Make a Promise

Ok so you're probably inundated with all these "new year, new you" type emails, quotes, phrases at the moment. I'm not going to preach about anything like that but I think it's a good time to make a promise. A promise to someone important. Someone who doesn't always look at themselves in the most positive way, who can be quite negative and hard on themselves.

It's me and I'm making a promise to myself. I'm going to commit to myself.

Vomit. How cheesy, I know!.. but it's true. I'm the first one to pick faults in myself; my appearance, my ability, my performance. And what good does it do? I feel self conscious, insecure and I let others dictate the way things are in my life.

Well no more. I'm going to commit to myself. I'm going to invest in myself and I'm going to trust myself; I can run that extra mile, I can take on a new project at work, I am brave enough to try something new. I can definitely fit another chocolate bar in my mouth :)

Write down all the things you've always wanted to do and go for it. There isn't anything stopping you but you. Try new things, meet new people, go to new places. So many of my family tell me that "it's easy for you" (yep they actually say this shit to my face). Seriously, it's just as difficult for me as it is for you. I have a full time job, I commute for 2+ hours a day. But it's important to me so I make time. I wake up at 5.30 and go to the gym for 6. It isn't easy, trust me, but I do it. I love chocolate and cake but I hold back from eating everything in sight. It's annoying and quite rude that people can criticise you and find every excuse under the sun for your success instead of attributing it to sheer will and determination.

Don't let anyone bring you down or diminish your success. You deserve it. You've worked for it. Besides, nothing worth having comes easy or everyone would have/do it! So commit to yourself and put yourself first. Do something for you and kick 2016's ass!

Happy New Year!

2015: Races, Results and Milestones

79 hours. 860km. 110 personal records....What a year it's been! 
I've had some amazing moments and achieved so much more than I ever thought I could. Here's a little round up of some of my best bits.

Staying Motivated

It's cold, it's dark, there are always mince pies floating around...It's difficult to stay motivated at this time of the year. I'd much rather be in front of the fire in my cosy dressing gown watching Elf than doing interval drills in the rain. Here are a few things I've found that help keep me motivated.

Does the Run Still Count?

Anyone with a Garmin or sports watch will know what I'm taking about; you're running, you need a minute and without thinking hit "pause" on your watch. You pause, recover, hit "start" and continue on. This happens a few times and by the end you're pretty please with your time. But how accurate is your run really?

I feel like for training runs, which let's face usually compromise 95% of our runs, are for this purpose. It's almost like prolonged interval training but at a medium intensity and typically over a longer period of time. It helps you gauge your pace and gives you an idea of how hard/long you can go for. Recently I've been wondering if it affects you more mentally. For example, I know I can run 10k without stopping. I've done it in races countless times but when I know I'm going for a training run, I really struggle to run 10k without having a quick moment to catch my breath,

Is it because I know it's just a training run and it doesn't count? Is it because psychologically I'm thinking "this run is going to be long so take a few breaks to ease the pain?" - honestly I don't know. I know that I feel quite guilty when I post a great time with fast splits knowing that in reality, I've stopped a few times and even popped into the hairdresser for a glass of water! Nonetheless I've posted it on Strava and felt weirdly pleased when my friends have commented on my "great times". 

I feel like I should start my watch at the beginning of my run and stop it at the end. No questions asked. But when I'm waiting to cross the road or retying my shoelaces, its difficult to have this kind of clear cut logic. The only thing I really look at is the time so am I just kidding myself?

What do you think- is it purely a vanity thing for Strava so our friends can give us "kudos" and make us feel better about how well we're running. Are we just fooling ourselves or does it actually help? We try not to stop in races so why do we do it in training and think nothing of it?

Run around Wembley

In between the wedding madness last week, there was 1 day off from any type of wedding activity. Considering my insane consumption of fried foods (it was so worth it!) and my derailed marathon training plan, I grabbed my trainers and went for a run. If you're on Strava, give me a follow!

Photo Diary: Indian Wedding!

We had a huge family wedding this week (literally, Wednesday-Saturday!) and here are a little collection of some of the best photos/pictures of me! It was amazing, probably one of the best weddings I've ever been to (and that's a lot!). I had such a wonderful time with my cousins and aunts, I love my mum's family so much; we all get on so well and we always have a great time together. Can't wait till the next one already!

