trainers

Technical Trainer Porn

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So a couple of weeks ago I got to try out these ….

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Photo from Areta @MyZestBest

In my opinion I think they are pretty darn lovely to look at!  I would always choose function over fashion (when it comes to actual running trainers, any other trainers then I am definitely shallow – it’s all about they how look ;D).  However, these beauts look good and also work pretty well too!

A couple of months ago I got invited down to a preview of Brooks Autumn / Winter 2015 kit and I was seriously impressed.  I knew Brooks as a brand but had never really tried any of their shoes and definitely hadn’t seen much of their sportswear – but the colours, the feel of the garments and how they performed whilst enjoying a gentle jog around Regent’s Park instantly made me a huge fan!  What also really surprised me was how well I got on with their trainers.  Since I started running I have always stuck to the same shoe as nothing else came close but I was given a pair of the Ghost 8, a neutral shoe, and well, we got on rather nicely!

Brooks have since released the Urban Jungle Pack which sees a limited number of the Ghost 8 and Ravenna 6 being reinvented with a jungle animal print.  So we come back to these …

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These are the Ravenna 6 in an rather yummy leopard print.  The Ravenna 6 are more on the supportive side of a neutral shoe.

Thoughts on the shoe:  For me I couldn’t fault them.  The shoe feels light, but still cosy thanks to the cushioning and has a nice wide toe box (which I love!)  The day I took them out for a spin it was chucking it down and I mean literally chucking it down – I couldn’t have put them through their outdoor urban paces more if I tried – and yet my feet stayed dry and warm!!  Yes, I was extremely surprised and impressed, did I mention it was WET?!  In fact my only fault with these shoes is that the back felt very low down on my heel, and so a little less “locked in” than I am used to.  Now, this is likely to be personal preference but this was the only thing I would change.

For me, I do think the Ghost 8 is the slightly better shoe.   This lightweight, neutral shoe seems to fit perfectly and offers the right balance of support – safe but flexible, and this may be due to the slightly higher back, but like I said that could just be a personal thing ;D.  Overall I am genuinely impressed with Brooks and couldn’t thank the team and all involved for introducing me to the collection.  I was never asked to do a write up but I thought people might want to hear an honest word or two 😀 as with marathon season around the corner trainer shopping is upon us!

If you want to see more about the launch of the shoe then type in #brooksrunwild for some rather hilarious images of runners running around a zoo in the pouring rain! ;D

 

 

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Friday’s Fact File

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Things that I have discovered or just loved this week …

 Music!

After seeing the incredible man that is D’angelo this week at the Roundhouse in Camden I thought it was only right to dedicate my week’s favourite tracks him.  The man was INCREDIBLE live, just incredible!

D’angelo and the Vanguard – Really Love 

D’Angelo – Brown Sugar

D’angelo – Cruisin’

D’angelo – Untitled (how does it feel)  – OH THIS VIDEO!

 

Eats!

J+A CAFÉ

If you are like me and like your pancakes thick and stacked high then J&A Cafe might be worth a visit. Tucked behind Clerkenwell Road this lovely little spot has a wonderful little outdoor area, bunting and all, as well as spacious indoor seating.  We decided to head here for breakfast the other morning as I may have spotted an incredible photo of their pancakes and wanted to see if they tasted as good as they looked! Think pancake, scrambled eggs, bacon, pancake, scrambled egg, followed by another rasher of bacon! Oh and with some maple syrup on the side! It was just flippin (get it!) awesome! Quick, smiley service, lovely atmosphere, this really is a bit of a gem and looking around the other breakfasts looked pretty good too. But let’s be honest I will be going back for these … 

  

Worth mentioning their Victoria sponge, carrot cake and chocolate Guinness cake looked pretty tempting too, even at 7am!

 

 

 

Stuff, things, bits and pieces!

 PamPam

I had heard of a women’s only sneaker shop a while ago but it was only last weekend that I finally visited the store located in Shoreditch (near one of my favourite cake spots) and made my feet extremely happy!

   
These beauts are Adidas FX 500 2.0 and amazingly they were on sale!  The store has a lust worthy collection of shoes from a huge variety of brands as well as some extremely nice clothes and bags!  I have a feeling this place could be very dangerous to me!

 

 

 

 

 

Race Report: Mo’Run 2015

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Mo’Run 2015

Date/Time: Saturday 29th November

Location: Greenwich Park

Distance: 10km … and all the hills!

