London Marathon thoughts…26th April 2020

I wake today to birdsong and clear fresh blue skies. I glance at the clock and it reads 08.50. Mt first thoughts were visualising myself in Greenwich Park, London. Today’s weather is forecast sunny, light winds with an average temperature of 17 degrees down south. Perfect 👌 I imagine a mix of nerves and excitement flooding my body the hour before the gun goes off. I would be in my pen with hundreds of strangers all on their own quest for personal victory. Runners are hopping about on the spot with nerves and trying to keep warm in the early spring morning coolness, performing last minute stretches, checking trainer laces are secure, gels and water intact. Some taking selfies and photos of the masses or making last minute calls to their loved ones. I would have been doing all these things myself while slowly shuffling forwards to the start willing myself to surrender and have faith in what I’m about to do.

It’s similar to packing for a big holiday. You finally lock your door and while en-route to the airport your mind is going through the last checks of…..have I remembered everything? Is the house secure? Have I got my passport? Have I remembered the kids 😂 ? Then you hand over your luggage, clear passport control and finally board the plane. You can’t do anything now but sit back and enjoy the beginning of your holidays.

The beginning of the race is in site, the big arch that reads START is finally in view above a sea of bobbing heads. The shuffle is now a walk, my watch is set, the walk becomes a jog and I cross over the threshold and I’m off…..free as a migrating bird who has now surrendered to the journey ahead. All worry evaporates as I settle into a rhythm that I have trained my body and mind to endure.

However I am not there but here…..sat in bed still listening to birdsong writing this. How my world has shrunk in 4 weeks. Alan, myself and our two daughters are doing ok isolating together creating a new ‘ normal ‘ routine. Rather than surrendering to the epic journey of running the marathon I’m surrendering to our current situation and striving to make the best out of life with the restrictions we have in place.

With not being able to work I’ve turned into a mighty chef! Having time to really experiment with new vegan ingredients and try more plant-based recipes. Some of our family favourites are…

Lentil Ragu..India’s favourite! Yes India is finally adapting to my ‘weird’ food!

Spinach and potato curry

Aubergine, olive and butter bean cassoulet

Curried lentil soup. Again India’s favourite!

Cashew nut stir-fry

Sweet & Sour tofu

My own creation..Mouss-agne. A cross between a moussaka and a lasagne using Quorn, potatoe, lasagne sheets and Greek herbs & spice. Both children loved it.

Chickpea curry

Mixed bean chilli

Lentil shepherds pie……to name a few! This lockdown has given us time to cook and bake and it appears India has turned a pleasant and positive corner with her food. There’s always a silver lining!

The sun ☀️ will shine again, we will hug again, life will move again and hopefully Mother Nature will will be happier too. 🌏 #keepsafe and god bless those who have passed away from Coronavirus. May you rest in peace.

Global pandemic. Covid-19. Rescheduled London Marathon 166 days away…?

It’s been over a month since I last visited here. My happy running place. where the days were being chalked off steadily towards my goal..the London Marathon. How things have changed since the UK went into lockdown on 23rd March. The marathon for me is a dot in comparison to how dangerous this invisible life threatening virus is spreading and the many people who have sadly fallen victim to Covid-19. One minute this was a story on the news the next minute WE are in the story. The week leading up to the Prime Minister making a national lockdown announcement was a really scary, unnerving and stressful situation. As awareness to the pandemic became a living reality with our NHS service under immense pressure, schools announcing closures, non essential businesses ceasing to trade including my own, supermarkets being cleared out of stock, and total mayhem of not knowing what is going to happen sent me into a downward spiral of panic, anxiety and confusion. We have to surrender and listen and adhere to the new restrictions in place, keep safe especially our key workers and frontline people who are working round the clock to fight this invisible force we have been dealt. The world and it’s guests need time to breathe and heal 🌍

So a month later and not able to work I’ve adopted a new routine of home schooling and adapting to this new normal way of life for now. I really miss the salon and my amazing customers who some have supported me for over 20 years. The relationships you build in hairdressing are very unique and special, not only do we do their hair we are the neutral person they can talk with, laugh with, crikey even cry with! Being isolated recently makes me more aware of how much of a people person I am. I guess taking part in the London marathon with 40.000 other people and having an army of hair customers I tend to with tender loving care says something 🥰

Our government lockdown restrictions at the moment still include exercise once daily which is a relief. Before lockdown my last long training run was 16 mile. At that moment in time I had a vision of continuing training and running a solo non-official marathon this week as that’s when London was scheduled to take place. However as the days following that last long run unravelled I realised it wasn’t going to happen. Firstly being outside and too far away from home running big miles doesn’t fit with the restrictions in place, the prospect of any injuries/accidents while out running would take up unnecessary NHS time and space plus my immune system can be lowered when I’m training hard and being susceptible to any respiratory infections just isn’t good practice during the current situation.

However continuing with a safe sufficient amount of running to maintain my fitness during this pandemic is crucial if the marathon currently rescheduled for October 4th is to go ahead. Training plan to resume early June hopefully. Not a fan of summer distance running 🥵 but grateful for any small mercy. 🙏🏻 At this stage it’s so difficult to predict the future. So my long run of the week is 10-12 mile with a radius no larger than 5 or 6 miles. This way I’m close to home, then 2-3 shorter runs either onto the moor for some hill work or there is a 400m track around a cricket pitch nearby for some speed laps. Plus Jo wicks and his daily PE workout sessions. He Is the nation’s favourite just now providing us with exercise to keep families active and positive during these difficult days.

