Athens Marathon – Training log Week #9 (& some weekend shenanigans)

Hello beautiful people!😀 Happy Monday!

Time flies so fast… Already done with week #9 from my marathon training! This is pretty hard to believe! When I first started I have to admit I had a very hard time sticking with it… but I figured out why. You can’t go at it alone!! I am the kind of person who used to always do everything alone…but that had to change! Marathon training is hard enough as it is… I am grateful I have found some of the best running/working out buddies who keep it interesting (and real) for me😉

So let’s see how training went this past (totally crazy) week… For one thing I was totally beat by Friday so if that is any indication I ‘d say it went pretty well😉

Monday: Had my first speed work (fartlek) run with the Monday Adidas Runners group. It was a 6km run with integrated speed work (around 600×6 RI 400 walking in between). I enjoyed it but the only thing i wasn’t a fan of was doing speed work on cobblestone, even though the canal is a beautiful place, just not my cup of tea. Other than that it was quite fun🙂

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Tuesday: Had another event in store for me with Adidas Runners. A beautiful 5km run along the river and the canal all the way to the Adidas store in Oxford street. I have to admit sprinting down Oxford street was quite the rush😉 We got to try (and keep, Woo Hoo!!!) the newly launched Pure Boost x adidas runner shoes!! I have to admit they felt a little weird in the beginning but once you put them on and run a few miles they feel totally different. Personally, I wouldn’t use them for long distance running but they are perfect for speed work and working out.

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Also I met a new running buddy, Suze😀 We chatted away throughout the whole run! She says she is a cyclist and not a runner but I totally disagree LOL! We were pretty speedy at a 9:35/mile avg pace while kicking it off with conversation the whole way!! I hope we get to run together again soon, she was really fun!

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Wednesday: The piggies (my favourite headphones for anyone who doesn’t know who the piggies are😉 ) and I kick off our day with a very (VERY) speedy 10km in the morning before work! 1 mile warm up, 4 miles at a speedy 8:40-9:00 mins/ mile avg pace and 1.2 miles cool down! (I really wanted to try my new shoes!)

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And then later that evening I was invited to the AMAZING launch party for my favourite WeTrain personal training company🙂 One of the best events I have attended so far! It was incredible!! The venue was so beautiful, the workouts amazing -as always- and the food…oh the food! There was a variety of snacks and salads but my new favourite is the COCONUT jerky😛 from MightyBee. No words seriously…

We had to pick 2 workouts out of three options and I choose yoga and Barre. For anyone who hasn’t done Barre before (like me) it is a combination of pilates and ballet! I totally loved the instructor Hilary and I swear my legs were ON FIRE!!! (can you spot me in the yoga photo below😉 )

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Thursday: Even though I was oh so tired, I hit the park at 6:15am for a WeTrain workout class with Stevie. I think he was such a gentleman😉 All 5 of us (all ladies) were a mixture of tired/sore/sleepy, you name it, and he still managed to motivate us through a whole 50 minutes of intervals workout. Pretty brave thing for a guy LOL😉 (Yes, I was as tired as I looked ….)

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Friday: So, no there is no morning pre weekend long run to mention here… My running buddy is on vacation and I kept pushing the long run for later for the whole day. I was so tired after this full week (and some ups and downs at work) that I really couldn’t make myself lace up for it. So this is how my Friday looked like after work…

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Saturday: Feeling all better and rested after I totally slept in and missed my morning yoga session😦 Bummer… I headed out for my 20km long run🙂

The weather was rather warm (at around 30C) but thankfully not very sunny. Later that night we had an awesome outing with a few of my blogger friends. We barely recognised each other with Mollie and Sabine out of our regular running kits and snickers… But we do clean up nicely😉

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Sunday: This was a pretty awesome day! My very good work friend Martin and his beautiful fiancé Daiva tied the knot this weekend and we got to spent Sunday celebrating with them at an amazing estate up North-East called somerleyton hall. The BBQ style lunch was awesome and the rustic setting beautiful! I wish them both all the happiness for their new life because they are such good people and really deserve the best! Thank you so much for having us guys!😀 I think @mymamus and I cleaned up pretty nicely right ???