Last year I did this event and I loved it as a race, this year I did it again and I stick by my initial thoughts – this is a great event!

MoRunning happens all around the country proudly supporting Movember and their fundraising for Men’s Health and in particular Prostate Cancer UK.  Plenty of people attack this race as a serious course but there are also plenty of people in fantastic (?!) fancy dress outfits, donning impressive “mo”s running just to enjoy the day.

Turning up at this race I was excited, with an incredible 167 people from Run Dem Crew running I imagined spotting “Run Dem” tshirts all along the route and the noise through CheerDem was going to be insanely loud!  (I wasn’t wrong!)

Photo credit to FOOD & LYCRA

One of the many things I love about this race is the simple start.  It certainly helped having our race numbers all in one area – big up to Glenn for sorting that.  But there was no huge queue at bag drop, before or after!  There were toilets all over the place, no queuing there either and we didn’t have to queue up hours before the start!

I sort of wanted to see if I could get a solid PB of sub 50 on this 10km knowing full well that with hills this would be very presumptuous but why the heck not try.  Plus I was lucky enough to have Steph pacing me so off we went.  Now the course follows the many pathways around the beautiful area that is Greenwich Park but unfortunately these are not made for 100s of runners so the first 1km or so was all about weaving in and out with a little bit of trail running in between ;D.  Once out of the bulk of people started the hills.  Downhill first, which was lovely as it was the start of passing so many Run Dem tshirts and a whole load of hi-fives.  I adore being apart of this family as it is just super supportive.  Regardless of how well you know each member the support and encouragement is there and that is priceless!

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As well as spotting a lot of familiar faces it is worth mentioning the absolutely incredible marshals along the route.  It was like these guys were sent to a special training school about how to be incredibly helpful whilst being super supportive!  Every single marshal I passed was either dancing, singing, shouting words of encouragement or well just being flippin’ brilliant and it made my day!  So thank you guys!

It should be said that yes most the race was spent with the goofy smile on my face, once I had removed the tash (which at the time felt like I inhaled everytime I breathed in) but those hills were no joke.  In a 10km you really want to push.  It’s a “shorter” distance when you compare it to a half marathon / marathon but trying to push and trying to overcome long, steep hills is no smiling matter.  As Steph kept reminding me “it’s all about the arms” and well if nothing else it has reminded me how important hill training is!  OUCH!

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Sort of smiling, sort of grimacing- captured by Claire McGonegle

Passing Crew Dem at the top of the hill, heading down the atmosphere was electric and definitely helped add speed to the legs, however what goes down must come up.  Cheer Dem had positioned themselves at the top of what I felt was the steepest hill along on the route.  Getting to the bottom after flying down and having to turn back around was definitely a shock to the system as you now had to battle back up the hill and then of course put your game face on passing back through Cheer Dem.  The hill was hard, it was steep, it was at the end of the lap (or at the finish if you were on your second lap) and well did I mention it was steep?  Knowing that at the top was the CheerDem family it gave you that extra boost and you just gritted your teeth and got on with it!   So thank you to all the Run Dem Cheer family for giving all us runners that extra boost when we needed it most!

Crossing the finish line I discovered I was just off grabbing that PB but to be honest I was ecstatic to have gotten so close, particularly when my PB was achieved on a super flat course!  As we finished we were handed a pot of Wheyhey Banoffee Protein Ice Cream, which I pretty much inhaled, a bag of popchips and a bottle of water.  Then of course the medal ….

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This race really does have a fantastic medal!

All in all I would definitely recommend this race!  It is just a truly lovely atmosphere, with fantastic volunteers and in an extremely beautiful setting.  Bring on next year!

PS Greenwich Market does supply some incredible post race cakes ;D!

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Cutty Sark, sunshine, medal, PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CAKE

Race Report: NYC Marathon

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New York City Marathon

Date/Time: Sunday 2nd November 2014

Location: New York

Distance: 26.2 miles

 

So I had always hoped for a “Marathon Miracle”.  I had taken the expression #YOLO on board and randomly booked my flights to New York so why not see if I could try and get a spot in one of the (in my mind) greatest road marathons in the world as I was going to be there for it!  Well the day before the New York City Marathon my spot was confirmed and I was about to set off and run my second ever marathon!

