St David’s Day 5k 2017 race recap.

So yesterday I completed my first race of 2017 – the St. David’s Day 5k in Cardiff!

As I said in my post last week, I was not expecting to break any records with this race, it was mearly a fun run. I hadn’t trained enough for it to be anything more, and quite frankly even if I had, I think it the sheer nature of this race (I will explain more further down) would have prevented any 5k PB’s from emerging!

The weather forecast for the race was not good. It went from looking dry but cold at the start of the week, to looking wet and windy by the day before. In the end, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. Heavy winds and heavy showers were predicted, and whilst it was windy, the 45 mph gusts that were predicted hadn’t quite materialised by 10 am so the wind wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I was expecting. The rain also held off for the most part, and all the really angry looking clouds just seemed to skirt their way around the edges of Bute park, where the race was taking place, so that was a bit of luck!

The whole bad weather forecast thing left me dreading this race, but actually it was totally fine. We rocked up about 30 minutes before the start and sat in the car for a bit before wandering over about 10 minutes before the gun. This worked well for me because I wasn’t stood around in the cold for ages beforehand contemplating how miserable it was going to be. It was literally, get there, get going and then before you knew it it was over. Poor Gideon had to wait until midday to run his 10k, so he was feeling a bit grumpy at having to stand around in the cold, but I didn’t have that problem!

I think this race has slightly outgrown it’s location. The starting gun went and we all funnelled through the start line onto the path that lead to the bridge over the river. It was total gridlock for at-least the first .5 mile, and there were times in that first part where I had no choice but to walk even if I’d wanted to run because it was completely bottlenecked. Unfortunately the path’s just aren’t very wide, and because it was incredibly muddy nobody wanted to veer off the path (I tried it once to overtake someone and nearly fell on my face). Hence, if it had been a PB attempt, I wouldn’t have been a very happy bunny! But as it was,this was just a bit of fun for me so I wasn’t overly bothered.

I ran my way around the course, stopping to walk when I fancied it. It’s really quite a pretty park to run around with mile 1.5-2.5ish alongside the river. The river was in full flow today because of the wind and all the rain we have had, and actually looked a bit dangerous and scary, but in a beautiful sort of way, if that makes sense. Eventually, I crossed back over the river and that’s when it started to rain a little, but it was a nice refreshing light shower rather than a heavy downpour so all was well.

I crossed the line in an abysmal 38 something minutes, but that’s ok. Like I said, this was a fun run, not meant to break any records and I did enjoy it, despite thinking I wouldn’t. Plus I got this lovely (all be it slightly smaller than I was anticipating) medal.

This is the second time I have run the St. David’s Day 5k, and both times I have enjoyed it. It’s a lovely flat scenic course. The race is well organised and marshalled and is perfect for beginners. I would say that it’s gotten so popular now that unless you fight your way through to start right at the front I wouldn’t expect to break any records. Bottlenecks are a problem, but if your just in it to have a good time, then it definitely ticks that box.

 

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Gideon’s London Marathon 2017 training recap: Week 10.

Hello All! I hope that you have all had a nice week, here is my re-cap of week 10 of my London Marathon training, sorry it’s a couple of days late!

Week 10 – W/C 30th January 

Monday – Gym

  • 10 min warm-up on bike
  • Treadmill – 18mins – 1.41miles
  • Fast mile on the cross trainer – 8.43mins
  • Leg press- 3 sets of 16 @ 30kgs
  • Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 16 @ 25kgs
  • 10 min cool-down on bike

Tuesday – Run 

Good run today, 2.12 miles which took 23.01 mins with an average pace of 10.50 min per mile.

Wednesday – Rest day

Thursday – Long Run!

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Kit for my long run prepped and ready to go (with a cheeky chocolate milk for after).

Today I conquered my longest run to date, 14 miles and it wasn’t a pretty one! The weather here in Swansea was absolutely horrible, 30 mph winds, rain, cold but even though this wasn’t my best or fastest run it was still my longest and I am super proud!

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Longest run ever!!!

Friday – Rest Day 

Saturday – Meet the Experts!

So as you all know as I don’t shut up about it, I am running the London Marathon in April for an amazing charity called Children With Cancer UK. On Saturday I was in London for the London Marathon “Meet the Experts day” where the London Marathon team put on seminars to help you prep for the big day covering multiple aspects such as fundraising, training and nutrition. I will recap the day in more detail in a separate post, but it was a great event and I also got to meet some of the charity representatives from Children with Cancer UK who gave me helpful tips and info to help with my fundraising. I have a virgin money giving page, which you can access here if you would like to sponsor me. We are also planning on doing a car boot sale to raise some extra funds, and a competition where you can guess my finish time and win a prize!