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So all and all this was a very long and busy week … No surprise I totally crashed last night after we got back from a 3 hour (each way) train ride! Very grateful today is a bank holiday Monday here in the UK and I get to chill on the coach and work from home🙂

Weekly mileage: 25.4

Total mileage: 173.1

Weekly cross-training session: 2 

HAPPY MONDAY😀

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Whey Box Protein Powder – REVIEW

Hi friends🙂

A few weeks ago I got a really cool opportunity to review a new to the market (UK local) protein powder called WHEY BOX! They are the new kid on the block and I have to admit I am totally hooked!

I got a few different flavours to try😀 along with a really cool shaker!

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The flavours I got to try where:

  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate & orange
  • Cookies & cream
  • Gingerbread
  • Mint chocolate

I really like all of them a lot! I tried the chocolate ones blended along with frozen bananas and unsweetened almond milk and the cookies & cream just shaken with water. The taste was great and the texture was very smooth. None of that weird after taste I usually get with some other whey protein brands.

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Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 09.15.34As for the gingerbread flavour well i did a little experiment there and poured it into my Alpro plain soya yogurt -protein on protein yup! – and guess what? I totally recommended! It was a huge win😀

The only one I didn’t try myself was the Mint chocolate since I have a strange aversion to mint! Gave it to a friend and she was very pleased with the taste. oh, and when they say”pocket size, convenient packs”… they mean it😉

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Also I love the fact that you can order different flavours and they all come to you where ever you want and whenever you want. Totally convinient and so not boring! I ‘ve had the issue of getting bored with one flavour since protein tubs are usually 1kg – this is a lot of protein…

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So all and all, yes, I would recommend you guys to try Whey Box. They ship fast and almost everywhere! And you can get £5 off your first order🙂

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Decathlon 5km Running Series

Hello people😀

Hope you are off to a great start this week!

So as promised, this is what happen last Sunday morning on the Decathlon 5km running series at Surrey Quays…

Having had a very active (and busy week) and having done my 12 miles long run on Friday, when I decided to join my friend Corey for a 5km we both thought “Ok, we’ll take it easy…” and THIS was the exact conversation that went on the day before the race after our yoga class …

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So with that in mind we arrived at Canada water station with a little less than an hour to spare before the race. We went there looking like the first picture and then 15 minutes later we were all dressed up in our bright (very nice and breathable) yellow Decathlon race t-shirts and ready to roll!!!! (I don’t know many people who get THAT excited to wake up at 7:30am on a Sunday to go an hour away to run twice around a park LOL but these are runners for you…😉 We are a bizarre breed!)

I have to admit, I LOVED the race! First of all it was totally free, well-organised, not massive queues and very helpful staff. Totally loved the (free) snack and fuelling table i think every race should have one!

There was a good amount of people of all ages – i love seeing families running together! Mums with toddlers and dads pushing strollers, I always think it is super cute.

Before the start of the race we all gathered to the start line and had a brief warm up session, then counted down from 5 and then we were off…

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Bright yellow and pink shirts flooded Southwark park! What a great atmosphere! And of course both Corey and myself got so carried away that we totally forgot about our “having fun deal”…

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We both run a sub 25 minutes (even though I am not quite sure that was an exact 5km… so this one doesn’t go on my PB list just yet!) and really pushed it at the end sprinting to the finish line.

After the race we walked to the store to pick up our goodie bags -included power bars and drinks, and just have a look around! Well I have to tell you I was Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.23.59.pngSHOCKED!! I can not believe I was in this country for 10 whole months and never knew about this store! Where do I start? The amount of sports stuff and variety – HUGE (from running to climbing and from canoeing to paddle boarding)! The people – super friendly AND knowledgable! Prices?? I wont even mention it! Total bargains compared to prices I have seen around town in other places!

