The comeback is on!

Ok guys, so my last post was a couple of weeks ago where I told you that I’d signed up for some races because I needed to get back to being fit and healthy. We’ll it took a little longer to get back to it than anticipated, but the comeback is most definitely now on.

Soon after I wrote that post, I ended up getting some sort of viral thing, which gave me a cold for a few days and then migrated up to my ears where it has been causing me hassle ever since. I spent a couple of days feeling really dizzy and off-balance, and still haven’t quite got back to normal (although it’s a lot better than it was) so I only started my workouts again this week.

I’ve managed to get in 3 gym workouts in this week. I haven’t stated running yet because I’m still feeling a bit dizzy and off-balance. Instead, I’ve been using the bikes and the cross trainer in the gym. Heres how the weeks workouts looked:

Tuesday:

  • 10 minute warm up on the bike (resistance level 3)
  • 20 minutes on the cross trainer (resistance level 3)
  • 10 minute cool down walk on the treadmill (speed 2.7)

Calories burnt: Don’t know – forgot to write it down!

Saturday:

  • 23 minutes on the cross trainer (resistance level 3)
  • 1000m on the rowing machine (resistance level 6)
  • Weight machines (3 sets of 8 reps – between 7.5kg and 15kg depending on the machine)
  • 10 minute cool down on the bike

Calories burnt: 262

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Yet to perfect the art of the gym-selfie!

Sunday:

  • 25 minutes on the cross trainer (resistance level 3)
  • 10 minutes cool down on the bike

Calories burnt: 221

It’s been so nice to get back into working out, and I’m already feeling the beneficial effects. I feel much less lethargic, even though it’s only been a week. Exercise really is good for the mind, body and soul!

I weighed myself when I went back Tuesday and I was 70 kg (11 stone) so I’m aiming to drop a stone although I’m not putting a time scale on it. As long as things are going in the right direction then that’s fine by me.

I’ve also been tracking what I eat via myfitnesspal. Even though I often go over my daily calorie allowance, I feel like the tracking is definitely helping me to curb my snacking, e.g. instead of having 5 biscuits I’m just having one, because I’m more mindful of how many calories each of those biscuits contain. We’ve stocked the fridge and cupboard with lots of healthy and low-calorie snacks, such as feta cheese, blueberries, melon, popcorn, and my absolute favourite at the moment – Jaffa Cake flavoured alpine cereal bars!!!

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These things are the best!

So things are definitely going well. I hope to start a bit of running this week. I’d like to do a couple of short runs to get back into the swing of things. Gideon is still suffering a bit with the shin problem that bothered him at the London Marathon, so we are trying to take it easy and let that heal. Hopefully with a bit of rest from running that will sort itself out, and we’ll be able to get back on it properly. For now, I’m enjoying the cross trainer at the gym!

I’ve been signing up for things….!

Oh dear….

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Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear…..

That’s right. I’ve thrown my hat in. Maybe 2018 will be my turn to run the London Marathon. Maybe not. We’ll have to wait till October to find out. In any case, I’ve made Gideon promise not to enter the ballot this year so he doesn’t end up stealing my place 😛 Stupid I know as there are probably 150,000 other people who’ll steal it, but I’d be livid if he got to run it again and I didn’t ha!

I enjoyed spectating this year, watching everyone run by from the fastest to the slowest, and at the time it almost put me off a little seeing the pain on a lot of people’s faces. But despite the fact that everyone looks in pain at the time they all rave about it afterwards. No one regrets doing it. Everyone says what a wonderful (though hard) experience it is, and that’s what has made me enter the ballot again. It’s an inspiring kinda race.

Anyway, if one wants to (maybe) run the London Marathon in 2018, then one really should get her butt back into gear and actually bother to do some running in 2017!!! Hence I’ve also signed up for this…

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After having horrible experiences at both the Swansea half marathon and the Swansea 10k, I’ve basically decided that Swansea races are not for me! It’s the out and back nature of them I think, I just don’t like seeing how far I still have to go laid out in-front of me like that. I’d rather the distance was concealed by lots of corners so I can pretend the finish is closer than it actually is. Hence I’ve gone for the Cardiff 10k as my autumn race this year.

And I’ve decided I’d like to get a PB in this race, so I really better get my arse in gear, as I’ve put on about a stone in weight in the last 6 months and I’ve done barely any running past the 5k distance since Christmas.

I’ve finally managed to polish off the easter chocolate today, so the aim is a more healthy diet from now on. Obviously I’m not going to deprive myself of yummy unhealthy things, but I’ll try to keep them to ‘in moderation’ rather than ‘all day every day’. Hopefully the combination of more exercise and a better diet will help me feel less like a slob and improve my running speed (I know it will – it has before).

So consider this my comeback post – it’s time for this potato to get back off the couch!

Gideon’s London Marathon 2017 Training recap: Weeks 16, 17 and 18!

Hello All! I hope that you are all doing well and have had a lovely weekend. It’s been a little while since I have blogged due to a manic 3 weeks of holidays/work but I am here now so here’s the recap!

Week 16  – 20th March

So this was our first week of holidays, my TomTom was telling me that we were averaging around 5.5 miles a day walking which is good so here are my stats for the week:

Sunday – 1 mile run around resort in 10 mins & 15 seconds.