I would usually do a full race recap but if I am completely honest the whole thing is still a little bit of a blur and I am still in shock that I actually did it so instead I thought I would share with you what I learnt during my second marathon…

Remember this is what you do

When my space was confirmed I spoke to my parents to ask if I could really do this.  My first and only other marathon I took extremely seriously, followed my training plan to the letter, looked at what I was eating, stopping drinking, got super stressed/nervous etc etc etc.  The only other person I spoke to about whether or not it was a stupid decision to run this last minute marathon was my roomie in New York, a fellow runner and someone I trust to say it like it is.  His response “I will not be impressed if you run the marathon, you should be able to run this distance, you train, you run, this should not be difficult for you”.  Now this was quite hard to hear, I know what he was trying to say but to me a marathon is, and always will be, a HUGE DEAL.  However, he was right.  Week in, week out I am always training.  I LOVE to run, whether it be with my crew, by myself, to work, on the track, I adore running, there is something about it that just gives me a super goofy smile.  I am also loving my strength training, my muscles are growing and I doing my best to feed them to help make my body grow from strength to strength.  Yes 26.2 miles is a lot further than I have ran in a long time but I train hard, so in theory I should be able to do this…right?

Just another weekend run 

The night before the marathon instead of hyper ventilating, checking my kit 101 times I just reminded myself this is just another weekend run.  Every single weekend I run with friends, granted sometimes it is just a 5km parkrun but it’s a run just the same, and well this was a weekend and I was going to be running with friends … nearly 50,000 other friends.  During the marathon I just reminded myself this is what I look forward to and do every weekend, I run and at the end there will be food … and a marathon means there will be all sorts of food.  Plus I am in NEW YORK, the food will be insane!

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a weekend run with friends … just another (stupidly long) weekend run …

Never think of it as 26.2 miles 

This marathon has a marker every single mile, great to know where you are but extremely tempting to count down from 26 miles! DONT!  During my last marathon I started by counting down “parkruns”.  A marathon is roughly 8 parkruns, nice, fun parkruns.  Once you get to 8 miles it’s just two more of those and a bit.  By mile 16 you have 10 miles to go and you can definitely start counting down.  There were a few times during the run that I got a little overwhelmed about what I was doing, I was actually attempting to run 26.2 without “official” training what was I thinking, and then I would remind myself to think of it in short sections and just keep going.

Let the crowds help you 

The crowds for the New York City Marathon are just amazing, and I mean AMAZING!  I honestly don’t know if I would have got round the course if it wasn’t for the incredible people of New York cheering like they were.  I know a lot of people listen to music whilst they are running and I definitely had my headphones with me just in case but during the full 26.2 miles I instead took in the sights and sounds around me, never actually using my music.  There was no way I was going to give up with all that support surrounding me, I imagine that is what London feels like, it’s just incredible to see so many people and have them wishing you well every step you take, just incredible!

 

When I crossed the finish line of the New York City Marathon believe me I was just as in shock as everyone of my gorgeous friends when they saw my finishing line picture!  But I did it, I actually did it and I am extremely (shocked) pleased to say that I was fine the next day.  Now I am not saying that marathons should not be taken seriously, they definitely should, it is an extremely long distance and not one to be tried off the cuff.  But this race for me was never going to be about time, in fact I didn’t even have my watch, this was about taking part in something amazing, exploring a new city and doing something I love to do every single weekend.  Now my next planned marathon is in Barcelona and I plan to follow a training plan and try my best to achieve a quicker time but for me the New York City Marathon was an absolutely incredible, once in a life time experience and taught me that the body really is an incredible thing!

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Horrendously cheesy but totally necessary shot of me, my medal and my AMAZING official race blanket in Times Square
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Post marathon refueling with a pastrami sandwich bigger than my face!

 

 

 

Friday’s Fact File

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Things that I have discovered or just loved this week …

 Music!

Julio Bashmore – Rhythm of Auld

Jack Ü ft Kezia – Take U There – I love it when the beat breaks on this track!

Uptown X.O. and Rob Low – Through The Night  – Sadly no link yet but will add soon!  I promise it’s a good ‘un!

 

Eats!

Franze and Evans

After an glorious 15km run and then a wander round some galleries Sunday was spent enjoy all the FOOD from Franze and Evans!  I discovered this little place when walking back from a trip to Columbia Road Flower Market! So, the salads look incredible, the tarts extremely tasty but let’s cut to it – the cakes are AMAZING!

