bikes

Chasing the side dream …

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I have a little side dream … it’s kinda explained in the snazzy little video on The Training Room‘s page entitled LOVE WHAT YOU DO 

So when I was offered the opportunity to attend a specialist training event and potentially walk away as a qualified studio cycling instructor I couldn’t really say no.

The Training Room Certificate in Studio Cycling is normally part of a wider six week intensive personal training course but this one day date was a great opportunity to get a feel of what doing the full course would be like.

We kicked off with a quick hello and got given our tops for the day … I was very excited to wear mine (with the words Personal Trainer on the sleeve ;D)

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And after a quick selfie with our tops we headed straight to the studio to take part in a class. Our teacher David took us for a full 45 minute session making us do all sorts of spinning moves and definitely got us all sweating, even with the aircon on full blast!

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After he had finished turning our legs into jelly it was back to the class room.  We discussed the various advantages of “indoor cycling”, both physically and psychologically, I of course mentioned that incredible smug feeling after a workout (flippin’ love that feeling) and how taking part in group work outs can really have a knock on effect on so many other aspects of life! After this it started getting technical!

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We learnt about how to get ready for a class, how to help set up a bike correctly, the various moves you can perform whilst in a class, what the technical elements are behind each one and how to best to instruct your class to perform them properly.

After a delicious lunch it was back to the classroom to do a quick test., yes A TEST, to recap on various points we had discussed earlier in the day.  Once we had all finished it was time to discuss music.  Music is a massive part of a class for me, I always go back to the same class because 1. I like the trainer and 2. I LOVE the music she chooses, for me it just works!  Next came the scary part – designing a class and choosing what we were going to teach as part of our assestment!

After learning the moves, discussing music and understanding the structure of a class it was time to put it all to use.  Firstly we had to write down what a potential class could look like, including a warm up, 3 full tracks and a cool down and then we had to think about which one track we would teach the rest of the class.  YES we would have to teach the rest of the class as part of our assessment.  Now we had been quite a chatty bunch until this moment, I think things got a lot more real and the nerves started to set in!

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I opted to go first – like a plaster get it done quickly – and off I went!  I took my class through a nasty seated climb and then a standing sprint finish!  I LOVED IT and definitely discovered a new found respect for all indoor cycling instructors, speaking and spinning is definitely not the easiest but what a buzz you get from leading other people!  One by one we each taught one track and the supportive atmosphere in the studio was awesome!

Once back in the classroom we were handed back all our paperwork and I am extremely happy to say that I can now officially instruct Studio Cycling Classes.

A huge thank you to The Training Room I had an awesome day and I am extremely proud of my achievement … so London watch out I might be teaching in a studio very soon ;D!

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Rain, raving and racing!

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… “Run, eat, rave, repeat” …

Monday

So staying over at Lissy’s meant I had the pleasure of doing my circuits over looking the beautiful canals around Wapping so it all started well – 3 rounds of full body circuits.   This, if you read my previous work outs, is usually followed by a run however, if you can remember the weather on Bank Holiday it was awful and I mean AWFUL!   But because Lissy and I are crazy and had originally planned to be in Shoreditch for around 3pm we decided to brave it, Lissy on the bike (so she could enjoy shouting abuse at me to run harder) and me, well I was the idiot in shorts and my Games Maker jacket.  This run was hilarious, we got absolutely soaked, couldn’t hear each other to talk to as I had my hood up and Lissy had her helmet on, and by the time we got to Shoreditch we were so unbelievably drench thanks to a car purposefully driving quickly through a puddle we just went home.  Still we got a run in ;D

Tuesday

A killer 6.5mile run with the crew!  I actually think this was one of the most epic runs yet!  Led by the machine that is Chris we straight away hit an awesome pace tearing our way through the streets of London headed for Trafalgar Square.  Once at Trafalgar Square we of course stopped for a few photos and met up with the rest of the crew.  From there we headed down to the river and then RAN … and ran and ran all the way until the path stopped and it was time to head back North towards 1948.  It was a long, hard slog but the sense of  achievement at the end of it was IMMENSE.  I know I say this every week but I LOVE Tuesdays!

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Wednesday

Morning Gloryville RAVE!!!

