It’s all about the race … -Belfast trip part 2

Hi all 😀

so, as I wrote before, Saturday was AWESOME in Belfast and Sunday was even better! The reason why we were in Belfast to begin with was this race, from the Decathlon running series. I have already completed two of the Decathlon running series races – one in Surrey Quays in London and this one in Belfast – and I have to say I totally loved every minute of both experiences!

From registering to the finish line EVERYTHING had been taken care of for all runners!

We arrived at the Belfast store around 8:40am and with a start time of 9:30am we had plenty of time to spare and we decided on a store tour (and bathroom breaks LOL)!

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After registration – which was as easy as… “Hi, please fill out this form” and one minute later… “There you go” and your Decathlon t-shirt (I totally ❤ this one, I have used it for a few races already!) and bib are in your hands! Also another thing that I love? These races are FREE! Yes, you heard it alright…Free! screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-16-16-55

The way that race fees have been increasing lately sometimes it makes it very hard for people to take part no matter how much they want to. Also we might not have gotten a medal but we got a really cool (£10 value) goodie bag, fruits, snacks and water.

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There must have been around 1000 people and there were no cues and no confusion and everyone was in great spirits with a smile on their face 😀 We went through registration in a breeze, and the staff responsible for it was knowledgable and polite. Everything was provided…from the snacks down to the safety pins 😉

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After registration and since we still had sometime to kill, the blogger in me took over and there were photos over photos LOL! This is one of my favourites!

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and of course….

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… the traditional Instagram frame because you can not not right…? 😛

At 9:20am we all gathered at the start line, where the loud music (and probably frigid cold temps) made everyone kinda dancing, laughing and moving around. This race had an amazing crowd and some really – REALLY – incredible and fast runners… The race and crowd had an amazing feel.. It was like a celebration of some sort LOL!

Can you spot Corey and I ??!?!

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And then before you know it… We were off!!!

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The course was ABSOLUTELY stunning!! So incredibly beautiful!!

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I did enjoy the race but it wasn’t one of my best. I forgot my GPS watch (brand new – review coming soon!!!) and I decided to run alongside Corey. If only I’d thought that one through…. She is at a much better shape than I am at the moment and also she is at the beginning of her marathon training while for me, this was my last race before the marathon! I am not as fast as I used to but my endurance has developed new limits 😀 So we took off too fast – for me – and by mile 2 I felt really out of it. I told Corey to go for it and I fell back into a slower but steadier pace. Took me a mile or so to feel better but by mile 4.5 I was settling into a nice pace. I finished with 55:59 which is about a minute more than my PB. But Corey…. She totally smashed!!! Proud of you girl!

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The next AWESOME thing that happened was … Lindsay (the one with the pink hoodie)!!! This woman is a rockstar! She gave birth about 3 weeks ago and on Sunday she finished her 10km! Impressive??? Hell yes! Helen (purple shirt) paced her and she did great! You should totally read Lindsay’s race recap, its funny and inspiring!

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I am so glad and grateful I had the opportunity to do this race! I couldn’t be happier and more excited to have this Decathlon 10km as my last race before my marathon… in 3 DAYS!!!! Thank you Decathlon, you sure know how to throw a hell of a race!

I’ll be definitely going back!

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Pre-race thoughts, race plan & let the tapper begin…

No freak out… no crazy dances around the house… just me sitting here and quitely contemplating about my marathon… my very first marathon.

So thoughts…

When i started marathon training 19 weeks ago…- wow 19 weeks! That’s like l33 days! – i thought to myself you got this girl 😉 And that by the end of training i’ ll totally feel like a badass and i ll be in the best shape of my life!! Maybe even lose a bit a weight 😉 yeah well things didnt go exactly like that…

I am at my final week before the marathon and things are very different than what i thought…

At the moment i am 10 lbs heavier, tired to no end – both physically and mentally – and i ve definately been in a better shape before… also i m very – VERY – anxious about the race. I both can not wait to be there, feel the vibe, and run this historic route and also feel like my heart skps a bit every time i think about this race! By now i have mentally run the race about 20 times!

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So, race goals. Lets see:

A) FINISH IT….SMILING!! Enjoy every single minute of it!

B) Try and run the whole way.

C) Try and get a time between 4:00:00 – 4:15:00

So as you can see i have re prioritize a little – @mymamus was right, i waa settinh my self up to fail with my previous goals.

Race plan…

6 gels (along with water) roughly every 7km and a few sips of an isotonic drink in between.

Plan is to start conservatively an not fast and try to gwt tyrough the 11 mile uphill. Hoping for a slower first half and a faster second half. Planning to pick up my pace after around mile 18, where the downhill portion begins.

According to my coach – Greek record holder for the authentic marathon route- to get a good result from this race you need to embrace the route. Dobt fight it, dont fight the hills. Do your best. Be conservative and when the tine comes for the downhill portion make a deal with yourself and give it all.

