push I needed to get through it (along with all the amazing supportive messages from friends, you guys are the best!). 

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Of course, last week's workout highlight was messing around with tyres! I have wanted to flip tyres for so long, and have been waiting for the day that they come out at my weekly STRENGTH session, and trust me it lived up to all my hopes! I felt like such a bad-ass. In fact it was a double whammy session as I also managed my first ever pull up, I couldn't stop grinning, and Nat had to remind me I needed to keep going and the 30 second set was not up. I was buzzing for the whole day afterwards!

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Obviously Flora has to be the non-workout highlight of last week! If you've been following my Instagram stories you'll know that I've been back in Oxford looking after my family's dog Flora, a very enthusiastic cocker spaniel who has the energy of a toddler who has drunk a bottle of Pepsi. She is also mega cute and Mike spent the weekend pandering to her every need in a bid to persuade her to love him. It seems like his tactics were successful, because by Sunday she was all over him and more or less ignoring me. I'm pretty sure he was feeding her illicit snacks! Other weekend highlights include a pool party and BBQ and loads of awesome Greek food and ice cream! 

How was your week? 

 

#2x10k Week Four

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How have four weeks passed already?! It’s all a bit disconcerting really, not because the races are getting closer, but because it means that my dissertation deadline is also getting closer. I’m trying not to think about it too hard, but I am definitely stressed about it. In an odd way this isactually quite reassuring as I had worried my medication would dull that sense and I’d loose the drive that comes from a healthy amount of stress. However, now it’s here I do need to make sure I manage that stress so it doesn’t get out of control. I can already feel my sleep slipping, and now is the time to take action before things get too much, which means really listening to myself, something I got lots of practice at last week. 

Through most of week four I was absolutely exhausted. Like crawling home from work and having a nap exhausted. Partly the fall out from week three’s trip to hospital and partly the aftermath of my weekend at Wilderness, but I haven’t been that tired in quite a while. So I paid attention to that tiredness. I cut back on my training (or should that be gradually reintroduced it). I replaced runs with walks, took time to do a little restorative yoga, went to bed early and made sure I ate good food and stayed hydrated. Basically I cared for myself. Yes I slowed down compared to other times in my life, but that’s ok because it’s what I needed, and by Sunday I was ready to start pushing myself harder again. Which is just as well because I found myself careering around the city in an attempt to be London’s Fastest. 

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Nike's London's Fastest Night was a pretty unique experience which took us on a night time tour of the city in what I can only describe as a crazy urban fell running experience. We ran through multi-story carparks, through maze like streets, up and down stairs an ramps and across bridges, all in the the shadow of some of London's most iconic landmarks. The aim was to work as a team, move fast and hit all the checkpoints and challenges along the course to beat the rest. I love running with other people, it always makes me push myself, and this time was no different, which was awesome after taking things easy for the rest of the week. Even when I felt like I might vomit. But we'll blame that on the muggy weather! As always with Nike events the production values were insane, with the race starting and ending in the Tate Modern's Engine Hall, which was like something else! Music was blaring, lights flashed and the visuals were amazing, we were fully submerged in the atmosphere. Plus it's pretty special running up and down those ramps!  Definitely worth all the queuing before the event!

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This is how this week stacked up - 

Monday - an hour's walking

Tuesday  - Strength at Ministry Does Fitness

Wednesday - rest day

Thursday - Pilates at Heartcore; Backpackers (lots of drills, breathing exercises and planks. Loads of planks)

Friday - Restorative Yoga at Good Vibes

Saturday - rest rest rest. 

Sunday - London’s Fastest Night

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When I’m writing these posts I like to think of a non-fitness highlight for the week. It’s a practice inspired by a couple of my good friends, and it was the reason I started this blog in the first place, so that I could remember the good things in life. I think it’s a good habit. This week isn’t so much about the grand gestures of life, but more the little things. Hanging out with Mike, getting a burger from Honest after London’s Fastest, going to bed at 9pm on Saturday night. All the low key things that actually make life pretty great.

How’s your week been? 

Snack Time

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I've got a pretty busy life. Living in London, working, studying, training and travelling, it sometimes feel like I'm bouncing all over the place, because usually I am. Living life like a human ping pong ball means you often end up eating on the go, and when you have to grab something between appointments or at a train station it's not always easy (or possible!) to find something decent to eat, so carrying snacks is essential! Over the last few months I've really honed my snack selection, so I thought I'd share a few of my favourites. All of these ones are pre-packaged so that you can throw them in your bag and for get about them, until you need them...

Kind Bars - you know exactly what's in a Kind Bar, because you can see it. And they taste delicious. I like dark chocolate and sea salt best.

Graze snacks - I've been getting Graze boxes for years and I love how their individually (and sensibly!) portioned snacks are now widely available. The spicy siracha nuts are hot hot hot and delicious!

Urban Fruit - baked so it stays soft and squishy, plus they're one of your five a day and you can keep a bag of them in your bag for ages!

Mindful Bites - this stuff is the dream! These products are nutrient dense, yet they taste like a treat. I also really love the company's focus on mindful eating and thinking about what you put in your mouth.

Pulsin Brownies - well balanced nutrition meets taste, these are brownies that taste like a treat but aren't too bad on the healthy eating front. Plus no refined sugar means no energy crashes (something I can be prone to).

Tribe bars - I always forget I have a Tribe subscription, so it's always a nice surprise when a box of delicious snacks lands on my doorstep each month. These bars contain all natural ingredients and are balanced to help you perform. Plus they taste nice. 

Go Bites - I was sent a huge box of Go Bites a little while ago and they've become a staple in my snack box (yep, I have a snack box). They're totally natural and keep you going all day. I especially like that there are different Go Bites for before/during/after exercise, so your body is getting what it needs, when it needs it.

The Primal Pantry Bars - vegan, free from pretty much everything and made only with whole foods, these bars are snacking gold. Plus they actually taste good!

Popchips - sometimes you just really fancy some crisps, and while Popchips are by no means healthy, they are probably a bit better than some of the alternatives out there (here are some thoughts on the matter). Plus they're pretty widely available.

**I get to try lots of samples - including the massive box of Go Bites I was sent - however all opinions are my own**