Bouncing about for 2 and half hours definitely counts as a work out!!!  Kicking off a 06:30 in the morning Lissy, Steph and I made our way across to East London to be welcomed into a space full of leotards, glitter and killer leggings!!! With live DJs at the decks playing some killer tunes we bounced, giggled and sung along from 06:30am – 08:45am having the time of our lives … and then quietly made our way to work.

LITERALLY THE BEST WAY TO START YOUR DAY!

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Thursday 

Bring on those 10 x 1 repeats and of course the double helping of granola!!!!  This week a bizarre thing happened … I started my sprints and don”t get me wrong they were hard, but not as hard as last week.  In fact I managed to go further in each minute!  Keeping in mind consistency rather than killing my legs (and myself) and well it worked!  I hit my targets every single lap, even managed to go a few strides further on my last couple of sets … I think this is what you call “winning” at sprint sets.  As you can imagine my celebratory portion of granola was pretty EPIC!

Friday

Oh hello rest day … all the protein and GBBO …

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Saturday & Sunday 

A casual 30 mile run, in a team, during the afternoon, just after midnight, in the dark hours and in a glorious, sunny morning!  I got scrambled …to be continued… #spitfirescramble

New routes, oats and CARNIVAL vibes!

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So it’s been another week of training this time with a few familiar faces!

 

Monday

3 rounds of full body circuits followed by a lovely 30 minute RUNcommute to work … looking oh so cool in my commuter gear

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PS notice I was still wearing shorts at this point!   Summer had not completely finished!

Tuesday

All about the cross training ready for sprints (and of course celebratory granola) the next morning.  So it was 20 minutes on the x trainer and 15 minutes on the bike.  Both at a steady pace .

Wednesday

Morning – Second attempt at pretending that I can maintain a fast pace doing 10 x 1 minute repeats.  Started with a 10 minute super slow jog to warm up and then got to it.  The first four went really well, fast (or at least fast for me) and I managed to get further in the minute than last week but then 5 hit … from the 5th repeat my legs were getting tired so I think it’s fair to say that I need to work on consistency!

Evening – An absolutely gorgeous Yin Yoga session with Cal  from Yoga In The Big Smoke over in Fulham Broadway with a few familiar faces …

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I really enjoy Yin Yoga because, like many runners I know, I get impatient holding stretches for too long so probably don’t do each one for long enough.  Yin yoga makes you hold every position for at least 2 minutes a go so no escaping!!!  Ouch ;D!

Thursday 

Due to the location of Yin the incredible hostess that is Steph very kindly offered me a bed for the night and even better she offered to do my morning workout with me!  So after a late night of chatter our alarm sounded at 06:30 and together we got through 3 rounds of my full body circuits and then she took me on a tour of her local 5km route.  It was so so lovely to be running with Steph and in totally new surroundings.  Exploring, running and chat is just a perfect way to start a morning… oh and then throw in a packed, homemade breakfast and well honestly there is NOTHING better!

NUTELLA CINNAMON BUN with my name on!

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Friday

Oh hello rest day … and cocktails with these beauties …

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Saturday

After learning some serious lessons last week with my first attempt at 6x1km repeats I got my game face on, starting with breakfast!  I had very kindly been given oats by The Chia Co in a goody bag and well we all know oats make a good pre run breakfast so …

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All you need to do is empty the sachet, add water and stick it in the microwave for a minute or two and BOOM!  Super quick, super easy, yummy pre-run fuelling DONE!

So after a very slow warm up to Highbury Fields (VERY SLOW) I got myself ready focusing on the fact that yes each 1km needed to be an effort but they also needed to be consistent.  I had a time in mind, based on my average last week, and so set off trying to keep a relatively steady pace.  My first loop I came in 10 seconds slower than the time I had in mind so on the second I picked up a little and then the following 4 laps I managed within 4/5 seconds of each other!  I was absolutely exhausted and my legs hated me but at the same time I felt so so much better than last week and was a little smug about not completely collapsing by the 6th lap!!!!!