And THAT is exactly what i am planning to do. Embrace the difficulty and do my best. Open up my heart and my soul and take it all in. I used to thibk that the narathob is a race, (no wait you ll see what i mean) against you and the rest of the runners, the clock and the distance. No its not! Its a race against you! Against your own thoughts. Against yourself.

I was told by someone i really look up to, that this day will change me for the rest of my life. Anvi really hope it will! I want to get to know ME better. See what i am made of.

So here we are everyone… final stretch! I can not thank you all enough for sticking around and giving me all your support all these weeks!

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Athens Marathon – Training log Week #17 & Halloween and stuff …

Hi everyone 🙂

So this week things have started to slow down a bit with only 2 weeks left for my marathon… – see no freak out there 🙂

Tuesday: MENTAL HEALTH RUN 🙂 I run back home from work – 6.2 miles. I have no clue my time or pace since I went totally watch-less and with my favourite music blasting in my ears!

Thursday: 3.2 miles.

Sunday: 3.2 miles Halloween trick or treat race 🙂 – see all the awesome photos below 🙂

Weekly mileage: 12.6

 

Total mileage: 320.4

Weekly cross-training session: 0

Now, that training recap is out of the way… Let’s talk weekend shenanigans, shall we??

How was your weekend ?

Mine started in an awesome way! My buddy Corey and I run a trick or treat run at Richmond park !!! A bit of a last minute decision but I am really REALLY happy we did it – surpassingly since as many of you know i am really not that interested in Halloween! But I know that Corey totally loves it and when I got the passes to this race I didn’t even blinked twice 😉

So we did some costume shopping on Saturday morning and decided to go as Devil (me) vs. Angel (her) ❤

First thing we both did once we got back home was of course to text to each other photos of our full costumes lol!

Turns out the race was amazing – had different scary get ups in every mile marker – and Richmond park is beautiful! Also the weather was so appropriate for Halloween… All foggy but not cold 🙂

And this was the result 🙂

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The race was so much and at the end you had to stick your hand in this green … thingy … grab a coin and the get your medal! Which by the way, GLOWS IN THE DARK!! How cool is that!?!?

 

But I have to admit, that Corey and I were totally not the best costume of the day! But Corey’s dog, mr.Ripley of Essex stole all the lights and attention in his adorable banana split costume 🙂 ❤

I hope you all have a great week! Mine didn’t start off on a great note – I hate it when equipment decides to not work…grrr – but I am positive and not getting upset over it – yet…. 😉

Oh and HAPPY HALLOWEEN

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Athens Marathon – Training log Week #16

In case you didn’t see it ….

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19 DAYS TO GO!!!!

Can I freak out now?????

I can not believe it has been 16 weeks already! This means I have been training for 112 days :O #speechless I seriously can not believe that in less than 20 days I’ll be lining up at the start of my first ever marathon and not only that but THE AUTHENTIC marathon! 120 years after it all started… I have goosebumps…

Ok, so last week it was me trying to get back on the horse after being pretty sick for about 10 days.

Tuesday: Tried to run and ending up coughing like crazy 😦 so I had to stop and turn around and go home in less than a mile…

Thursday: 2.7 VERY easy miles…

Saturday: 10 miles long run again very easy.

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Sunday I tried to meet up with my friend Corey for a pilates class, and I ended up waiting for the bus for about 20 mins and by the time I found out there was an issue and the bus won’t show it was too late to get there in time 😦 Not cool #TfL …. (Sorry Corey and Eileen for not showing up)…

I know the past two weeks my training has been totally off, but as my good friend Corey reminded me today, I can turn it around. It is not too late and not all is lost – always had a thing for the dramatic 😛

Weekly mileage: 12.7 (-ish)

Total mileage: 294.7

I will add the 13.1 from my half the week before to this one 😉

Total mileage: 307.8

Weekly cross-training session: 0

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Athens Marathon – Training log Week #14

Hi everyone 🙂

How was your week? I know I have been very silent this past week but I am not even going to mention how busy I have been! The next two weeks will be super crucial for my research and I needed to make sure i had all I need and that everything was in place! I am quite anxious about it but I have a good feeling – and great people to work with 😉

So how did my week went? Slow, like really slow… After my (very first ever) 20 miler the week before I took 2 days off to recover, mostly mentally lol 😛 ! But then work came into high gear so I had my first run of the week on Wednesday… Yeah I know…

Wednesday: 5k tempo run – unfortunatelly  little slower than what I would ‘ve liked but at least I got it done even though I was totally not feeling it and oh so tired! Also have i mentions how much I love fall?? Look at this beauty!

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Saturday: Speed work – 1km w/u, 4×800 , 1.5km cool down. Totally love these treadmills at the Castle centre (review coming this week stay tuned!!!) were you can visually “see” yourself going around the track!