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Awesome creations like courgette cake, croissant cake and of course chocolate bomb cake?!? Now personally I was desparate to try the courgette cake but my partner in cake crime was drooling over the cherry chocolate cake and well I have to admit she made a fantastic choice!  Firstly the slab was bigger than my face(WINNING) and then secondly the chocolate cake was perfect!  Not too dry, not too sickly and then all the cream instead of icing!  I don’t think it will be long before I’m back … you have to make sure the other cakes taste as good right ?

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Stuff, things, bits and pieces!

This bag makes me smile!  Thanks Stylist for bringing it to my attention.

Unicorn

 

Click here to buy buy buy!  And if you do photos please!

 

 

 

 

Race Report: Spartan Race UK “The Beast”

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Spartan Race: The Beast

Date/Time: Saturday 11th October

Location: Pippingford Park, East Sussex

Distance: 20km+

 

It’s pretty common knowledge that I love a challenge, particularly one that involves running and being part of a team so when my work asked if I would fancy doing a “Spartan Race” I was definitely interested.  HOWEVER, when I discovered that they were referring to “The Beast”, the hardest course out of all the Spartan Races, I will happily admit that I was extremely nervous.  But with lots of support from my gorgeous friends and family I finally said yes.

5 weeks leading up to the race I changed my training routine (partly because of my stupid tumble during Bacchus meant I couldn’t run properly) and decided to seriously up my strength training sessions.  I did all the (assisted) pull ups you could think of, slowly but surely upped all the weights I was lifting and jumped at the opportunity to try as many rope climbs as possible!  It was actually quite exciting seeing my self named “Mr tickle/snowman twig” arms grow and even show a little bit of muscle! But I knew that I was still definitely going to be relying on guys to throw me over the walls during the race!

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Bangsandabun inspired #gunshow selfie!

So race day! Now the weather forecast was horrendous! Black cloud and TWO rain drops on the BBC app!  However, when we turned up at the station I am pleased to say the sun was shining and well, the surroundings were pretty beautiful!  Don’t get me wrong it was still COLD but at least the sun was out!

Pretty picturesque! And that is the spear throw you can see at the bottom!

Race number, aka our headband (which I love and will keep forever as proof!), collected my team of four guys and one other girl headed to the start line.

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The first wave of nerves came before the race had even started!  To get to the start line you had to climb over a 6ft wall!  I felt a little sick after this, this wasn’t even part of the race!  After a pep talk from a man in a spartan suit, with one seriously impressive 6 pack, we were off into the woods to battle!

The scenery was absolutely beautiful but the track itself, to a road runner, was SCARY!  It was just so muddy and I don’t mean a little muddy field “muddy” I mean lose your shoe muddy!  If you didn’t have trail shoes this race was going to be horrendous!  In fact ten minutes in we sadly passed a spartan on the ground with his ankle strapped!  This muddy track led us onto the first obstacle, down a seriously steep, muddy hill.  I chose like many others to slide down on my bum trying not to pick up too much pace so not to fall in the water at the bottom!  Then of course you had to cross the water and climb back up another muddy hill…not easy!  This was to be the first of many downhill, uphill, muddy, climbs!

The track then looped round back towards the starting area, where were all the spectators were, and towards an “A” climbing frame which I really enjoyed, it was like being a kid again!  Quick tip here climb up normally, but when you climb over go down on your back like a crab, it makes it quicker to get off at the bottom and get running again.

From here it was back into the woods and it was the start of the water and I don’t mean puddles!  The first water crossing was up to your knees, cold but bareable. But for the (I think) 6/7 water crossings we did they varied from knee height to a short swim, barely being able to touch the floor!  This is where the first of the thank yous start. At the end of a water crossing there were no convenient stairs out, it was wet and muddy and you had just been in freezing cold and seriously smelly water.  Safe to say it was exhausting and I really struggled to get out each time but my team were INCREDIBLE, the guys literally just pulled me out of the water and plonked me on the ground (I have the bruises to prove it!!!)

Whilst looping back again we jumped over wooden hurdles and climbed through small gaps in walls bringing us to a seriously long set of monkey bars.  These of course had muddy water below.  I knew there was no way I would make it the full way across but you had to try and well I managed to get half way before dropping (apparently my grip strength was better than I thought) so off I went to do the first of 3 sets of burpees!  The next two sets came during the rope climb and the rotating pull up bar?!?  But I did manage to lift a heavy weight which was attached to a rope.  You had to lift it all the way to the top and I used the pull and sit down method learnt watching YouTube videos!