Sunday

Another opportunity to run in new territory!  I am very lucky to have amazing friends who will put me up for the night and then come running in the morning!  Lissy and I had an AWESOME 50 minute run in the sunshine around the canals onto Mile End.  50 minutes of slow and steady running followed by an epic breakfast of granola and french toast.

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Oh and then we hit Notting Hill Carnvial for hours and hours of bouncing with friends!

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Circuits, running, diving and cinnamon rolls …

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So it’s been another week of training with a few random elements thrown in for good measure of course ;D!

Monday

Had the pleasure of working from home so kicked the day off with 3 rounds of full body circuits, did some work, went for a steady 30 minute run in the sunshine, came back and did more work, went to a casting and then came home to build my new bed with an extremely handy friend.  You know, just another normal day ;D!

Tuesday

20 minutes on the x trainer and 15 minutes on the bike.  Both at a steady pace ready for tomorrow!  (No RunDem run as had an event in the evening)

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Wednesday

My first real attempt of channeling Bolt in a run.  I think he still might beat me.  So Wednesday was all about 10 x 1 minute repeats, but not only did they need to be at full effort they also needed to be consistent.  So using a quiet path which I found whilst doing my warm up I used a tree as my starting point and ran at full effort for a minute which roughly took me to a bin at the end of the path.  With 1 minute recovery in between I then ran back at full pace in attempt to get back to my starting point!  By the end of it I definitely felt like the bin and the tree had grown legs and were moving about to tease me … either that or I was just getting tired ;D!

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My Run Rabbit tee definitely got it right!

In the evening, well it was just another normal evening catching up with Charlie … a normal evening where you get a personal diving lesson with the Tom Daley Diving Academy!  Spogo kindly invited us down to the London Aquatics Centre and well we couldn’t say no!  More details will be up on the blog in a couple of days but for now here’s a couple of pictures ;D!

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Practice makes perfect right ;D
In reality … a bit more scary!

Thursday

Three rounds of full body circuits and a gorgeous 30 minute RUNcommute to work!  I forgot how convenient it can  be to run to work, easily the most efficient way to get to the office!

Friday

Oh hello rest day!  I generally find rest days quite tricky as I am not very good at sitting still but this rest day was seriously appreciated … my legs are definitely feeling the speed work so instead I had an early night and cooked some of my favourite things 🙂

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corn and tofu!

Saturday

Disgusting 1km repeats.  And when I say disgusting I mean disgusting!  Who knew that Highbury Fields had a few sneaky inclines!  And where on earth did that wind come from?!  So once again speed and consistency were key for this so after an extremely slow, almost horizontal, run to Highbury Fields (about 1.4 miles) I set off on my first of six 1km laps around Highbury Fields.  My first three laps were relatively similar, my fourth was WAYYYY OUT and then I brought the fifth and sixth back to a similar time to my third lap.  This was hard, really hard, particularly as my double helping of granola before this apparently wasn’t the best fuelling!  Lots of lessons learnt on this run, no granola before speed work and definitely need to slow it down on my first lap to keep the consistency up!

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Angry runner face!

Sunday

So after missing out on Stephanie Muzzal’s infamous homemade cinnamon buns on Saturday due to over fuelling and late running I knew I would somehow have to get across London to get my hands on one!  I had a 45 minute run on the plan and it had to be super slow (holding back on my “super slow” runs is something that I am struggling with at the moment but I know they will help when it comes to speed work so I am just gritting my teeth and getting on with it) so figured why not jog on down to Waterloo Station and jump on a train to meet her after her incredible 20 mile run?!  So that is exactly what I did!  Apart from having to remind myself to go slow this run was lovely, I knew the route so could hide my phone away and instead I just enjoyed the sights and sounds whilst running down through central London.  It has to be said that the amount of “walk of shames” I past was INCREDIBLE and extremely entertaining!  Once I got to Putney the moment came … those cinnamon buns are like no other!  Yes Steph it was hugely impressive that you ran 20 miles today but personally nothing tops how incredible your baking is.  Cinnamon buns like no other!!!

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This week’s workouts & THAT rain!

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As always a bit of running, a bit of weight lifting and one random workout ;D  Just how I like it!!!