I am so going back there soon! They have all you might need for cycling and as you all remember I do need a new tire..😉

 

So all and all it was a great day with a lot of fun🙂 I totally recommend it to any of my UK friends. They have a few more races coming up in different locations around the country so look it up here and definitely register!

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We might not have taken it easy as promised but we still pushed each other to the best of our abilities. I am grateful to have found such awesome people to run/workout with as it isn’t so easy in a very busy and crowded city like London!

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Athens Marathon – Training log Week #8

Hi friends🙂

Please allow me a tiny freak out before we continue! It is already week 9 for my training which means less than 10 weeks till my first marathon!!!!! Aaaaahhh!!!!!!

Ok, ok, ok… I am good now😛 I promise that was more excitement (and fear) than anything else!

I have to admit I am very pleased with the way training has been going lately. So let’s see how thing went this past week:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: great speed work today on the treadmill at the Castle 8×200 RI 1:30 (walking rest interval) and then I had the not so brilliant idea of getting in a HIIT workout with my friend Elle and WeTRAIN.

Wednesday: Morning run to work! 6.6 miles and this gal was super happy! It felt really good!

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Thursday: Another really cool workout with Stevie from WeTRAIN at 6:30 am! I was very brave to actually bike there and then to work. Where of course I got a flat tire… Oh the joy! And then walked about 4.5 miles that afternoon pushing the bike home.

Friday: An awesome long run with my amazing friend Corey! Hit 12.4 miles (20km) and then man up and went to work😀 It was fun! I was “riding” that long run before the weekend high all day long…

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Saturday: This one was quite special I have to admit! A pretty amazing WeTRAIN yoga session, with Katie and a complementary Bellini afterwards for some much needed catching up🙂

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Sunday: Had a really cool sub 25 minutes 5km race🙂 I wont say more since I can’t wait to write a full recap later this week😉 Just look at this awesome picture —> a great attempt of Corey to get a selfie while we were speeding away!

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Weekly mileage: 24.4

Total mileage: 147.7

Weekly cross-training session: 3 (plus cycling)

HAPPY MONDAY😀

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High Five Friday!!!

 

Hello everyone!

How is you week so far? I can’t believe how fast time flies when I am being busy (and I have to admit quite happy lately😀 :D). I think I thrive on being busy and doing all the things I love! Ok, so this week was pretty awesome with many things happening. It took me a while to find the five best (i really wanted to cheat and tell you about all of them LOL but I wont).

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So let’s see what I’ve been up to🙂

*5 PICTURES = 5000 WORDS FROM THE WEEK*

  1. I tried yet another AWESOME WeTRAIN session, this time with Stevie, at 6:30am on the park. There is no better way to start your day, than an exciting, butt-kicking workout. Blasting music, squats, push ups and sprints sounds like my kind of morning😀
  2. Ok, I think my amazing yogi friend Angela over at Happy Fit Mama would be so proud of me🙂 Look at my Crow pose in my very first yoga session EVER! Now THAT is high five worthy😉
  3. Last week’s 11.2 mile long run was (not totally) but pretty close to a unicorn run! It felt pretty good and I even sped up the pace considerably for the last 2.5 miles. Happy smiles = good run!
  4. I got a great opportunity to join the Castle, a new gym/swimming/ community centre which is only 10 minutes away from work, and try out for a few months! It is brand new and very nice! So be prepared for a lot of sweaty treadmill and not only pictures!
  5. Finally, how you can turn a bad day into a great day. Most of you probably saw on FB that i got a flat tire, more like my tire exploded during rush hour in the bike highway… So not fun. Had to lock it to a pole and walk the rest 3 miles to work. Same day my favourite jeans ripped (at work…), got on the wrong bus (more walking…) and the subway was out of service… BUT still it end up being an awesome day! @mymamus met with me and tried to fix my bike and the plan was for me to ride it home and he ‘ll get the bus. Well, that didnt work out… the tire was also messed up along with the inner tube so even thought I could wheel the bike I could not ride it. Which means WE had to push it home… Yup all 4.5 miles of it… But it was so much fun! It ended up being an impromptu date where we talked, laughed and ate snacks on the side of the road. I swear this guy is like my knight in a shinning armour sometimes😛 Cheesy I know… but I am so grateful that he likes me😉 with all my craziness! All it takes is one person for your day to get better :) I did have a bad day but my my point??