From here it was uphill … Oh and when I say uphill I mean uphill for a LONG time on your hands and knees trying to avoid the barbed wire above you!  This was quite ridiculous, every time you thought you were done it just kept going!!  And what followed was a serious amount of lifting – logs, sandbags and a tire (which we had to carry for a mile!) of course up hill, down hill over extremely uneven, boggy ground! Then it was onto the smelliest of obstacles the muddy hurdles (and when I say muddy I mean up to my thigh muddy!)  We were faced with three hills to climb up and down with pools of water in between!  It stunk and it was super exhausting!

More muddy running, lots of sliding and more wall climbs later it was time for “the swim”.  Now we knew they were going to be a swim as the organisers had pre-warned us.  I knew I could swim, I’m not the best, but I can swim. HOWEVER, this was a lake, it was a good distance and well I had NEVER done anything like it before.  Safe to say I had a little moment but surprisingly I just got in. It was cold but that wasn’t bothering me, what bothered me more was the open water, trying not to swallow it and also working out the most effective, I mean quickest, way of getting across.

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Note my unimpressed face!

Here comes another thank you, there were two guys on canoes in the water and I think they must have seen that I wasn’t looking thrilled about this part and so they stuck with me talking absolute rubbish the whole time!  They got me through this, there is no way I would have been as calm without them!  Coming out of the water I sort of wanted to cry a little (probably because I was tired, we were 2hours30mins in at this point) but also because I had just done yet another thing I really didn’t know if I could do!

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I love that you can see the sincere shock on my face for actually just doing that …
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And then the joy of realising that it is over!

Free banana (so so grateful for the organizers planning the one and only food stop here!) inhaled and a quick tire pull around a tree we were back to the running, muddy climbing, crawling under walls, tire flipping and water crossings.  I swear every time you got dry they planned more water!

The final carry was a big bucket full of water around a small course which included a stupidly muddy hill of course, and then a water crossing. Plus point – the bucket floated in the water, bad point the water had huge logs in so you had to tread so so carefully and getting out wasn’t that fun either!

Epic Action Imagery

More high climbs, thanks to a man dressed as the hulk for literally throwing me over, and it was onto the spear throw! The Third set of burpees was here!

And now the finish! There was another A frame, but not a fun climbing frame, a wet, slippery surface with a rope to pull yourself up and over. We had been on the course for nearly 3 and half hours I was wet, muddy and well maybe a little exhausted but you had to do it, I could see the finish line!  I started off strong quickly pulling myself up but it was high, really high and well I think I just panicked, I sincerely thought I was going to fall backwards – and that would have done serious damage! Luckily a guy in front saw this and literally grabbed me … more bruises to prove it and he helped me over! THANK GOD FOR HIM!

A climb down, a serious pep talk and then it was a little hop, skip and a jump over a FIRE PIT! YES A FIRE PIT! Then across the finish line! WE DID IT, we actually did it!!!!!

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Grabbing our medals and all the freebies, thank you Whey Ice Cream for all those extra pots ;D we collected our bags, changed and ate everything in sight!

I sincerely thought there was a huge chance I would not complete this race. I knew I could run the distance but the obstacles. This is my final thank you – my team were incredible!  We all had very different strengths and weaknesses and decided that we would tackle the whole thing together! It was an awesome experience with these guys and I could not have done it without them … we might be looking at another OCR next year ;D

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Spartan Stretching … the pavement was probably the cleanest surface we had been on all day!
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Celebratory cake … being cut with a credit card ;D

 

If you are thinking of trying a Spartan Race here are my top tips!

1. Tri suit – You are going to get wet and cold almost immediately.  I don’t know if all my nerves kept me warm or whether all the carb loading the night before helped but I was lucky enough to not get too cold during this race and I swear a lot of that was done to wearing a tri suit offered by the lovely Jen Slater!
2. Listen to as much advice as possible – Act as a sponge, logging any hints, tips and tricks about how to tackle various obstacles.  Watch videos of previous races and ask for help from previous Spartans!
3. Wear long trousers – I wore 3/4 length trousers and safe to say my legs, two weeks on, are still a HUGE mess!  Scratches, bruises and all sorts of marks all over the place!
4. Do it with a team – I could not have done this without my team.  They got me through it, with chat, encouragement and of course physical strength!  As mentioned at points they literally pulled me out of the river!
5. SHOES – Invest in proper trail shoes!!!  This course is always going to be muddy and if you have no grip on your shoes you are asking for trouble!  I had incredible trail shoes on from Helly Hansen which were amazing but they even at points struggled with all the mud!
6. Train outside – Get used to the cold, the wind, the rain!  I love the outdoors but even I have to admit that if it is chucking down outside I am tempted by the gym.  When in Spartan training embrace the weather!  It will mean you are used to dealing with the elements!