Monday

3 rounds of full body circuits followed by 30 minutes on the x trainer

Tuesday

Morning – All about upper body weights in the morning!  Very excitingly (to me) I know I am getting closer to doing an unassisted pull up … small goal for this year … me and my snowman twig arms have got a way to go yet but we are getting there!

Evening – First run back with my Run Dem family after two weeks away!  This time we went loooonnnng running to the Olympic Park and back!  I loved it, EVERY SINGLE MINUTE!  Always so good to catch up with everyone and regardless of the day I have had I always finish these runs with the biggest smile on my face.  Casual, unplanned 9 miles … whoops!

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Wednesday

Intervals.  Horrible, horrible intervals! 10 minute warm up, 10 x 1 minute efforts followed by a 10 minute cool down.  It was hard, it was sweaty but hey I got it done and the reward was 100% WORTH IT ;D!  These legs WILL get used to speed!

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Thursday

3 rounds of full body circuits and a lovely 30 minute jog in the sunshine.  Nothing like getting up early and having a relaxed run in the sunshine!

Friday

REST DAY!!  Actually enjoyed today’s rest day, well my legs did that’s for sure!  And instead of getting sweaty I chucked on my dress and heels and enjoyed some gin at the Gin Joint with some very gorgeous ladies …

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Steph, Lissy and Laureen ;D

Saturday

Oh you know, casually became a fully qualified indoor cycling (or spin as we know it) instructor ;D!

A good few hours of spinning, shouting, more spinning and eating!!  More to come on this shortly!

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Sunday

A WET RUN.  Yep the lovely Alice and I said we would go on a little run to catch up and then have a HUGE brunch afterwards.  I think the run was our excuse to have more brunch HOWEVER, the English weather had other plans!  So I set out in the pouring rain (thank god for my uber stylish visor!) and ran the 18minutes to Alice’s door.  I love the running community, on my way to Alice’s house I passed a good few other crazy runners also braving the rain and every single one I passed gave me a knowing smile “YES we are MAD”!  I picked up Alice and we braved the outdoors, planning to do a 30 minute loop around Highbury.  It was wet, and when I say wet I mean WET.  The paths were flooded, the park waterlogged and we, well we were wet to the bone, quickly discovering that our trainers were not “flood proof”.  So 5 minutes in we gave up, turned round grabbed a towel and went to Lululemon Islington to enjoy a yoga class instead.  By the time we had finished our busy day of run, yoga, brunch and bed dismantling/ripping apart the sun showed up so YES we did go back out for a glorious 30 minute run!  HA!  Take that English weather ;D we got ya in the end!  48 minutes of running, 1 hour of flow yoga, 2 hours of brunching and 2 hours of ripping wood to shreds!  It was a good day!

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This week’s word: Sweat.

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Monday

The world’s sweatiest run!  Whilst in Valencia it was only right that we tried out a run or two in the gorgeous green path created by the old Turia riverbed.  So setting out nice and early (to beat the 35 degree heat?!?) Harry and I made our way to the park and did enough of a stretch to make it a nice 3 miler and then headed back.  I love running in new cities, it’s just a great way to see the place BUT by the time we got back we were both a complete sweaty mess! I have done HOT yoga before and definitely needed a towel during it but nothing competes with how we felt after this run!

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Tuesday

Flexing our muscles in an attempt to keep calm with delay after delay after delay getting back to the UK ;D!

Wednesday

3 rounds of full body circuits followed by a HIIT workout on the stepper!  Definitely not on holiday anymore! Ha!

Thursday

Making my track!  Inspired by some of my incredibly speedy friends I decided to get out and do some interval training.  Now I don’t have a track outside my door but the lovely Laura had mentioned that she had used the Emirates Stadium as a track in the past … so off I went!  A nice 1.2 mile warm up followed by 6 x 400 “sprints” with a 1.2 mile cool down home.  I will be doing a lot more of these sorts of runs as my legs are not built for speed. Not one bit! Ask me to run and I’ll go and go and go, ask me to go fast and it’s another story … maybe if you put a piece of carrot cake on a stick I might be more tempted ;D!

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Friday

Weights day!  Yay!  There is something really satisfying about lifting! So a few rope pulls, pull ups, shoulder presses, bent over presses and pull over presses later I was a very happy lady!

