Wedding healthy review

Back at the start of June, just after I first got engaged, I wrote a wedding healthy checklist.

Almost two months later I think it’s about time for a quick update to check in and see how I’ve been getting on…

1) Ensure that I eat three, healthy, balanced meals each day.
This was my dinner tonight and the beautiful meal I’ve been waiting for for the past few days…roasted potato, pepper, mushroom, sugar snap peas and mini corns.  Topped with crumbled goats cheese and a few tablespoons of marinara sauce.  Bread roll with butter on the side.

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Beautiful!  My meals have been healthy, and three per day, but I have been advised by Phoebe and Nick to eat more carbs and to have carby snacks between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner.  I’ve found it hard to fit in the extra snacks the past couple of weeks.

2) Not chew my nails.
I pretty much went cold turkey at chewing my nails.  I’ve even been able to do my own french tips this week.  (Think I might have to practice this a few times before the big day as most five year olds can probably paint their nails better than me!  But I’ve never had nails to practice with before now!  I’m even going to have to file these down tonight as they’re making it pretty impossible to get my contacts in and out at the moment!

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3) Not chew my hair.
I had my hair cut the morning of our engagement party a fortnight ago and have almost been cold turkey since.  I tend to chew my hair when I’m working hard and trying to get things done quickly, so I guess it kind of helps that school has finished for the Summer now.

4) Get enough sleep each night.
I seem to be really, really, REALLY rubbish at this.  I try to go to bed at about 10ish but that doesn’t always happen.  However, what does always happen is I wake up at 5am each morning!  Even if I haven’t fallen asleep until gone midnight.  How does everyone lay in on non-working mornings?  I need to trick my body to lay in until at least 6:30…I’ve still got nearly six weeks before I head back to work and actually need to get up at that time again!

5) Not take on too much.
I don’t think I’ve taken on a huge amount extra over the past few weeks…with it being the Summer holidays now I’m planning on getting myself a little more organised and this will help with me fitting everything in.

Tonight I headed out for 4x5min hill reps with 2min recovery jogs at 8pm with Dan.  There were a bunch of chavvy teenagers sat on the bench halfway down the hill who literally just stopped and stared at us running up and down for 30mins.  I caught a few comments such as “There is no way I would ever be fit enough to do that” and “I might be able to run down the hill but never back up again!”  It got a little uncomfortable with them staring after a while though!

Tomorrow morning I’m marshalling at the Welly 5, our club’s race so am hoping for good weather and lots of runners.  I really enjoy being that side of the race as well as running in a race…and it’s (usually) much less stressful on the day.

So many veggies

wpid-IMAG1055.jpgI’ve been back at my Mum’s for a couple of days to help out there as school finished for me on Tuesday.  My parents have a big beautiful garden, although after one too many heron scares just lately Dad has now built a barrier around the pond out of breeze blocks to try and save the rest of the fish!

Fridays are my rest days on my training plan in the week.  No running, no core work.  It feels so odd after six strenuous days of running in the week to take a day off from exercise.  I still have to be active though…and spent the morning pruning Mum’s bushes back and transporting the trimmings up to the compost.  Dad has the wheelbarrow up at the building site at the moment, so I improvised with a wpid-IMAG1057.jpggarden chair instead!

Lots of the branches were up really high and I can tell already that my arms are going to ache tomorrow!

I don’t think a rest day is ever really a full on rest day.  I’ve also been out and walked the dog this evening.

Last night I took my parent’s dog, Blue (half Staffy, half husky) out on my progression run with me.  He was actually really good, which was a big surprise.  I’ve not taken him out with me for about six months as last time he just kept jumping up at me and barking and getting under my feet.  A few miles from my parents there are a couple of large fields for dog walkers which are fully enclosed so that dogs can be let off their leads and you don’t have to worry about where wpid-IMAG1059.jpgthey are so I just let him do his thing whilst I got my miles in.  My progression run was 15/15/15, so 15 minutes at a slow pace, 15 minutes more steadily and 15 minutes at threshold pace.  The field is also incredibly hilly and there are lots of tufts of grasses sticking up all over the place, it possibly wasn’t the best place to pick for my progression run!

This afternoon we headed up to the top garden where Mum’s vegetable patch is.  I think every wpid-IMAG1056.jpgpossible type of vegetable you could grow is in this garden somewhere!  I didn’t even know until today that Mum had a kiwi plant.  Or that you could grow kiwi plants in the UK!