 

The Spartan Beast IS NOT EASY!  However it is a fantastic thing to achieve (in my mind anyway)!  If you have any further questions please free feel to drop me note :D!  I know I spoke to 100s of people pre race so I would be happy to pass on everything I have learnt!

GOOD LUCK!

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Friday’s Fact File

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Things that I have discovered or just loved this week …

 

Music!

Ne-Yo – She Knows It’s a little cheesy, but it makes me move my shoulders!

Tinashe – Wildfire Again cheesy but I think it might just grow on you …

Eats!

Chia Charge 

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So I got given one of these bars from a fellow Spartan as they are proud sponsors of the races and well thought it would be the best idea to try them as part of my breakfast before “The Beast”!   As it states on the website these bars are made up of real food offering a “fast energy boost”, easy to eat on the go.  They are free from wheat, artificial colourings, preservatives and flavours and well if you like flapjack MY GOSH these are good, particularly as you can taste the honey and butter!! So so so so GOOD plus full of those incredible chia seeds ;D!  These bars are absolutely perfect pre endurance and I was lucky enough to pick up a couple more after the race!  I will definitely be keeping them for my next long run and will definitely not be sharing them ;D

 

Stuff, things, bits and pieces!

Sneaker boots!  I got a little email the other day that was all about these …. I might just have to pick these up whilst in New York …. though I don’t know I could wait that long …

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Friday’s Fact File

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Things that I have discovered or just loved this week …

 Music!

Instead of listing my three favourite tracks this week I thought I would give a little shout out to the awesome man that is Ronnie Herel.  Ronnie has kindly put together a little R&B mixtape for us over on Mixcloud so go on, treat your ears to some serious R&B classics!

Ronnie Herel – Back in the Day 2 “It’s Been a While”

Eats!

Princess Cake!

After watching the awesome GBBO on European Cake Week I discovered my new, potentially all time favourite, cake! Ladies and gentleman I introduce you to Princess Cake.

Layers of whipped cream, sponge,  creme patisserie, jam, more sponge, more creme patisserie and then a layer of marzipan icing this, for me, is heaven! So of course the next day I googled places in London that served such a thing and then asked (I didn’t really need to ask ;D) Lissy to join me in sampling!

OH MY!!!! I have already put in the request that this be my birthday cake!

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On a side note we tried it at Bageriet, Covent Garden! A gorgeous little Swedish bakery which I would definitely recommend for cinnamon rolls, rye bread and of course Princess cake!!!

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Stuff, things, bits and pieces!

Ok so … Rita Ora … I don’t know … but the pieces Adidas have linked to her name are actually pretty lust worthy …

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Warm, cosy black hoody with a bit of sheer detailing … yes please!

Race Report: Beauty and the Beast

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The Helly Hansen Beauty and The Beast 

Date/Time: Saturday 20th September 2014

Location: West Wycombe Park

Distance: 26.2 miles (completed in a team of 6)

 

I love that my friends ask me out for food as much as they ask me to join race teams…

Held in the stunning West Wycombe park Helly Hansen’s Beauty and the Beast is tagged as the “UK’s toughest multi lap marathon” and when we arrived I could see why…

Staying at Charlie’s the night before we obviously took our race prep seriously, fuelling appropriately at Outsider Tart (GO, GO THERE NOW!)

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Then early on Saturday morning myself, Charlie and Leah made our roller coaster experience of a drive over to West Wycombe to attempt the race as a team of 6, with fellow lovely ladies Jen, Josie and Emma, each doing one lap of the course.  When we got to the race area we were firstly distracted by the start and the small mountain that seemed to follow directly after it!  Next came the second mountain which we had to drive up to get to the start – we spent a good few minutes stuck in the mud, like I said it was a roller coaster of a journey!

