10 February 2015

300TH DAY OF MY #RUNSTREAK

Today marks 300 days of running in a row! Wahoooo!
Now I know that there are people all over the globe who run everyday and 300 is definitely just a drop in the ocean compared to that. But I have to say I'm extremely happy with myself for carrying on with runstreak. Today I'll be celebrating 300 days of running in a row and looking forward to the next 65 that'll mark the point of me running a whole year!

So what's happened in the last 100 days since my last update post on the 2nd November? Well I've run over 170 miles, which recently included the Winter 10k in London. I'm currently in training for my first triathlon. As well as doing a fair amount of runningI've also added swimming and cycling into the mix. Alongside triathlon training I've also been looking at getting my run distance up again ready for my first half marathon of the year in April. The event marks the anniversary of my first half marathon and I'm excited to be running the same route. I'm definitely going to be aiming for P.B on the course. I say first half marathon of the year as my second one has been confirmed! I decided to enter the Royal Parks Half Marathon ballot after confirming I would be in London for the whole of the month and therefore able to run it if I was lucky enough to get a place. I had heard it was a tough one to get into for but I'm so happy to say that I was lucky enough to win a place in the ballot and will be running through those glorious Royal Parks this Autumn!

Have you ever wanted to take up a runstreak or are you currently running one? I'd love to hear if you are! I post every run on my Twitter so make sure to follow me on there if you want to keep up to date.

Check out my previous recaps for 100 Days and 200 Days.

06 February 2015

A RATHER BRILLIANT WEEKEND


I'm currently suffering from the "holiday blues". You know the feeling of returning from a place and instantly want to head back? I've spoken about it before (here) when I talk about my desperate wish to head back to New York (hopefully this year or next I'll make it happen!). So yep, that's me today and it's also how I've been feeling since last Sunday afternoon. 

Last Friday I headed up to London for the a pre-birthday weekend of visiting my grandparents, celebrations, meeting new people and to run the Winter 10k. It was one of the best weekends ever. I met so many amazing people and was seriously inspired throughout the weekend. It all start on the Friday...

Friday 30th January
My alarm went of around 5:30am and after a bit of a delay I was out for a quick morning run (the only time of the day I knew I'd have free for my run streak!). I boarded a train just before 8am and spent the next three and a half hours travelling to Paddington station in London. Once I arrived I quickly hotfooted my way across to Euston station where I arrived a Barry's Bootcamp (full report coming soon!). The journey from station to Barry's took slightly longer than it should have as I ended up walking round in a circle twice before being greeted by it's rather pretty exterior. I'd planned to arrive early to my 12:30pm class as I'd never experience Barry's before. An hour later and I emerged incredibly happy and ready for the rest of the day. I showered, got ready and then proceceded to have a frantic dash around Euston station to look for a snack to eat. Side note: if you're doing a Barry's class make sure to have a post workout shake, I really wish I had!

Back on the tube I headed to Old Street to check out the Lexie Sport fitness hub, a pop up which was ending that Saturday. I got to meet the lovely Lily and handed her a batch of my Cocoa, Cashew & Date snack balls to keep the team and instructors going! I then met up with the lovely Cam and Alex from Fashercise for a catch up over coffee and cuddles with the adorable Bailey.

I headed to my grandparents for a cup of tea (and one too many biscuits) c before a Shepard's pie was devoured. A bit of relaxation by the TV (I may have also consumed a Cornetto) and it was soon time for bed.

Saturday 31st January
After initially setting my alarm from 6:30am to head out for a run I decided to wait until it started to lighten up a bit more before heading out on Hampstead Heath. My morning run turned into a bit of an ice skating session as the paths were a lot more slippery than I was expecting. Side note: Parliament Hill covered in ice is a bit of a mission to run up, whilst trying not to fall on your face. With a short run completed I was home for a quick bit of breakfast before heading out the door to meet the delightful Charlie for a catch up and an exercise class back at the Lexie hub. 45 minutes later, with a severely reddened face & post H.I.T.T class, we made our way to Shoreditch Grind for a long catch up over brunch and coffee. We took some photos for Charlie's blog, boarded a train and met Ashley in Notting Hill. All too soon I had to part from Charlie and Ashley (soon to be reunited the next day) as we went separate ways and I was off to meet, a different, Charlie for cake (something which I had been extremely looking forward to for a while!). Charlie and I have been chatting online for a while and I have named her as the cake connoisseur. We planned to meet for the first time over a spot of cake and to have a good old catch up in person. The setting for this meeting was Drink Shop & Do. The cake was AMAZING and I HIGHLY recommend a visit. I'm very much looking forward to more cake and running adventures with both Charlies in October.

I was then off back home to a delicious special birthday meal that was a delight. A couple of hours later and I drifted off to sleep.