P.S sorry for the weird formatting- it's next to impossible to post photos decently on Blogger.


Marathon Training

In my high-vis for a night run!
Sorry I've been so absent, work has been crazy and I've been trying to fit in sleep wherever possible! So Monday marked 18 weeks until the dreaded big day. Gulp. I'm having very mixed feelings right now, it's just such a bloody long way!

Dreamy Autumn Nails

I'm sorry for the lack of anything but fitness and training recently. I wish I could say that I was doing other things but between training and a new job, it's been madness. I did pick up a beautiful new nail colour the other day (which is basically the same shade as every other colour I own!) and I am loving the Kylie Jenner vibes.

A Red Kiss

If you are a girl with Indian/darker skin, it's difficult to find a bold red lip that doesn't make you look like you're in drag. Fact.

It's not an easy task but I am a girl on a mission. I love a bright, bold red lip especially in colder months as it just stands out and looks so glamorous. I found these lippys which definitely do the trick without making you look manly. I've gone for reds with an orange undertone as they work well with a darker skin tone to give a vibrant colour.

Sunday Cycle to Hever Castle

Yes I went cycling! It wasn't very warm but I'd agreed to meet my friend Mandy and we were going to support our friends at the Hever Triathlon so there was no 'cop out' option.

I layered up because it's England and even though the sun is shining, it's cold. I decided to wear my trainers instead of my bike shoes. I think I'm going to wear them for a few months until I'm more confident on my bike. I am so scared of falling off, getting it by a car, you name it so I think this will help me.

I had to cycle to Mandy's which is around 7 miles. It was pretty flat and the roads were empty so it was a dream. I met Mandy and she reassured me that it wasn't a long ride and there would be 1 short hill around 200m long.

This was a lie. It was very "undulating" -cyclist code for HILLY. I was pretty pleased with my effort overall though. It was sad not being able to keep up with someone on a mountain bike but I should give Mandy credit because she is one badass cyclist!

I rode to my highest elevation to date, 516m so I was pleased! Overall, I am happy I went and proud of myself. I need to seriously step up my game though. That 90k cycle is not going to be my friend....

Reigate Half Marathon

It all started off so well- the sun was shining (which was a good thing considering my outfit choice of a vest and shorts!), I was with my new running group who were all so encouraging and enthusiastic which was lovely as I was there on my own. The first 1k was uphill and I mean a sharp uphill. It came and went fine, I was actually happy with my pace which normally never happens. I felt good, seriously good. It didn't feel like it's usual struggle and I was maintaining a steady pace of around 5.20/km which isn't bad for me.

Half Marathon

I have entered a half marathon. It is in 11 days. Yes you read that correctly, 11 days. Less than 2 weeks. I have been running around 10k a week so I mean, it's just a piddly little 11k more, right?!

Sooo....I entered because I wanted to gauge my fitness and running ability. As you may know I am running my first marathon in April and while it is still far to early to start training, I'm keen to build up my fitness and get comfortable running long distances. I don't think there's anything wrong with starting early as long as you make sure you don't burn out.

Track: Learn How to Count

Oh dear, you know you're in trouble when you can't count to 4 twice in the space of 20 mins or so. I went to the track last night on very heavy, lead-like legs. I haven't been eating properly recently as I've been really stressed and emotional and my usual response is to just stop eating. I know how bad that is but it's just how my body is. Safe to say, it doesn't make for an easy run!

The session last night was,
(4 x 400m with 1 min recovery) x either 2, 3 or 4 times with 2 mins between sets.
Set 1: 1.36, 1.38, 1.41, 1.45
Set 2: 1.47, 1.47, 1.50

I went for 2 as I didn't feel great and I loathe running 400m. There's something so cruel about that distance on a track, it looks much shorter than it really is and hurts far more than you'd expect.

I did the first 4 no problem. Well, it hurt and as usual I was at the back on my own but I managed it fine. My times were slower with each turn of the track but I just couldn't get my legs to move. I had my 2 mins rest and went again but somewhere along the way, I just lost count. I had no idea where I was and being lapped didn't help as I couldn't gauge my run to anyone else's. So I ended up doing 3 400m not 4 for my second set.

Honestly I doubt I could have run more. My head was spinning and my legs were gone. Note to self- eat properly and drink plenty of water. Duh.