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Sunday: Long run – 15 miles (around 25km) in about 2:20 ish! Not too shabby 😉 That was a good one! I did need a good run since my last too long runs were – mentally – very challenging! And yesterday was a win! 🙂

That was my face afterwards 😉

As for the rest of my weekend it was pretty chilled 😀

Spent Saturday with my good friend Jen celebrating her birthday with a visit to the aquarium (better photos coming soon 😉 ), a girlie lunch and chocolate cake after dinner!

I cleaned up pretty nicely i believe 😉

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Sunday after my run I went by the lab to make sure everything was all good for the week and got to hang out with my friend Kat for a while afterwards. So all and all a good weekend 😀

Also I am super excited to run the Royal Parks half marathon this Sunday! I am aiming for a sub – 2hours – missed it for 6 minutes last time – so wish me luck 🙂

Weekly mileage: 22.2

Total mileage: 282.0

Weekly cross-training session: 1 (if you count the amount of carrying and up and down the stairs i had to do on Friday 😉 )

Hope you all have an amazing week!!🙂

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Athens Marathon – Training log Week #13 & HUGE milestone!

Hello 😀

Hope you guys had a great weekend!

It was pretty relaxed for us around here and I also had a crazy work week – won’t get any better till christmas I am afraid… But that’s OK I am totally loving being busy 😉

So…this week training got in the back burner I have to admit (also I was super sore from my crazy obstacle run during both Monday and Tuesday…).

I did only one 5km run on Wednesday and… MY VERY FIRST 20 MILER on Saturday! Yup, that is big news! I took it slow and steady and got it done in 3:21:54 – with an average pace of 10:09/mile. Unfortunately I don’t know my stats since I had to go old school with this one.

Yeah… my Garmin had an unfortunate run in with the washing machine 😦 but that’s a story for another time! Also I think I look rather discombobulated – always loved that word LOL – in the photo above but I believe after 20 miles a person is meant to look (and feel like that…)!

I got home, had an ice bath and a nice stretch and then ALL the food!! hahaha! Also, so very thankful for my audio book! 20 miles can be a long way to go and I knew music wouldn’t cut it…

Here are the stats from this week… really hope this week will be better!

Weekly mileage: 23.2

Total mileage: 260.7

Weekly cross-training session: 0

Got to rush off to work now!! Hope you all have an amazing week!!🙂

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Athens Marathon – Training log Week #12

Is this for real?!?! Less than 8 weeks to go 😀 😀 😀 Whoo hoo!!

It has been such an emotional roller coaster… One day i feel all confident and good to go and the next day…let’s not even talk about. Hopefully I’ll feel more confident than not soon. So let’s see how this training week went down. I am quite happy about it actually 🙂

Monday: OFF. It’s weird how I’d always wanted to workout/run on Mondays, but it almost always ends up being a day off LOL. I might just have to accept it 😉 Mondays are as good of a day as any…

Tuesday: 6:15am HIIT workout in park with Stevie from WeTrain.

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Wednesday: Kicking butt doing speed work at the Castle (everyone active) gym with Corey. 5x1000m RI 3:00 smashed 🙂

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Thursday: 3.2 speedy miles run and 1 hour of my favourite Barrè class with Hilary from WeTRAIN.

Friday: 16 miles (27km) long run in the evening after work. Unfortunately I have no idea what my pace was since I didn’t have my Garmin with me.

Saturday: OFF

Sunday: the funniest 10km I ‘ve ever had in my life!! My first obstacle race with Rough Runner 🙂 It was awesome!!! Thanks a million Corey for pushing me to do it 😉 Full race recap coming up veeeery soon!

 

Weekly mileage: 24.2

Total mileage: 237.5

Weekly cross-training session: 2

Hope you all have an amazing week!! 🙂

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Athens Marathon – Training log Week #11 & my FIRST trail run!

Hi there beautiful people 🙂

I can not believe this was already week 11 of marathon prep gone… I am at the point where, I am quite happy with how its going but mentally I am a bit of a wreck. I really -REALLY- want this 4:00:00 but i keep doubting myself these days…

Oh well, I guess all I can do is do my very best, give the race my 100% and see what happens. So how this past week went down?

Monday: Did a Barrè class with Hillary and WeTrain. Seriously EVERY time I get to this class I have a blast! Hillary is awesome and the class “burns” so good 😉

Tuesday: Had a date with the TRX and Stevie from WeTrain in the park at 6:15am for a morning workout. Now THIS is what i call “proper wake up call” 😉

Wednesday: Corey and I decided to hit the hills – I don’t know who of the two of us comes up with those brilliant ideas but sometimes I am not sure they are that brilliant…. So I did an easy 3 miles  run, 5x500m (approximately) hill repeats at full effort, and about 1.2 miles cool down –> 6.2 miles total.

