Gideon’s London Marathon training recap: weeks 8 and 9.

Hello All, I hope that this finds you all well. I must say the last 2 weeks have definitely not gone to plan. My lovely wife came down with the Flu and thought it would be really nice to share it with me which knocked me for six!! So here is a brief recap of the last 2 weeks.

Week 8 – W/C 16th Jan 

Monday – Rest day (or the beginning of the end!!)

Tuesday – Gym – Not feeling great, so thought I would sweat it out to feel better (Oh how wrong I could be)

  • Warm up on bike – 10mins
  • 20mins on Crosstrainer – level 7 maintaining a 7.2MPH pace
  • 1800 meters on rower – Highest level
  • 3 sets of 10 – Leg extensions @ 20kgs
  • 3 sets of 16 – Leg Press @ 30kgs
  • 3 sets of 10 – Shoulder Press @ 20kgs
  • Cool-Down on bike 10mins

Wednesday – Sunday – Unfortunately this was the end of any movement as I came down with the Flu which had me bed bound and really not moving at all.

Week 9 – W/C 23rd Jan 

Monday – Tuesday – Still feeling under the weather so these were both rest days for me.

Wednesday – Feeling a bit better today so I went to the gym just to ease myself back in

  • 10mins warm-up on bike
  • 1.25miles on treadmill – Brisk walk 21mins 57secs @ 8.5% gradient – 3.6MPH
  • 10mins cool-down on bike

Thursday – Rest day

Friday – Back out on the road! Managed to do 5.5 mile run today, average pace of 11.51 so not too bad considering how the last 2 weeks had been.

So not really the greatest two weeks of training. I was feeling a bit deflated about it but got my mojo back after watching some videos from last years London marathon…So bring it on!!!

This week I shall be attempting 14 miles – my longest run EVER! Wish me luck!

I’m running the London Marathon in April for Children with Cancer UK. If you would like to sponsor me you can visit my sponsorship page here. Just £10 helps fund tissue research to help with finding treatments for childhood cancer. Thank you. 

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Things you do when your sick and you can’t exercise.

A friend asked me recently if I was still running or if it was just Gideon. I AM still running… I’m not doing the London Marathon, but I am running a couple of times a week and lightly training for my 5k and 10k races coming up in March. Honestly, I just haven’t been shouting about it that much because I figured one person’s training recap is enough – but if you want to hear mine as well let me know in the comments!

I was running anyway, until Tuesday, where I came down with what I assume is flu. I am not talking about a common cold here, the way some people say “I have flu” (something I regretabbly have said many times – never again) when they really just have the sniffles. I am talking about the worst and longest viral infection I can ever remember having endured. I started feeling a bit naff last weekend, my head was stuffy, but I went to work Monday and struggled through feeling rough. Monday night I came home and just gradually felt worse and worse and went to bed early. Tuesday I woke up and everything hurt. I had the worst headache I have ever had in my life, my neck was stiff, my body was achy, I had a crazy fever and was absolutely boiling even though it was like 2 degrees outside. I even had to turn OFF the heating because I was that warm (and our heating is not on for long anyway or on high). I called in sick to work (because there was just no way – none) and continued to feel like I’d been hit by a bus until Saturday. On Saturday, I just felt exhausted, and today I feel a little weak (and still have a cough and stuffed up ears), but mostly back to normal so I’m glad it’s finally gone, and I can’t believe it took so bloody long! So no running for me this week.

As a loving wife, I have lovingly passed it on to Gideon as you do. He’s currently in the full throngs of feeling as if a bus hit you, and is very upset because he had his 13.1 miles planned for this weekend which will now have to be pushed back.

So what do you do when you are sick and you can’t run? Well besides rest, sleep and hydrate there have been a couple of things we have done to ease the misery of not being able to go outside/exercise/interact with the rest of the world!

Watch youtube videos about our upcoming races:

We have done a fair bit of this in the last few days. Gideon has been watching  go-pro videos from the London Marathon. I’ve been looking at the Winterpark 10k videos to get an idea of where we will be running in March. It’s a good way to keep the motivation up and help us feel a little prepared so we don’t lose it completely!

Online shop for new running gear:

Window shop (I should say). We haven’t brought anything but we have done a lot of looking for new gear. It’s fun to dream.

Find out some of the specifics:

This has been a good time to look into the specifics of certain races we will be running. What gels do they have on course? (so we can get some to practice with and hence decide if we need to carry our own or just use the ones provided), what time does the race start? (so what time do we have to get up, leave the house/hotel etc.) Is there somewhere to park? (if so, where, does it cost money). You get the idea.