Saturday

Hungover circuits followed by a horrendous 3 miler on the treadmill. There isn’t much to be said about this run. The cocktails from the night before definitely did not enhance my run, but hey I still got a 2minute plank in!

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Sunday

Back in Christmas 2013 I contacted Leah,  a lovely blogger I had had the pleasure of meeting at a few races/NTC sessions, after seeing her post a picture out on a run with a couple of other girls all in the name of marathon training!  Having just agreed to do my first marathon, and with no idea where to start, I asked Leah if I could join them on their next run.  So one VERY cold winter morning I went and met a load of strangers and went for a run.  8 months later, with numerous shared races, training weekends, RUNcations and of course celebratory meals & drinks I now call those strangers some of my closest friends and this Sunday I met up with Harry & Steph and ran a glorious 8.8mile route around Hyde park retracing that original route I did in winter!  It was absolutely gorgeous!  Running, chatting and taking some stunning scenery, plus we did a bit of celeb spotting Adele!

I LOVE running!

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Getting into a routine …

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So I think I am finally getting into a nice little routine … almost … nearly

Monday

Bit of ab work but otherwise “cool down” after the seriously sweaty race that was “The British 10km”

Tuesday

Morning – Upper body stuff, kicking off with interval rowing!  This was then followed by pull ups, skull crushers, curls and presses.  As mentioned last week I went with my list of moves and also started to note down the weight I use so I can monitor my progress!

Evening – RUN DEM aka speed session!  This week I decided to go to the next level after figuring that I really need to start pushing myself and so I opted for #CheetahElites but somehow got asked to lead!   It was an AWESOME 5 mile run and absolutely amazing to have the opportunity to lead such strong crew of people!  Down to City Hall, across to Blackfriars and along past St Paul’s this SPEEDY run left me buzzing for days!!!

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Wednesday

A great 7 mile run to an awesome soundtrack.  During all my races now I chose to go without music and just enjoy the sights and sounds around me but when I am running on my own I love being able to catch up with musics/mixes!  It’s awesome running to some serious tunes and I would definitely recommend listening back to MistaJam’s show at 7pm on 1xtra, it’s a great mixed bag of beats!!

Thursday

BOOM Cycle and London Duathlon BRICK Training Event

On Thursday I was lucky enough to be invited to an intensive one hour BRICK training alongside London Duathlon 2014 ambassadors, ITUDuathlon Champion, Ryan Ostler and Junior Team GB silver medallist, Charlotte Harris, in a 30 minute spin class mimicking the hills of Richmond Park followed by a 5k run.  It definitely provided that “jelly leg” feeling but I actually really enjoying pairing the two disciplines!  So much so that I would definitely have signed up for the London Duathlon on 14th September but sadly I am already taking part in another event!  However, if you fancy getting involved you can find out lots more on their website – http://www.londonduathlon.com

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Friday

LEG DAY – I know I keep saying it but I am loving my strengthening sessions at the moment, I just love the idea of making my body stronger! During this session I tried something a little different. After a gentle warm up I did 3 minute bursts on the sweat inducing stepper machine following by squats, lunges and kick backs. I did this little sequence 4 times … and then collapsed! It was AWESOME!

Saturday

Gardening … lots of gardening!  I volunteered through work to help a fix up a school as part of a surprise for the pupils.  It was a great thing to be a part of and I definitely think it counted as a full body workout!  Even just carrying the wheelbarrow was tough haha!

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Sunday

An absolutely glorious 10 mile run in the sun and when I say glorious I 110% mean glorious!  I went with my music, after sourcing a great mix by Kaytranada, and just ran, not for time, not for distance but just to run and it felt amazing!!!! Now I know I am shortly going to start working on my speed which means shorter, more intense runs but this confirmed I just love a long run!  I love the feeling of racking up the miles and the glorious satisfaction of that. I could have carried on for hours but I had a brunch to get to…of course ;D

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So there we are!  Do you prefer a long, chilled run or are you the type that likes short bursts of intensive running?

 

Variety is the spice of life …

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Yep you got it another mixed bag last week … but I think I am building up a rough routine …

Monday

Rest day after ROGA!

