British 10k – Running for Charity

IMG_4669This Sunday my colleagues and I will be racing the British 10k in support of Macmillan Cancer Support. A group of us at work have been training since May in preparation for the event.

In previous years, we’d often sign up for 5k charity runs. This year we decided to double our distance! For many in the group, this will be the longest distance they’ve ever run.

I felt slightly responsible for convincing my colleagues to race a 10k so I started a run club at work to get everyone trained up for the race! We train every Monday and it has been amazing seeing individuals improve. I used to coach novice and corporate rowers in University and I forgot how good it feels to pass on knowledge and help others work towards their fitness goals.

We train in a park near work where we are surrounded by green – a good reminder of why we’re doing all this hard work: Macmillan.

With work, training, the blog and MBA Run Club my time often feels stretched… I created the run club as my contribution to the 10k challenge.

If you’d like to support all our efforts and donate towards Macmillan Cancer Support, you can do so at our Just Giving page. All donations gratefully received.

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Today I raced my first open water swim event.

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I signed up for the 1500m race, borrowed a wetsuit and made my way to Dorney Lake for the race.

I found out about the Eton Open Water Swim after speaking to a few members of Tri London at the Crystal Palace Triathlon a few weekends back. It seemed like the perfect segue from pool swimming to open water swimming – without having to worry about transitioning, cycling and running after.

I thought I had prepared myself quite well earlier this week by going for a swim in an open air Lido to test out the wetsuit and get familiar with the cold water… well it definitely didn’t hurt but I was still completely and utterly shocked 100m into the race today.

Shocked by… the cold. the compression. the commotion. and the conditions.

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Dealing with pre-race Jitters

Berlin Half Marathon - Dan and I at start line

You’d think that after 7 years of competitive racing, the pre-race jitters would begin to disappear, eh? Well, sorry to tell you that this is so NOT the case… What I have learned though, is how to turn those jitters into excitement and drive… rather than negative thoughts like doubt and fear (which jitters can easily turn into if you’re not careful!).

Here’s how…

When I start to feel the pre-race jitters… In order to turn them into excitement and drive, I’ve learned to simply not entertain any negative thoughts.  They’ll come through my mind constantly but I just watch them leave again without being effected, considering or debating them. 

Here are a few of the thoughts that went through my mind before the Berlin Half Marathon

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Berlin Half Marathon

Berlin Half MarathonDaylight savings in Autumn 2014, the clocks fall back and we have an extra hour in our day. My roommate Kailee and I decide to make the most of this extra hour by signing up for the Berlin Half Marathon, which our friend Ash planned on racing. Little did we know we’d lose that hour literally the day before racing, when Spring daylight savings came around…

We flew out to Berlin last weekend and raced our first half marathon ever.

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Grateful and Excited

After suffering from shin splints last year, a few things were put into perspective… Going out for a quick 30-minute run was no longer an option. Instead, I’d have to pack up and walk to the gym to find some low-impact cardio. It became a chore being so restricted.

The shin splits lasted six months… I wasn’t able to run from March – November 2014. They’ve since settled down and I have been able to enjoy some beautiful runs around London again. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated going for a run as much as I do now.

Tomorrow, I’ll be racing my first 10k in ages!! I’m not going to bring my Garmin and instead I’ll just run by feel. If I leave with a sub 50-minute finish time and no shin pain, I’ll be a very happy camper!

To avoid any injuries tomorrow I plan to:

  • Do a long easy warm-up
  • Roll out my calves tonight and after the race
  • Take Monday off to recover

Enjoy your training. Enjoy the freedom of it. And take care of your body!

Goal Setting

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I have a lot of exciting goals this year — I honestly can’t even wait to start working towards each and every one of them. I’m listing them here to make myself accountable and to remind myself why I set these goals in the first place. When I get in the thick of things, I’ll reference this post to keep myself focused and energized.

Here they are… 

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Finding balance during the holidays

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At this time of year, it is tough to keep motivated. December is a month of Christmas perparation and celebration, dark mornings/ evenings, cold weather and social events gallor! A fun time of year, but a difficult one to keep on top of your healthy habits.

I have come to terms with the fact that you simply can’t do EVERYTHING… goals need to be adjusted and expectations reset.  My training has been cut down and shifted around social events, healthy eating has been a ‘best endvours’ type of approach (no use setting unrealistic goals and feeling guilty all month!) and as for the cold dark days… well, that is something you simply can’t dwell on as it is out of our control.

I hope everyone has been able to find their balance – it can certainly feel like a struggle, but placing effort on finding this balance makes all of the difference during the holidays.

Merry Christmas! Enjoy your holidays and remember — from today onwards, the days start to get longer again!

Buddy Up

Live Loosley and Dan Can Greeper Laces

No matter what your fitness goals are finding someone to train with can make all the difference.

Buddy up and challenge each other!

Learning to Swim

Welp. I have been swimming for 5 months now and have seen such a huge improvement since I began… I mean that isn’t too surprising considering my first time doing lengths in a 25m pool consisted of 2 laps and a minute of rest before going at it again. I was uncomfortable and stiff, and I totally didn’t understand why anyone would put themselves through such an activity time and time again.

I’ve made an effort swimming once a week and have finally gotten comfortable and more relaxed in the pool. I’m not swimming fast or far but at least I am enjoying it. Committing to a Triathlon in 2015 seems less impossible than it did 5 months ago.

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