Plan our next Disney trip:

As well as running videos we have watched a lot of Disney World videos ready for our next trip in 54 days (eee) and finalised some of our plans such as fast-passes, online check-in and dinner reservations. It’s been fun to look forward to something and take our minds off the misery of being sick. See you soon Mickey!

Anyway – we’ll be back out running again in a few days hopefully – once we both feel 100% better. I have learnt that there is no point in rushing things after you have been ill, and as annoying as it’s been to lose a week, in the grand scheme of things I don’t think it will put to much of a dent into our training.

What do you do when your sick and can’t run? Let us know in the comments!

Gideon’s London Marathon training recap: Weeks 6 and 7!

Hello Everyone, I hope that you are all having a really good start to the new year! I missed last weeks blog so I am going to be do a quick 2 week recap.

Week 6 (W/C 2nd Jan)

Monday – 2 mile stroll down the seafront today today with Amy to bring in the new year!

Tuesday – Rest Day

Wednesday – Gym

  • 10 min warm-up on bike
  • 500 meter rowing as fast as possible – 2 mins 1 sec
  • 1 mile brisk walk – 3.8 mph @ 12% gradient
  • 3 sets of 16 – Shoulder Press at 25kgs
  • 3 sets of 16 – Leg Press at 20kgs
  • 10 mins cool-down on bike

Thursday – Run

  • 2.10 miles – 21mins

Friday – Rest Day

Saturday – Gym + New Years treat!

I went to the gym and did the following :

  • 10 min warm-up on bike
  • 1.29 mile brisk walk @ 3.8mph on 10% gradient
  • Shoulder Press – 25kgs 3 sets of 16
  • 10 min cool-down on bike

I also treated myself to some new trainers: Asics GT-3000’s – nice little upgrade on my current trainers and plenty of time to break them in before the London Marathon. Full review on this product to follow.

Sunday – Long run Sunday – 11 miles in 2hrs 19mins 28secs – Average pace – 12.41. This was a really good run for me, first time I have run 11 miles in around 9 months so I was happy with the way that I felt during and after which was very good for my moral.

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Week 7  – W/C 9th Jan

Monday – Rest Day

Tuesday – Took the new trainers on a test run – 1.56 miles (17.03mins)

Wednesday – Gym – Mainly aimed to do strength training in todays session:

  • Warm-up – 15 min walk on treadmill @ 3.5mph on a 3.5% gradient
  • 3 sets of 12 – 20kg leg extensions
  • 3 sets of 10 – 20kg Shoulder Press
  • 3 sets of 10 – 30kgs Leg press
  • 3 sets of 10 – Arm Curls with 9kg dumbbells
  • Cool-down – 10 mins on bike

Thursday – Rest Day

Friday – Run – 4.05 miles at an average pace of 11.07 – Ran on Treadmill due to ice and severe snow warnings (we didn’t get any)!

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Saturday – Was going to go to the gym today but I was unwell so had a rest day

Sunday – 4 mile run – 48.59mins – average pace 12.14 per mile.

Decided to run around my house today for the 4 miles which incorporated a lot of hills which I don’t tend to do on my normal routes so I found this challenging but good. It helped confirm that I really need to add more hill work into my routine.

By next Sunday I will hopefully have done a 13.1 mile long run. This is the first half marathon I’ll have done since last March. I’m both excited and scared to be getting towards the big numbers in training, but hopefully if I fuel right and pace myself then I should be able to give the 13.1 miles my best effort.

I’m running the London Marathon in April for Children with Cancer UK. If you would like to sponsor me you can visit my sponsorship page here. Just £10 helps fund tissue research to help with finding treatments for childhood cancer. Thank you. 

 

 

 

 

 

Menu Monday: The Body Coach Inspired Chicken with Smoked Paprika

For Christmas, I gifted Gideon with Joe Wicks (the body coach’s) Lean in 15 cookbook. He loves his Instagram video recipes so the cookbook seemed like a good gift.

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We have made two recipes from the book so far and I’ve loved both of them. We aren’t really following the lean in 15 plan, just cooking the recipes here and there and enjoying the delicious and healthy result. So it seems like money well spent!

I was flicking through, looking for a chicken recipe as that’s what I’d taken out of the freezer, and I landed on Chicken with Paprika and Almonds. It all looked great, I had all the ingredients in one form or another so it was easily do-able without an extra shopping trip. Except I don’t like almonds…. so I simply left them out!

So here is my take The Body Coach’s Chicken with Smoked Paprika and Almonds… minus the almonds!