LSR: Long Slow Run

Oh yikes, I hadn't done one of these in a good 6 months! The night before I went for a meal with my family and boyfriend cue 2 courses AND a pudding so I wasn't exactly feeling it.

Wednesday Track & Mini Rant

Wednesday night can only mean one thing. No not Bake Off, that comes after. first it's track! Last night's session was tough with options for those who could run faster. Of course I had to take a shorter one being the slowest in the group. Seriously- the s-l-o-w-e-s-t.

We did,
300m hard with 200m jog recovery x5 =1 set
Run the set once, twice or four times. I went for twice.

1.11, 1.18, 1.23, 1.22, 1.19
1.19, 1.17, 1.18, 1.18, 1.17

It was tough but I felt good. I was hurting quite a lot and as we went on my recovery jogs became walks but I pushed hard for every 300m..

I got quite annoyed at the end though because a man who I don't even know felt the need to come over and tell me how "shit it is running at the back alone". Considering he is in the fastest group, I found this particularly rude. There are 2 groups of runners: the fast and the moderate. I can't keep up with the moderate runners (yet!) so I just run at the back on my own. I am motivated enough to push myself and to keep going even when I'm getting lapped. I find it so irritating that people constantly feel the need to "motivate" me by, quite honestly, just being rude. I am a grown woman- if I didn't want to get better, I wouldn't be there,

Okay that's enough about it, Here's to a good hump day!

Body Pump

Hi hello hi! Monday night is officially body pump night. It's one of the only classes I do at the gm and I absolutely love it. I feel the improvement relatively quickly so I like that I can feel the progress. A strong core makes everything faster and better so I'm hoping for some gains in that area too!

Last night was a really awkward class as my boyfriend's ex girlfriend was there with her REALLY friendly girlfriends. Great! And the air condition still hasn't been fixed (it's been 4 weeks now) so it was hot, sticky and I had an audience. Happy Monday!!

I usually squat around 15kg and do the main set with around 5/7kg. I think I can squat more but I find it really difficult to get the bar onto and off my shoulders when it's heavy. So perhaps I could build some arms strength first....I don't know? I do know that some people who are too busy smirking and squatting 5kg might as well stay on the sofa and not bother. Mm hmm.

Monday Motivation

This sums up my mood today perfectly- I am terrified.

Fitness: Swimming

Last night was swim night...mainly because I had to wash my hair. I never really know what to do when I go swimming. I mean, I know how to swim obviously but what drills/sets/etc. If anyone has any they use or knows where to get some, let me know.

Fitness: Wednesday Track

So last night in the miserable grey rain I headed down to the track. I was tempted to give it a miss as I didn't particularly want to wash my hair (#girlproblems) and it was cold and wet. I was really thinking of giving it a miss when I suddenly thought of my impending marathon and later, half Ironman. "What if it is like this on the day?" - what would I do? Given the amount I've paid, I can hardly pull out due to a bit of rain *sigh*. So off I went.

I struggle with track as the group I run with are amazing. They are sprinting past me, lapping me over and over. It can be quite demoralising sometimes. They are kind though and always encourage me as they glide past. I suppose I am lapping everyone at home on the sofa so I am doing something!

Last night's session was 
2 x 200m with 20 seconds rest (45s, 48s)
6 x 800m with 1 mins rest (3.34s, 3.50s, 3.50s, 4.00s, 4.03s, 3.55s)

It was HARD. 2 laps of the track is such a horrible distance. On the first 400m when you're on that back straight, it's so difficult not to push harder and sprint as you can see the line. You have to really hold back and save your legs for that final 200m when I feel like my legs are lead.

Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire

I haven't written a post for a good few months. In that time I've started a new job and have siged up for a half Ironman. My first one. For the unititated it's a 1.9k swim followed by a 90k bike and finished with a half marathon run of 21k.

I think I've lost my mind.

I thought I'd track my training so that I can see my progress and hopefully inspire other people to push their boundaries and see what they're capable of. I'm hardly super fit but I want to smash this 70.3 race. I've got 10 months so keep an eye out and if you have any tips along the way- let me know!


Winter Skin Savers

Winter time: cue dry skin and cracked lips. Ugh what stress after weeks of summer (well in England it's more like a day or two) smothering myself in moisturizer. Luckily I have a few tricks up in sleeve to preserve that silky soft summer feeling.

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