Tuesday

Morning – Really looked forward to my upper body work out, starting to feel a lot more relaxed using the weights. Tip here: go prepared! I always write down the four moves I am going to do and how many reps and sets I plan to do giving me the look of confidence whilst surrounded by big, grunting, muscly men!

Evening – RUN DEM aka speed session! 5.5 miles averaging between 7.5 / 8 minute miles! Now granted there were a few traffic light stops but I am still seriously buzzing about those times!

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Rolling with Cheetahs!
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Charlie’s idea to take over the road in the middle of Oxford Street … fast enough to take a photo before the lights changed ;D!

Wednesday

A glorious 7 mile run. After some forward planning, making sure I ate a good meal straight after Run Dem, I woke up feeling fresh and ready to go! However the last mile may have been a little tough….!

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Thursday

BOOM! Love a good Boom class with Lissy!  I LOVE that I can get a good work out whilst catching up with friends…very lucky to be able to do both!  Nice and sweaty 45 minute spin class busting my ass to the likes of Usher, Prince and Britney!

Friday

NTC Abs work out … ouch!

Saturday

Does shopping along oxford street count? Followed by a huge wardrobe clear out?

 

The weight sessions are really becoming something I look forward to, though it is definitely getting to the point where more moves, advice would be seriously appreciated!  If you want any info on the stuff I am doing at the moment just pop me an email or leave a comment!  I am happy to share :D!

 

Last Week’s Workouts

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So I have to apologise that I have been a little quiet on the blog recently! I have my excuses ;D but I promise to be far more consistent from now on!

So to last week’s workouts!

Monday – still recovering from the hard race that was WOTN Amsterdam just did my lovely little 4mile run commute through regents park, this one was definitely slow and steady!

Tuesday – I decided to add on some mileage to the run commute and managed a relatively speedy 7miles but man it was sweaty!

Wednesday – I had the absolute pleasure of yoga on top of One New Change (or Madison bar for those who know it!) Blue Cow Yoga kindly put on two free yoga classes and managed to chose two Wednesday mornings that were absolutely gorgeous! It really is the most amazing way to start the day, an hour of yoga (which I am finally getting!) blue skies and luckily a serious amount of my gorgeous running buddies were there too!

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Yoga with a view!
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Looking up to the “ceiling”

Thursday – Not as calming but just as fun it was time for Bangs spin class at BOOM! I LOVE this class! Bangs has the perfect mix of hard work whilst keeping it seriously fun & her playlist never fails to make me extremely happy, I mean she sneaked a Prince track in there!  BUT MAN come prepared to work!!!

Friday – After a very last minute, very late, flight booking all I could managed a short abs session using the NTC app!!!

Saturday – Does driving REALLY FAST on the nurbergring count?

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Sunday – My buddy kindly offered to take me to the gym whilst in Germany … I say kindly, I am still struggling to lift a pen! We did back & tris as I mentioned I wanted to run the next day, he got me doing pull ups, renegade rows, skull crushers & crazy 8s to name just a few moves! I will write a full post with descriptions as I will definitely be adding these moves into my training … once I can move my arms again!

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Out of all my workouts this week I think I loved the gym the most (?!?) I love training with someone and weights is something I really want to get into but getting form right is so so important so if you can try it out with a friend! How about you? Do you prefer training with a buddy or getting into the zone by yourself?

Race Recap: We Own The Night

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We Own The Night

Date/Time: Saturday 7th June / 22:30 (!?!)
Location: Olympic Stadium Amsterdam
Distance: 10 km chip-timed race

So AMSTERDAM!

At the beginning of the year Nike announced four destinations for their “We Own The Night” races and well who doesn’t love a running holiday!  It’s a huge excuse to go away with some of your favourite people, doing something that you love, whilst exploring a new city and EVEN more excuse to try out EVERY SINGLE local delicacy.  So when we discovered that Amsterdam was one of them and that it was on a Saturday night Lissy, Laureen , Alice (who was going to be our support team) and I couldn’t say no!

So of course pre race prep kicked off with some very important “local” fuelling … particularly as the race wasn’t planned to start until 22:30!!!!

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And then the obligatory kit lay down photo …

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Notice the gorgeous bedding and of course our funky wall tiles … our entire room was covered in these …..!?!?!?!