I tend to keep bags of chopped veg in the freezer for cooking ease, so I used these to make the dish. They can all just be chucked in the pan straight from the freezer, making it mega simple and cutting down on prep time. Bags of frozen chopped onion, chopped mixed peppers, spinach, sweetcorn and runner beans all cost around £1 for a bag in places like Iceland – so not expensive. And, as most frozen veg are frozen just after picking, they remain packed with all their great nutrients!

Chicken with smoked paprika (serves 2):

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 handfuls of chopped frozen onions
  • 2 handfuls of chopped mixed peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • 4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves (or two balls of frozen spinach)
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon (optional)

1. Heat the olive oil in a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat.

2. Add the garlic, frozen onions and frozen peppers and stir fry until the vegetables are just starting to soften

3. Sprinkle your smoked paprika and dried oregano over the vegetables and then add the chicken and tomatoes to the pan. Stir fry until the chicken is fully cooked through (cut a piece and check theres no pink meat left).

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4. Stir in the spinach (if using frozen, pop this in at the same time as your chicken to give it more time to cook) and stir until wilted.

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5. Season with salt and pepper, and plate it up! We ate ours with some green beans!

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Yum yum! It’s still steaming!

I wasn’t sure I would like this recipe whilst I was cooking it as it smelt quite strongly of oregano at the beginning and I’m not the biggest fan of the smell, but the flavours all merged together beautifully and the taste was really good and not overpowering. I’ll definitely be making this again, it was so simple and easy to do, especially using the frozen veg, and it only used one pan, so less washing up! Result!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post, I purchased the lean in 15 cookbook with my own money and all views expressed are my own. 

Musings from my coffee break

I am typing this from the beachside coffee shop as Gideon takes on his 11 mile long run around the bay. I’ve ran the first 1.5 miles with him which conveniently brings me to this spot, where I’ll sit with a cuppa for the next 1.5 hours until he returns and then run the last 1.5 miles back to the car with him. 3 miles for me… with a coffee break in between! 


It’s a resonably nice morning here today. It’s threatening showers but the sun is also trying to burn through and it’s quite mild for January, so a good day for running. 

I went to the gym yesterday and so I was a bit intregued to see how this mornings run would be, whether I would feel fresh or tired. The first half went well I’m glad to say. I’m not sure how the second half will go on a stomach full of latte but thankfully I’ve got an hour before then to let it go down.

Being the first weekend of 2017, the front is quite busy with runners this morning. There is even a beginners run club here that have just started up currently running back and forth infront of the cafe. I feel almost naughty for enjoying my latte in the warm! 

This weekend is the annual Walt Disney World Marathon weekend in Florida. I’m part of some rundisney groups on facebook, and people have been eagerly training for either the 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon for months in anticipation of this weekend. 

Late friday night, rundisney had to make the difficult decision of cancelling the half marathon planned for early Saturday morning. There was a massive storm front coming in, with lightning predicted in the area. The safety risks to runners were just too great, there is no shelter at the start or out on the course, so they made the difficult decision to cancel.

Reading the posts on the facebook group was heatbreaking. We sympathise, truely. Having been at Walt Disney World, ready to run our first ever half marathon in 2015 and then having it cut short for the same reasons (lightning) I truely truely felt these guys pain. When you have worked so hard for something for so long and it doesnt go to plan it’s tough. At the end of the day though, just like back with our race, rundisney had to put safety first and they made the right call. People totally understood this, but often it still doesnt make it any easier.

The early morning predicted storm came and went, and then something truely truely inspiring happened. People who were due to run the half just went out and did it anyway. There were hundreds of posts from people who had gone out and ran around their resorts or their neighbourhoods at home and completed their 13.1 miles regardless of the fact that there was no race. They had earned there medals (which they could still go and pick up from rundisney even though the race was cancelled which was pretty nice). Other runners doing todays marathon or who had done the 5 and 10ks were setting up makeshift water stops at the resorts and holding signs and cheering people on. Someone even made a finish line from toilet roll that people could run through! It was a truely truely beautiful thing to witness (even virtually through the internet). All these runners, banding together to help each other meet their goal, no matter the circumstances. Never have I been so proud to call myself part of  the running community as I was yesterday. 

So as I sit here with my cuppa and wait for Gideon to return so I can run the 1.5 miles back to the car with him, I will watch my fellow runners go past and give each and every one a cheer in my head, because they are all working towards something, whether its completing a specific distance, getting faster, gaining speed, or just becoming a more healthy version of themselves, and that is something I can get behind! You’ve got this runners! 

2016 Goal Review and 2017 Goals

I’ve read many a blog post in the last week detailing Peoples goals for the year, which promptly made me remember that back at the beginning of 2016 I set myself some goals, which by December 2016, I’d forgotten about, oops!

Did I meet my 2016 goals? I had to go back and look them up to find out!