SEEING THE BRIGHT SIDE AND BEING POSITIVE IS A CHOICE! MAKE IT!

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My yoga #101 (total beginner) experience with WeTRAIN!

Hi friends😀

Ok, I am sure you all know by now my opinion (or should I say my PAST opinion) on YOGA.

I tried (really hard if I may say) a few months ago to start a morning yoga practice routine. Oh what happened to that??? Well, it didn’t happen. That was such a ROYAL fail… No matter how hard I have tried I could never make myself enjoy yoga or even get it right… I would keep thinking to myself “this is not exercising”, “this is soooo boring”…Or I’d get intimidated by what people in the videos/IG accounts I was browsing could do… And I ‘d think to myself “jeeeez, I could NEVER do that or this”…

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Well there comes a time in everyones life where the stars align and things just happen. So my time was right about now. When these pretty awesome people from WeTRAIN ask if some of us would like to take a month and try all of their classes I jumped on the opportunity🙂 So last weekend after my long run (11.2 miles) and while I was still riding the “high” from it, I set off to my very first yoga session – I justified it to myself as “It’ll be a great way to get a good stretch in”… Totally scared about it since faceplanting in front of another 4-5 people isn’t in my immediate aspirations list😛

I even tried to make a side plaid (in one last attempt to even remotely resemble a yogi … I know laughable…!) Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 11.20.21.pngSo I get to the studio which was about 15 minutes away from my place by bike.

And Yvonne, my pretty awesome yoga instructor met me by the door politely saying that it will only be the two of us today – since her other students had a little too much fun the night before… She asked if I minded and I was SO HAPPY😀 I thought at least I won’t make a fool of myself!

So after a small chat we started the session. I did tell Yvonne that I am a total newbie and that my main focus was to stretch after my run. She reassured me that we aren’t going to go faster than I was comfortable with.

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I TOTALLY LOVED IT! I obviously had a tough time with the breathing but I did try my best!

Yvonne also taught me how to do a crow!!! I know my jaw dropped to the floor when I saw the picture! After I did for the first time I excitedly yelled I did it and of course lost balance and graciously face-planted😛 hahahaha….

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And of course… after THIS success I gathered up my courage and after Corey’s suggestion – who by the way is one awesome yogi herself !!! – I went along for yet another session with yoga instructor Katie, a few days later. It was a lot of fun and very relaxed! I totally enjoyed it and… learn how to do a pigeon pose!

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We were a pretty nice group of people! And the space was just amazing!🙂 The picture obviously doesn’t do it any justice but the ceiling was beautiful!

I really think I will keep going to yoga session with WeTrain since I really loved it!! As a matter of fact I have another one on Saturday🙂 so what did I learn from all this? If you fail once that doesn’t mean you should stop trying… Get back up on your feet and try again…and again… and again…

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RUNNING AROUND THE WORLD #4 – FLORIDA, USA

 

Hello friends😀

I am beyond excited to share with you today my “Running around the world” series post #4!No idea what i am talking about? Check it out here. I am so so happy with how much everyone liked these series!! This time, we are travelling, somewhere super warm and super pretty, to meet Alison, also known as The Running Princess! No better place for us to go on a summer day🙂

Let’s see where we are going…

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Hi, I’m Allison. I’m an English teacher in Scotland and I love to run, however I only found running as an adult, having done no sport whatsoever when I was younger. I began running because I wanted to raise money for charity after the death of my gran and knew I needed to set myself a challenge. Before long I found myself bitten by the running bug! At first I found 5k slow and tough, I couldn’t understand how anybody could ever run further, but these days I’m running much further and faster with 8 marathons under my belt and numerous other races. If you’d told me that when I first started, I would have thought you were mad!