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Sunday – Lazy Day

As we were in London we took the opportunity to spend some time with Amy’s Aunt and Uncle, enjoying good food and of course watching Wales in the Six Nations.

A quieter week is on the cards this week, with a very-short long run of only 4 miles to help me recover adequately for next weeks 17 miler! I’ll be supplementing my running this week with some time in the gym to build some extra strength.

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 fund treatments for childhood cancer. Thank you. 

 

 

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. 

 

Gideons London Marathon 2017 training recap: Week 5

Well Happy New Year everyone! I hope you have all had a lovely christmas/new year period and that you all had fabulous time. I must say I have taken full advantage of this season of relaxing and overindulging but I have also tried my hardest to stick to my training plan too! Thankfully it was a quiet week on the training schedule, with a short run of 4 miles planned between last weeks 9 miler and next weeks 11 miler.

Monday – 26th Dec – Boxing Day – Rest day

Tuesday – Nice brisk 2.5mile walk down the sea front today try to get my body back into the habit of movement after a couple of days of overindulgence 🙂

 

Wednesday – Back in the Gym! Just me and another guy for the whole time I was there:

  • 10 min Warm-Up on bike
  • 5k on Cross trainer – 28.58mins
  • leg press – 3 sets of 16 @30 kgs
  • Rower – 3 sets of 10 – 25 kgs
  • 1 mile on 12% gradient @ 3.8mph
  • 10 min Cool-Down on bike

Thursday – Rest Day

Friday – Rest day. I used my new leanin15 cookbook by Joe Wicks today and made us some oaty chicken! It was really tasty and I’m looking forward to trying out some more of his recipes as my training continues!

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Saturday – 4 miles on the Treadmill, 49.01 average pace of 12.05

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Sunday – Rest day

So I’m sat here at the start of a very exciting if not daunting 2017, which will include the journey to my first Marathon! Looking forward to seeing what I’m going to learn and achieve during this year!

I’m running the 2017 London Marathon in aid of Children with Cancer UK. If you would like to consider sponsoring me please visit my virgin money giving page here! 

2016 Running in Review.

Despite the fact that the last quarter of this year has been EXTREMELY quiet for me in terms of running/exercise/anything fitness related really, I must not forget that I have achieved a lot this year. What feels like a lifetime ago – completing my first half marathon – was only in March! Less than a year ago!

I’ve run 4 races this year. Two of which I enjoyed and two of which I haven’t.

February saw both myself and Gideon complete the St. David’s Day 5k! I really enjoyed this race, despite the fact that an 11 mile run the day before had left my feet severely blistered. I was proud because I managed to run the whole race even with the blisters (and when I say blisters, I mean blisters the size of 50p pieces). There was a real sense of achievement that day and I enjoyed myself in spite of the difficulties. This is the only race that I’ve signed up to run again in 2017 (signed up today in fact, so there’s no excuse for my fitness lapse to continue into the new year).

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In March, we finally met the goal we had set back in 2015 of running a half marathon! It was a little late, but not through any fault of our own. We completed the IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon on Easter Saturday, and again, in spite of a nagging knee injury and a monsoon, it was an enjoyable race, and we were so pleased to have met our goal!

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From here, things sort of went downhill. In June, appendicitis sidelined Gideon’s 2016 attempt at the Swansea half marathon, and so I was left to decide whether I wanted to run it by myself. Stupidly, despite being severely under-trained, I went ahead, and even though I finished, I would not recommend attempting a half marathon whilst under-trained to anyone. I spent a horrible afternoon being sick afterwards and that really knocked my running confidence. Nothings been quite the same since. I lost my running mojo a bit.

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So in August we decided to join the Gym! Whaaaaat?! I know, I’m still in shock myself but we did! I needed a break from “just running” for a while and the gym helped with that whilst still keeping me fit and healthy!

September saw my second attempt at the Swansea 10k. It did not go as well as the first and my time was absolutely abysmal. Had it been a normal race I probably would have just quit, but I was raising some funds for a charity close to my heart and that kept me going until the end. Job done.

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October saw the results of the London Marathon Ballot for 2017 released. Neither Gideon or myself got a place through the ballot, but Gideon secured a charity place shortly after and began the long hard training slog towards April 2017.

And that pretty much brings us to now.

It’s been a festive period filled with food and fun, but I’m finally ready to get back off the sofa and return to training. Besides the St David’s day 5k in March, we are also signed up for the Winter Park 10k in Florida, so plenty to motivate me to do well in the first quarter of 2017.