What was pretty awesome about this race was that it kicked off and finished in Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium.  There was something quite epic about walking up to the stadium and then hanging out on the track!

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Once we got there we met up with some of the awesome ladies from Running Junkies who had kindly given us loads of advice whilst planning our trip and showed some serious CREW LOVE once we arrived!  Huge shout out to Elly who was our go to lady for all things Amsterdam!

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The race village was a little smaller than the huge festival like space in London but it had all the usual things, a bar (though it’s worth mentioning that there was no free prosecco at the end (London 1 : Amsterdam 0!), a Nike store full of far too many gorgeous and tempting products, a “beauty area” where you could get your hair (!?!) and nails done and a “relax” tent.  Vogue Nederland were also sponsoring the event and they had a great section where you could have your photo taken and it would link straight to their facebook page ….

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Another cool feature was if you posted your photo on instagram and tagged Vogue it would link straight to a printer and almost instantly they would print out on little postcards!!  We of course went mad with this ;D!

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How many attemps to get a good photo …

After all this photo fun, a toliet stop and a snoop around we realised that it was defiinitely time to head to our starting pen.  Using the trick we had learnt from London we placed ourselves in the front section (I may or may not have been thinking about my Sub 10km goal for this year).  The race started in the stadium and over the top of the start line there was a HUGE stage on which was a pretty awesome DJ playing some AWESOME music and there were even dancers?!

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Photo courtesy of Nike Running Nederland

We scrambled our way to the front, climbing over a barrier to then be faced with another!  Now we were 99% sure this was where we were supposed to be so we climbed over the second and worked our way to the front.  After settling in and getting our watches/phones sorted we suddendly realised every other single girl around us had another wrist band on … and then after chatting to various people who noticed we had our Run Dem shirts it soon became clear we had stumbled (climbed) our way into the VIP start section … WHOOPS ;D!

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Yes that would be everyone else behind us!

The build up to the start was EPIC!  Honestly it felt like being in a open air club in Ibiza, the music was amazing and the atmosphere was just incredible!  The race did start a little later than planned, more like 11pm, which was slightly surreal but once the countdown came I was ready!!!

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Pre run raving!

Going out through the stadium I initally ran with Anne and Laureen, Lissy was supposed to be taking it easy due to her knee but sadly we all quickly lost each other in the darkness!  And when I say darkness I mean it!  It was great to be running at night, during most of London it was still light and running in the dark is definitely a different experience but as this route was through the city it also made it super dangerous!!  Cobbles, cones, kerbs and changes in terrain all made it a bit of nightmare.  It was amazing to be running all over the city and Amsterdam is definitely vibrant at night but it also meant that I watched many girls trip, fall and even helped catch one as she fell next to me!

There were people all along the route which was great encouragement … though I suspect their overenthusiasm may have due to other things ;D and it was awesome seeing the Running Junkies crew near the start, they definitely gave me a huge boost so huge shout out to them!!

Every KM was marked by some crazy lights, there was a small band playing music and then a bizarre singer around 6km but other than that the city itself was the backdrop ….

APART from a magical moment around 4km …. as we turned a corner there appeared 10 or so topless men.  TOPLESS, crazily ripped men … with glowsticks!?!?!?!  It was hiliarious! The girls next to me didn’t speak English but our smiles said it all!  Only in Amsterdam! (London 1: Amsterdam 1)

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During the race I stuck with the two 00:50 pacers … plus they had speakers so it was great as I didn’t have my headphones with me.  They were a great support, although the encouragement was all in Dutch it definitely pushed me and I made sure I was always one step ahead to make me work HARD!

Coming up to the last km I pushed, I pushed and pushed.  It was RIDICOUSLY hot considering it was now nearly midnight, my legs hated me and the chips we all shared for dinner weren’t working as a good fuelling technique but as we came round the corner to the finishing line I, of course, kicked up for a sprint finish!

The race was actually marked as long … 0.4 km long apparently so hard to say what my exact time would have been but for today I am going on my watch time …. 49.25 (though this still means I need to get that official sub50 time ;D)

NIGHT OFFICIALLY OWNED!