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Monday – Walked around the Park (EPCOT)

Tuesday – Birthday!! Today was my birthday so it was filled with many yummy treats but also a lot a lot of walking!!!

Wednesday – 8 mile run. After all the birthday fun and indulgence It was time to get back to business and get a good run in which I did! I ran 8 miles in loops around the beautiful lake at our resort (Caribbean Beach) in a lovely 19 degrees! I managed it in 1 hr 34 mins with a average pace of 11.45 which I was very very happy with.

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Thursday – Bit of Shopping and lots of walking again around parks.

Friday – Lots of walking around the parks.

Saturday – Race Day! As I was going to have to run lots for my marathon training, we decided why not get some bling at the same time. We entered the Winter Park 10k which was a lovely run around the picturesque town of Winter Park but boy oh boy was it warm! It was around 23 degrees by the time I finished at 9 am but I still managed to get around in 1 hr 15 mins.

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Sunday – Another day around the parks and a little bit of swimming.

Week 17 – 27th March 

Monday – Again much of the same lots and lots of walking around the parks.

Tuesday – Today I had planned to do a 12 mile run which I am sorry to say I didn’t complete. Instead, I smashed my longest run to date of 20 miles!!! I decided after reading lots about peoples marathon training that I was going to leave it too late to Taper if I didnt do the long-long run whilst on holiday, so I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

I set the alarm for 4am (the first hurdle as no one wants to get up at 4am, let alone on their holidays). I got up and had a bagel and then headed out around 5am. It was still dark but already quite warm and humid. The first 2 hours felt good. I managed to get into a comfortable rhythm until the sun fully rose and the temperature soared to 24 degrees and it was hot hot! I managed to get the whole run completed in 4 hrs 31 mins. Even though this is slower than I would of liked, I was pleased with my efforts considering the many influencing factors such as the heat, humidity and a week full of unhealthy eating!

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Wednesday to Friday – Pretty much just spent the days walking around the parks and generally just spent a lot of time on my feet.

Saturday & Sunday – These days were taken up travelling home from the US.

Week 18 – 3rd April 

This week hasn’t exactly gone how I would of liked, I am currently in my taper stage before the marathon and had wanted to get 3 runs in this week however my body decided that this wasn’t going to be case. I came straight back from holiday into starting a new job which involves quiet a long commute. This, mixed with jet lag and the continued recovery from my 20 miler meant I have quickly come down with a scratchy throat and head cold.

I know it’s not helpful to taper to much and not do any running, but I felt like I really needed to listen to my body this week so I only managed one speed mile which was 1.03 miles in 9 mins 23 seconds. I am feeling a lot better today and have planned out my runs for the next two weeks until race day, so as not to let this low level week affect me to much.

I am now only 2 weeks out from the biggest hardest most nerve wrecking thing I have ever attempted. I’m doing this for an amazing charity – Children with Cancer UK, and if you would like too it would be amazing if you could sponsor me: www.virginmoneygiving.com/gidrunslondon

Also if you are praying type please pray for no injuries or further illness – the maranoia is setting in! 🙂

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 4

Hello! Its time for my weekly recap on my training progress for the London Marathon, considering all of the distractions in the run up to Christmas it has been a pretty good week!

Monday : Gym Session

  • Warm Up – 10 mins on bike  (with a short cool down)
  • 1.06 miles on treadmill switching between 6/8 mph – trying to build up my speed
  • 1.03 mile brisk walk on a 8% Gradient
  • 3 set of 16 – Leg Press @ 35 kgs
  • 3 sets of 16 – Shoulder press @ 20 kgs
  • 10 min cool down on the bike
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Bike stats!

Tuesday : Went for a 45 min run which was going pretty well until just after the first mile where I slipped on some wet leaves (more dangerous that ice in my book!) and rolled my ankle. Abandoned the run and hobbled home, as a precaution got ice on it and elevated it. Better to be safe than sorry.

Wednesday : Gym Session

  • Warm-Up – 10 mins on the bike
  • 2.18 miles on Cross-trainer level 7 resistance
  • 1000 meter row on highest resistance as fast as possible – 4 mins 51 secs
  • 15 mins brisk walking (4.5mph)
  • 3 sets of 16 shoulder press @ 20 kgs
  • 3 sets of 16 10 kg kettlebell
  • 10 mins cool down on bike
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Rower stats!

Thursday : Rest Day

Friday : With Storm Barbra threatening to ruin Christmas I decided to move my run to Friday morning as it was supposed to be the calm before the storm.

So I ventured out at 8am to quote the weather man ‘get the best of the dry calm weather’ before the storm came through… how wrong was he! I was met with strong head winds, cold temperatures and rain but that didn’t stop me going and completing my 9 mile run.

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9 miles – completed in 1:46:49 with average pace of 11.51 – with which I was extremely happy considering the weather conditions and how bad my previous long runs have been. The cross-training and strength work is definitely paying off, I managed to get negative splits between miles and I generally just felt stronger 🙂

Anyways as I type this it is Christmas Eve and like most of you I am super excited to see what the big man brings me over night and to have a good excuse to be merry and enjoy myself. So Merry Christmas 🙂

I’m running the 2017 London Marathon in aid of Children with Cancer UK. If you’d like to give me (and them) a  super lovely Christmas present, consider sponsoring me by visiting my page here! 

 

 

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!