Here’s to a new year, new goals, new achievements, and a new set of medals to add to the collection!

Miles ran in 2016: 152.3 miles according to Nike+!

Races completed: 4

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Gideons London Marathon 2017 training recap: Week 1

Why hello! todays post comes from the other part of this running duo (it’s me, Gideon – my first post), as you may of read on previous posts by Amy, this week has seen the start of my Official London Marathon training!

I have decided to run the marathon for 2 reasons, firstly I have always said I wanted to do the London marathon before I was 30 (unfortunately I turn 30 just before but its close enough) secondly, the main reason  I am doing it is for an amazing charity – Children with Cancer who help support children who have cancer and their family’s through the struggles of coping with this horrendous illness and they also help fund vital research to help cure cancer for good!!

Each week I plan to do three runs, two maintenance runs where I will try to concentrate on improving my speed and endurance by incorporating speed runs and some hill work to help with my overall stamina (more on this to follow) and then one long run at the weekend. Along with this I am also going to try and do two cross-training sessions to help me get stronger and generally fitter in the gym/pool.

So on to my first week… and I must say I think it went pretty well. Here is a recap of how week one went:-

MONDAY: I did a gym session to kick the week off the right way, this session consisted of the following:

  • 15 min warm up on bike
  • 15 min interval running on treadmill – 1 min @ 5mph and 2 mins @ 7.5mph
  • 1800 meters on the rower as fast as possible (took 9mins 19sec)
  • 30kg leg press – 3 sets of 16
  • 15kg shoulder press – 3 sets of 16
  • 10 min cool down on the bike

TUESDAY: 45min run on which I managed to cover 3.70 miles with an average pace of 12:11, so not my best but considering it was 1 degree outside I was pretty happy with myself for doing it!

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WEDNESDAY:  Rest Day

THURSDAY: Another Gym session:

  • 15 min warm up on bike
  • 20 mins on Treadmill – brisk walk – 4.2mph on 5.5 incline
  • 1800 meters on the rower as fast as possible (took 9mins 23sec)
  • 30kg leg press – 3 sets of 16
  • 15kg shoulder press – 3 sets of 16
  • 10 min cool down on the bike

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Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: Ran 5 miles today which took 59 mins with an average pace of 11.54 per mile. I was joined by my running partner in crime (the wife) for the 1st mile and a half.

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So as you can see all in all not a bad week, this week is going to be a bit more challenging as there is a lovely wet front moving in over Swansea from Tuesday so my outdoor runs are definitely going to get me digging deep but it’s all for a good cause!

If you would like to sponsor me and help me raise my total fundraising goal for Children with Cancer (and give me some motivation) you can visit my virginmoney page here.

Until next week!

 

Running for runnings sake

It hasnt been the best week so far in terms of running, but it also hasnt been the worst. I wanted to catch up on those 3.5 miles we missed at the weekend on Monday but the weather stayed grim so the best option was to haul ourselves off to the gym and settle for the treadmill.

I knew I wouldnt get 3.5 miles on the treadmill. I just don’t like it for long distances. I  can do 15 minutes but then I start feeling hot and dizzy. I can put the speed down and walk for a while but once I start back up again the dizzy hot feeling comes back pretty quickly, and I hate fiddling with the buttons mid run because it makes me feel unsteady on my feet because I’m not concentrating on the actual ‘running’ bit so much. Anyway… I managed 1.25 miles and then I decided to move on to something else (as I was there) so I biked 5k. I know thats not far, but I put the resistance level up a fair whack and as someone who doesnt bike ever I was pretty happy with that.

Tuesday we rested and then yesterday we decided to run around the neighbourhood. Neither of us were really feeling it, so we decided to leave all trace of technology behind and just run as far as we could be bothered. So thats what we did. It was nice not to be staring at the watch every 5 minutes wondering how fast we were going or how long was left. We just ran. Turned left or right down the roads when we felt like it and just went until we found our way back home. I’m sure I could work out how far we went if I really wanted to, but I don’t. There was something nice about not putting a number on it. I certainly felt I had worked hard though, so I suspect our pace was a quick one (as it took me a long time to catch my breath again afterwards). But again, don’t really need to know.

I think thats nice sometimes. The not knowing. Theres no pressure to hit a certain time or distance. Your just running because its something you want to do, not something you have to do. It’s carefree and enjoyable and I miss that sometimes whilst training for a race in the not too distant future. 

It’ll be back to distances and timings and routine for the rest of the week I’m sure, but I do think its so nice sometimes to put the tech away and just enjoy running for runnings sake.