Goal 1 – Complete a half marathon:

Yes! In 2016, I completed not one half marathon but two! Goal achieved… twice! That’ll make up for not achieving the rest right….RIGHT????

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Goal 2 – Run a sub-30 5k and a sub 1:05 10k:

Yeah… I did not do this. If anything, my 10k time got slower this year. I lost the mojo a bit after the 2nd half marathon, which ironically would have been a perfect time to work on achieving these goals.

Goal 3 – Just keep running!

I did this one! Admittedly the frequency slipped a bit in the last quarter of the year, but I continued my running adventures through 2016. Who would have thought my running ‘fad’ that started in 2015 would have made it through two whole years and be bouncing into a 3rd. Running is part of my life now and I have confidence that it will remain that way!

So 2 out of 3 isn’t so bad!

But what about 2017 I hear you ask??? Well, I do like to have goals to work towards, it helps to motivate me for a little while at least, even if I don’t achieve them (or remember what they were in 12 months time).

Goal 1 – Run that sub-30 5k!

Despite failing this in 2016, I still think that sub-30 5k is achievable for me if I actually put in a solid effort. The sub 1:05 10k? maybe not so much, not right now anyway. I think to get my speed up over the 10k distance may take a little while longer than it will for the 5k distance. I think if I’m having a really good day I could probably hammer out that sub-30 5k. I guess 2017 will tell!

Goal 2 – Diversify!

As I said earlier, I love running. It’s become a part of my life, but I also now have a gym membership, which means I have a myriad of fitness options open to me besides running. So this year, I’d like to try to diversify a bit, whilst still keeping up with my running (obviously). I’d like to get back into swimming, and try out some classes. There is talk of a Zumba class after work, so perhaps that. I’ve done Zumba before briefly and I enjoyed it, so why not? or a HIIT class, or Kettlebell, or maybe even… dare I say it… A SPIN CLASS!

Goal 3 – Eat well!

I want to eat well in 2017. I don’t want to cut out all my favourite treats completely, but I want to enjoy them in moderation. 2016 (especially the last quarter) was just a total snack fest. During my training for my first half marathon attempt I was eating well, I’d cut out a lot of the evening snacking and was trying to make more healthy choices, and I felt better for it! Not only does eating right improve my running (the run’s don’t feel so blugh when you have fuelled correctly and not eaten an entire packet of biscuits), but it makes me feel more healthy generally (and less lethargic). I’m going to try to keep the evening snacking to a minimum in 2017, save sweet treats for weekends and make healthy packed lunches for work rather than eating the same sad-looking ham sandwich day after day after day.

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I’ve broken the bento-lunchbox out of storage for 2017!!

So there we are. There are my goals for 2017. In a year, I shall come back to this post and see if I managed to achieve them, but to be honest as long as I can put my hand on my heart and say I tried my best to stay active and look after my health I’ll be happy. Everything in moderation. 

 

Menu Monday: Peppermint Bark 

Got some leftover candy canes from the Christmas period and want something fun to do with them? Make peppermint bark! It’s as simple as melting some chocolate and crushing some candy canes, and you’ll end up with a delicious chocolatey pepperminty treat!

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We first had peppermint bark on a trip to Disney World in 2015. It was a Christmas treat they were selling in the Magic Kingdom main street confectionary during Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party, so making it always reminds me of a lovely snow-filled Main Street USA!

You will need:

  • A baking tray
  • Tin foil
  • Saucepan and a bowl which will sit on-top of it
  • Milk and white chocolate for melting (4 standard size bars of each should be enough for an average size baking tray – our baking tray was mini so we just used 2 of each)
  • Leftover candy canes
  1. First, cover your baking tray with tin foil, then place to the side.
  2. Break your milk chocolate into your bowl and bring half a saucepan of water to the boil.
  3. Place your bowl of chocolate onto your saucepan and stir the chocolate with a wooden spoon until it’s completely melted.
  4. Once melted, pour your chocolate onto your foil lined baking tray (carefully; the bowl will be hot) and smooth out into one even layer.
  5. Leave the melted chocolate to cool a bit (around 20 minutes should do it).
  6. Whilst waiting for the chocolate to cool, gently crush your candy canes into small pieces with a rolling pin or similar and put to one side.
  7. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with your white chocolate, then pour it onto the milk chocolate and carefully spread it out so it covers the milk chocolate layer.
  8. Sprinkle your crushed candy canes onto your chocolate and refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened.
  9. Once cool, peel the chocolate from the foil and break into pieces!

Walla! You have peppermint bark! Now eat and enjoy!

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Word of warning, this melts pretty quickly once you start touching it – so expect to get sticky fingers!