Sunday 1st February
A brand new day of the month marked Winter Run day!! As I didn't have a huge journey that morning it was a later and more relaxed breakfast with my grandparents. A change into my running kit for the day and I was off to Embankment station! I have a full race recap up about the race, so if you want to know a bit more check that out! After the run it was time to head to Bill's for brunch. It was Leah's last run before she sets off for travels and a wedding! I got to meet so many people I've been speaking to online for a while now and there was a lot to talk about. I finally got to meet Leah who was lovely and full of energy. Plus I got to chat a lot with Caraas well as others including Harry, Lissy and Steph. As I said goodbye to everyone I wished I could live in London so that I could spend more time meeting and chatting to all these fantastic people. 

A couple of hours of chat back at my grandparents and the time came all too soon for me to head home back to Cornwall. A short wait at Paddington and the journey home began...

I think this post pretty much contains everything I did that weekend. I'm hoping I haven't missed anything out! I had an amazing time, met so many awesome people and it was lovely to catch up with people I've met a couple of times now including Charlie

A big thank you to each and every single person I met over the course of those 3 days. It was amazing and I can't wait to see you all again! Hopefully in the not too distance future!

04 February 2015

WINTER RUN 10K RECAP


My first race around the streets of London, the first completely flat run in a while, a first race with friends and the first of many events for 2015. 
This was the Cancer Research Winter Run 10k and I rather enjoyed it. 

The Winter 10k for me was a number of things; a chance to run with friends, run round the streets of London and also to just run. I booked this race way back now as I wanted to race around the time of my 21st birthday and it just so happened that this race fell the day before, and I also knew quite a few people running. It was Leah's last race in London, before the marathon in April, and I thought it'd be a lovely chance to meet up with friends, meet new people and to finally meet Leah in person.

Going into this race I was and wasn't looking for a PB. I knew I could achieve one, as I felt fitter than last May when I raced We Own The Night, but my main aim was to have fun and enjoy running in a city I love. I managed a PB by just over 10 minutes and I was over the moon at the time I achieved. Although I run a lot, I haven't actually ran that many races so seeing seeing my times improve is very motivating for me.

In terms of the event itself. I thought that it was very well organised. From the moment I exited the station there were people directing you to the event. There were lots of volunteers about making finding the start line or the bag drop very easy. Of the majority of people I spoke to I think I was one of the only ones to actually use the bag drop and I was very impressed by how smoothly it all went. I simply chose one of the many lanes, each one had at least 5/6 people manning the desks, handed over my bag (you had to use the one supplied in the race pack) where it was given a number and I was given a matching wristband. Once that was done I walked through the tent and out the other side. Each lane allowed two people to drop of bags at a time and the one way system kept it flowing incredibly well. The only issue I think people may have found with this is that you could only use the bag supplied in your pack, at the drop. At first I was worried it wasn't going to be big enough but I found I could easily fit a change of clothes, hoody, my coat and scarf all inside.

I was meant to be in start wave 3 but actually ended up in the second wave, and very nearly in the first! There was no checking of bibs, that I experienced, so if you wanted to I think you could have probably arrived a bit earlier and made your way to the start line to start in an earlier wave. After a warm up lead by Fitness first, repeated for each wave, it was time to go! The start line was sat right opposite the London Eye, a pretty iconic feature of the London skyline! The route made it's way up past Somerset House heading towards the Tower Of London. Heading back to the finish, the path wound it's way around various streets leading past St Pauls Cathedral. The first kilometer flew by with the second marking the Swiss themed tunnel. Running out the other end the distances moved quickly and it wasn't long before I found myself at 8k and knowing there wasn't much left. With 1k to go I quickened my pace a bit and suddenly the distance seemed to disappear. As I was running the last 800m or so I actually run past Charlie, Zoe, Leah, Ashley and a couple of others who were just starting their run as they had decided on a later wave. I turned a corner and there was the finish line just in front of me! I crossed the line and looked down and stopped my watch. A new PB and a very happy face. After picking up my medal, I stretched out, was spotted by Charlie and introduced to Harry for the first time. After also meeting Steph they started on their way to Bill's whilst I headed back to the bag drop to pick up my things and change into something a bit warmer. In terms of the race itself I did really enjoy it. I thought it was going to be a bit more scenic and maybe a teensy bit more snow in the zones, but I was just so happy to be running through the streets of London! 

Everyone met at Bill's after for Leah's brunch and it's where I got to meet a lot of new people who've I've only really spoken to before on Twitter. It was so lovely to get a chance to meet everyone and have lots of chats with some incredibly lovely people!

The value for money? I booked my place in a group of five which meant there was a slight discount when you all booked together. The price was around the same that I paid for entry to the half marathons I've run at around £30/£35. At first I thought that the price seemed slightly high for a 10k event but as Leah said, the majority of that cost probably would have been for closing off the streets (something which I didn't initially think about). I'm really happy that I did this race and it's definitely helped to keep boosting my love for running. The medal has now proudly joined my two half marathon medals (Eden Project and Plymouth) as well as my band, and necklace, from We Own The Night.

I enjoyed this race and it was a great event to kick off my events of 2015 and also running for a great cause. A big thank you to all those involved in making the race possible and every single volunteer that spent their Sunday making sure the event ran smoothly.

Did you run the Winter 10k this year and if so what were your thoughts? And is this a race you'd be interested in entering in the future? Let me know @afloralcrown.