Going up the hill…..

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Thursday: Yet another Barrè class. Yup, you guessed right… we can’t get enough of being in pain while pretending we can graciously do ballet 😛

Friday: Now this is a big one for me! MY LONGEST LONG (is that even a sentence??? LOL) RUN E-V-E-R!! 16 miles aka 27km…. I can not believe i actually made it! And the best part? Till about mile 11 I felt just fine! After that yeah I did start to feel it quite a bit! Couldn’t have done it without my buddy Corey 😀 I think we did an excellent job of supporting each other!

The plan –>

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The execution (we called it “the London running tour”) –>

The obligatory feet selfie –>

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The “how-a-human-looks-like-after-27km” obligatory selfie #2 –>

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The post run snack –>

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Oh and did I mention that all the above took place before 9:30am?? And that crazy me went straight to work afterwards?? Yes 😀

Saturday: Another first for me! MY VERY FIRST TRAIL RUN! It was only 7km (i didnt want to push it after my long run) but it was totally worth it! Waking up at 5:30am and getting on a bus for two hours to get to (somewhere around) Kent it was a small price to pay if you get to run in those beautiful trails. It was a perfect route for a newbie like myself with a good mix of both road and trails. I m hooked and I’d totally do it again! Thank you Race Mavericks totally ❤ my first trail running experience.

The bling was AMAZING!! The best medal I ‘ve earned so far!

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The views. No words necessary.

And buddies 🙂 Old, like my friend Mollie (middle) from PT Mollie , and new like my crazy Welsh friend Angharad (right) 🙂

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Sunday: Much needed day OFF! Had a coffee date with my special man and then my very first clothes’ swap with some awesome ladies! This was sooooo much fun!!!! You will not believe the amount of great cute clothes i got!!

 

Weekly mileage: 27.2

Total mileage: 213.3

Weekly cross-training session: 3

Yes this was one crazy busy week. And have another one coming! Somehow (thanks Corey 😉 !!) I’ve managed to have a race every weekend for the past 3 weeks, and next weekend will be no different. I have gone totally mad and decided to do an obstacle 10km race with Rough Runner. Not sure what was I thinking when I said yes to that one…. Hope I’ll make it out in one piece lol!

Have an awesome week everyone!! Let me know how your weekend was. Any new bling/race updates to share?

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Athens Marathon – Training log Week #10 & an AMAZING weekend

Hello everyone 😀 Hope all you beautiful people are having an amazing week so far!

Well I know it’s not Monday but let’s pretend it is for a second so I can tell you all about my marathon training and awesome past weekend since I was so super busy at work that I didn’t manage to write up the post yesterday…

So training wise I have to admit it was a (very…VERY) slow week.

I did a 5km run around my park on Wednesday and a quick 6km at the Castle (full review coming soon!)  on Thursday. And a (SERIOUSLY SPEEDY for me) 10km on Sunday Yup, and that was all for last week.

I totally ❤ this selfie where my beloved piggy shamelessly decided to photbomb 😉 hahahaha!

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Weekly mileage: 13 

Total mileage: 186.1

Weekly cross-training session: 0

Now, why didn’t I do more? Well first of all I was super busy at work, my running buddy was on her cruise and I was flat out tired nearly burned out… After the past three weeks where I had events back to back and super tough training I think my body just said “hey, you know what? That’s enough I am on a strike for 2-3 days” 😉 LOL

Well that worked out perfectly since I had an amazing conference to attend Friday and Saturday. The International Spinal Research Trust Network meeting was AWESOME! I got to listen to all those incredible scientists in my filed presenting their amazing work and I also got to meet some of them!

I was presenting a poster with my own work and got back some really cool reviews 😀 #majorexcitement 😉

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Presenting my poster to a fellow scientist 🙂 

And this —> is how all of my Friday and most of my Saturday looked like! Totally loved it!

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And on Sunday I went form all the research to all the running 🙂

Got the chance to run a 10km in this INCREDIBLE event: Parallel LondonParallel London is the first integrated event where able-bodied individual can run along people with disabilities and injuries 🙂 EVERYTHING is allowed! Push chairs, strollers, wheel chairs, any sort of bike for any sort of disability, crutches and you name it…

It was purely AMAZING! I have never seen so much dedication and perseverance! Here are some of the photos from the race and our awesome #Teamspinal 🙂

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And finally (left the best news last!), piggies and I HAVE A NEW PB for the 10km!! I could not believe it! It was the perfect race. Good weather, not sunny, a little windy, no major hills in the course…. Perfect!

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Oh and dont forget! My GIVEAWAY for a chance to win a free Hamswan Aroma oil diffuser ends tonight! Hurry up!!

HAPPY MONDAY erm… TUESDAY 😉

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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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