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Parked up, hand break definitely on, we wandered over to the Helly Hansen tent as they had kindly provided us with the bibs and kit for the race.  The tent was a life saver, huge comfy red bean bags, shelter from the cold, as it was a little chilly out, and ALL the food which appeared to just kept coming!!!!  Picking up our race pack was far too easy and I was extremely grateful to be handed a cliff bar with my race number (this was to be the first of many cliff bars much to my excitement)! So back to the tent for a quick sample of all the cakes – muffins, flapjacks and some of the best tiffin I have ever had and then it was time to wave our first runner off!

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This was constantly refilled!

Charlie set off amongst other relay teams, individuals doing half marathons (3 laps) and people doing the full 6 laps!

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Whilst waiting I got into my awesome Helly Hansen leggings and laced up my trainers. Now usually I wouldn’t advise wearing brand new trainers for a race but it was wet and muddy and after last weeks falls I felt that trail shoes were a lot more sensible and I was only going for 4.5 miles!

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We saw Charlie coming in so I stripped off my layers got the ankle tag and then headed off … up that hill!

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Goofy running smile …. check!
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Within the first 2 minutes …

Filled with motivational quotes the whole way you just knew you were in for a treat of a race.

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I felt after recent events this one was particularly fitting!

But luckily what goes up must come down and straight away we did.

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I think I had been running for 5 minutes and already I had spoken to various people en route.  I am starting to learn that trail runners are just awesome, they are a very relaxed crowd who just enjoy running and getting muddy!

First hill done and it was into the woods! WOOHOO!

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Excuse the blurry photo – was having waayy too much fun!

Ever since the Spitfire Scramble I have realised that I love running through the woods and this was great!  Making more friends along the route and high fiving the fantastic Marshall’s I steadily made my way through woodland and parkland and fields.

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And then it was time for the second of three mini mountains!

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If you look closely you can see tiny blue tops in the distance at the bottom …

This one came out of no where and was crazy steep so a power walk it was.  I was told that it was always better to walk up hills, conserve energy ready for the flat and the downhill.  Mountain done, around a corner and down hill for a quick water stop then it was up up and up all over again but at least the top provided gorgeous views of the surrounding area and led onto more woodland path!

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View from the top

I had heard rumours of a river and en route I bumped into a couple of runners I had met earlier in the day who confirmed this and then continued to explain that the only way to cross was straight through the middle ….

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Notice how one of these guys didnt do as they were told ;D

So, after a little pause, a photo and a pep talk I went for it! Ha! It was awesome and after a only a few squelchy strides my new Helly Hansen shoes were clean and dry! AMAZING!

Once away from the water we got to explore the gorgeous grounds of the Wycombe estate, past gardens and a lovely large pond, a little mini hill, which was far more tough than it should have been (I blame the fact that I had been nattering none stop with one of my new buddies) and it was round the corner to the finish line!

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Casually hi-fiving the Beast at the end!

This route was fantastic, if it wasn’t for my knee after last weeks tumble I would have definitely gone for another round and have no doubt that I will be doing this next year.

Once finished I swapped over with Leah and proceeded the make use of the VIP space, eating yet more cake and of course getting involved in a little legs up a wall, no wait legs up a deck chair, action whilst catching up with the rest of my awesome team and eating more cake.

One by one the girls came in beaming from their laps and when we spotted Josie, our final runner on the course, coming round the corner we ran together to cross the finish line as a team!

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Finishing in under 5 hours in total we were pretty pleased with ourselves as we had just set out to enjoy the course rather than focus on a time.  Our medals were given to us on a podium which, in my mind, had one of the greatest tag lines above it …

 

I loved this race.  I loved the route, I loved the various terrain, I loved the views and I loved the atmosphere!

Thank you Helly Hansen for a such a brilliant event, the cake was fantastic and I shall definitely be seeing you next year … for the half ;D!

Friday’s Fact File

Posted on

Things that I have discovered or just loved this week …

 Music!

Stylo G – Call Mi A Leader Sampling Bob Marley I love this, definitely gets you bouncing around… 

KOF ft Terri Walker – Name in Blood – UK talent sounding oh so good! 

Chris Brown Ft Jhene Aiko – Drunk Texting – A new track form his new 21 SONG (!?!) album! 

 

Eats!

Prestat – London Gin Truffles 

I actually don’t think I need to say much more ….

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Stuff, things, bits and pieces!

Bitch please my ride is a unicorn!!!!

erew

This was shown to me my by a friend on Instagram … You know it is going to get bought come pay day!!!