After lots of picking, peeling, washing, chopping and boiling my dinner tonight contained five different vegetables…potatoes, carrots, peas, broad beans and onions in the gravy.  Five vegetables in one meal.  A quick bit of research on a cancer research website shows that only 30% of adults in the UK eat their five a day of veggies!  I’m clearly better than most!

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When the real world meets the web world

This has been a crazy busy few weeks of training, hot weather and end of term activities at school.
On Monday morning it crossed my mind that the new edition of Women’s Running would be out at some point this week and I ummmed and ahhhhed about removing my blog address from my Twitter page, as I knew WR were including my Twitter handle in their write-up about me as part of Operation Ultra.

Too late!  When I got home from work on Monday evening, the latest edition was already sat waiting for me on my doorstep…

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I quickly grabbed my copy, threw my school things down and sat on the couch to turn to the Operation Ultra pages.

There was me, on page 99 along with Lynda and Anne-Marie, the other Operation Ultra winners for 2013.  I look so nervous in this picture!

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On the next page there’s an action shot of me running through Bushy Park back at the start of July on the training day.  I really like this picture.  :)

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I skim-read the article, then read it again, and possibly once more before passing it over to Dan, who immediately took a picture of it on his phone.
Even though I had a fair idea of what was going to be in the magazine, it was pretty exciting seeing it in their in print!

There was no going back now!!!  I took the magazine in with me for my final day at school yesterday and showed a few people.  Still rather nervous about them finding my blog through Twitter.  I mentioned it to Dan, who had the attitude of ‘So what?…it’s helping you with your training, who cares what anyone else thinks?  You’re doing this for you.’ so I rather nervously left my blog URL up on my Twitter page.  Hello anyone that knows me that’s now begun reading through my blog! Please do comment and say ‘Hey!’ every now and again.  You’ll probably learn much more about my running and wedding planning than you ever wanted to know and definitely more than I would share in real life!

For everyone that already has a blog, how did you feel about people you knew reading your entries?…

My #1 fan

IMG_7362bI would not be able to put as much time and effort into my running if it weren’t for my number one fan so I would just like to give him a little shout out this evening.

Dan has been present at more than 75% of all of my races, often armed with a camera and bucketloads of encouragement for me and all of the other members of my club.  He has walked a minimum of 8 miles at each of my marathons – racing from one meeting point to the next to try and see me as many times as possible over the course of the race, and in all weathers – from pouring rain, heavy snow to 30 degree sunshine!  He provides me with drinks and nutrition en route and words of helpful advice as I pass.

runningCollage The collage of pictures to the right are just some of the photos he has taken over the past year.  He even used these photos to create my own personal diary to plan out my training runs around the rest of my crazy life schedule!

Not only does he support me at all the races I attend, but he has never once complained on any of the evenings when I have gotten home late from work, then rather than spending time together I have thrown my bag into the bedroom, changed into tights, trainers and a running top and headed out of the front door with my Garmin.

His lunchtime is at 12 noon but we often eat tea at 8pm at night, so that I can train whilst not on a full stomach in the evening, and so that I then have time to put together something nutritious when I return from my run.

He has repeatedly left parties early so that I can get a good night’s sleep before a race and hundreds of his lyins have been interrupted when my alarm rings out early in the morning enabling me to get my runs out of the way before the rest of the day’s tasks complete.

He has sat through hours of me analysing my splits and pacing for races, setting myself targets for upcoming races, devising new training plans and trialing more runner-friendly meals in the kitchen.

Not only has he supported me throughout the last two years of my running ‘career’ but on the way home after Milton Keynes Marathon earlier in the year, he announced that having watched me complete my second marathon in the space of just over a year he would actually quite like to run one himself and has recently been out on several of my ‘easy/recovery’ runs each week, providing company on my runs.  On average about three a week.  (One of his friends recently ran his first marathon and the pair of them are pretty competitive, so this might also have something to do with Dan wanting to run a marathon.  But I like to think that I have inspired him a little along the way!)

Here’s a picture of him in his ‘running pose’ earlier in the week.

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This was quite possibly the hottest day he could have joined me on a run.  Most of my runs are either 5:30am or 9:30pm to avoid the heat at the moment, but for some reason we ended up running at 5:15pm the other night, when we had gotten home from work earlier than normal.  Dan was later heard to say “I wish I hadn’t worn all black!” (whilst covered in plenty of sweat) and I was heard to comment “I wish I hadn’t worn clothes!”

I really, really appreciate everything that Dan has given up or adapted in order that I can run as much as I am able to.

Who is your #1 fan?…