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(After the Paris Marathon in 2016)

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 18.06.26I run for a variety of reasons: I like the time alone to clear my head, I like the camaraderie of being part of a community and I like the challenge of seeing if I can improve my times. But one of the things I LOVE about running is that it gives me the opportunity to visit new places. My husband and I have often joked that our “weekends away” are all centered around races, and I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have visited Paris quite so many times if it wasn’t to run the marathon!

Which brings me to the topic of this post: running in Florida. Although I’m in Scotland, running in central Florida has become an annual event as my parents have a house there (yup, I know I’m really lucky!). I head out there for a holiday every year not to visit Mickey Mouse, but to relax and recharge in the sun. And since both my husband and my dad are also Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 18.06.36runners, it’s natural that running would creep into our trip!

In fact, going for a run is one of the things I enjoy most during my holiday. At home I usually have to run in the evening after work, but when I’m away I like to get up early and run before the heat builds up. Running around the streets where we stay when they’re peaceful and it just feels like the world is waking up is such a good way to start the day. The temperature is a bit different to Scotland which can make a run seem harder than usual, but when I get home again all that “heat training” can make my regular runs feel so much easier🙂

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 18.06.45(Early morning before a race at the National Training Centre in Clermont)

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Waterpark, Clermont

Although the main race season in Florida is during the winter months when the weather is a bit cooler, there are still plenty of options for those looking for a more organized run. There’s probably a 5k race happening somewhere in the state just about every weekend (we normally mange to drum up a couple while we’re there) and there’s even a parkrun in Clermont so parkrun tourists can still get their fix. I’ve not yet had a Floridian parkrun experience, but I have run a 5k race which takes in a pretty similar route, and I can recommend the beautiful lakeside location.

An interesting thing is that while I would NEVER win a prize at a race in Scotland, I’ve regularly found myself placing in my age category when racing in Florida, possibly because the categories cover narrower age brackets – this summer I even found myself finishing as second female overall in a race which was a massive surprise!

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Those travelling from cooler climes (such as the UK) definitely need to be aware of the impact of the weather on their running, especially in the summer. It WILL be hot, and this will make it harder to run at your normal pace. You’ll also sweat much more so it’s important to make sure you keep well hydrated, and consider carrying a drink even on shorter runs unless you’re well acclimatized. Think about what you’re going to wear too – no need for long tights or thick tops in July! If you head out for a run on the road, remember that traffic will be on the opposite side of the road from in the UK, so make sure you pay attention and check twice before crossing roads. Oh, and watch out for the wildlife! I’ve never run in an area where I would be likely to see a gator (although never say never!) but it’s not unusual to spot a crane or perhaps an armadillo!

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Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 18.07.21If you do get the chance to visit Florida, I would definitely recommend looking out for a race to run. I’ve always found other runners to be really friendly (oddly enough, I’ve regularly met runners wearing vests from Scottish clubs out there) and it’s great fun seeing some of the differences between racing in the UK and racing at home: don’t be surprised if the national anthem is played before the race begins, expect an ENORMOUS medal (even for a 5k) and if you’re really lucky there will be an amazing post-race spread – I’ve even had barbecue and beer at 8am after a 5k! Now that has to be worth the early start!

 

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Huge thank you to Alison for sharing her story with us🙂

Till next time with other exotic (and not) running destination!!

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Any one who has a running story from ANYWHERE in the world that would like to be part of these series is welcome!! Shoot me an email to taleoftworuns@gmail.com or send me a tweet or a Facebook or an Instagram message! Also if you would like to connect with other runners from all over the world you can join our -open to all- Facebook group :D

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