My plant-based diet has become a way of life rather than just for the marathon and my recovery between training sessions is marvellous now. I feel my running, strength and pace is improving and I’m rarely injured ( fingers crossed 🤞🏻) I do have a confession though which involves a Lindt bunny or 3. Over Easter I couldn’t resist, I absolutely love Lindt chocolate 🍫 and can’t give it up! They do have dark chocolate in Lindt which is good but I’m afraid I love the whole milky range 😬 Is this so bad??

My thoughts to conclude a diary insert that I never thought would be a reality. A global pandemic…I saw this on Facebook a few weeks ago and sums up how I feel….

We fell asleep in one world 🌍 and woke up in another.

Suddenly Disney is out of magic, Paris is no longer romantic, New York doesn’t stand up anymore, the Chinese wall is no longer a fortress, and Mecca is empty.

Hugs and kisses suddenly become weapons and not visiting parents, families and friends become an act of love.

Suddenly you realise that power, beauty and money are worthless and can’t get you the oxygen you’re fighting for.

The world 🌍 continues its life and it is beautiful. It has put humans in cages. I think the message reads….

“ you are not necessary. The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine. When you come back, remember that you are my guests. Not my masters “

I hope that I will be in London on 4th October but if not then there is next year. My running and vegan food quest will continue and I will continue this diary. Wherever you are in the world and whatever your journey involves keep safe, be kind to yourself and others and be patient while our beautiful planet has time to heal 🙌🏻

London Marathon. 4th October…In 204 days

My thoughts this week have been very worrying regarding the COVID-19 virus and the impact it is having globally. It’s the beginning of spring and the daffodils are beginning to say hello as their bright and cheery blooms burst into life. As winter starts to retreat with days getting longer the anticipation of a new fresh season and what it has to offer is suppressed as general life and society are grinding slowly to what seems a massive halt. I hope for us all we can stay as healthy and safe as possible.

It was no surprise that the marathon was postponed, actually I was surprised it was still able to take place this year given the enormity of the event. I presumed I would be running London 2021.

It’s been a week of ups and downs surrounded by people panic buying and unnecessary FB panic posts informing you of what is and isn’t left at the supermarket. Toilet roll shortage for goodness sake among many other items. If there’s no blinking toilet roll left then I’ll find some newspaper! Is there any point in continuing training this hard?? Events are being cancelled or postponed everywhere……The up of the week being Alan and I celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary at a gorgeous tapas restaurant in Leeds called…El Gato Negro. Fabulous Spanish cuisine which offered not just meats and fish but a variety of vegetarian and vegan friendly options. How they transformed the humble aubergine 🍆 into a crispy melt in the mouth sensation I do not know!….The down of the week was selfishly being the disappointment of the marathon. While eating our tapas I was discussing Plan B with my husband regarding the imminent change with London.

So first thoughts were to carry on training and plan to run 26.2 at a location near home the same weekend as what race day would have been. Yes that’s a good plan, I can try and rope a few running friends in to either run a leg or the whole thing and together among the cloud of COVID that hangs over us we can try and create a positive upbeat day in the beauty of our Yorkshire surroundings. Either way I’d be up for running solo with a virtual medal 🏅 in my heart.

Friday 13th London announced the postponement of the marathon, there’s still no toilet roll, paracetamol, hand wash, sanitiser and now low stock on many other non perishable food items generally anywhere. Everything seemed to have gone wrong at work which ended with the disappointing email from London, AND to top it off I was late in picking India up from after school club. I never like to be the last parent to collect my child in school on a Friday and neither does India! Fortunately her tooth had fallen out and the prospect of gaining a pound coin seemed to cheer her up. BAD NEWS is I failed to be the tooth fairy. With Friday 13th proving itself to me I forgot to pay a visit!

You see I’ve got myself into a sticky situation which also added to the fractious Friday the 13th!!!! During the week I presumed that London would definitely be cancelled until next year, I was fed up with having no point to my training and efforts but really wanted to run a marathon this year so to cheer myself up I entered the Yorkshire marathon to take place on 18th October. Surely everything will be ok by then?? Well impulsive me couldn’t resist signing up and I instantly created a Plan B. Only 24 hours later I discover London is postponed until 4th October not just cancelled like silly old me thought. So amid mad Friday 13th I’m now faced with a back to back marathon month. It’s my 42nd birthday on 5th October, what sort of gift is this! The gift that keeps on giving?? 6 years ago I couldn’t run for a bus, now I’m possibly running 2 marathons in one month 😳😳😳😳😳

So that’s my excuse for opening the wine 🍷 on Friday 13th and being too preoccupied with my impending doom and forgetting to be the tooth fairy or a decent mother in fact! Being a fairy is more challenging than I thought.

Maybe some fairy dust for the marathons may be the answer……!

So my plan of running action is to keep training until I reach 20 miles following my plan. The 20 mile barrier is a good place to get to, it will give my wellbeing a boost and I’ve hit a milestone in my training. Then reduce the mileage to maintain a strong half marathon distance early spring and start using the trails as the weather improves. Keep this level up into early summer which will lead me into a marathon training plan early June. I’ve been following an intermediate plan at the moment and now wondering if a more advanced plan may be useful with all this training so far with a maintained level of fitness under my belt?

I now have more time to improve? Who knows, what will be will be. I intend on putting all my focus into London for a PB and then see what condition I’m in in order to run another marathon that month. I’ve briefly researched this and I get the impression that it’s about the right conditioning and rest following the first marathon. I have time to work this out.

Tomorrow is what what was the end of Week 10 of training and I’ll be running the Bradford 10k. At least that’s not been cancelled. With all the endurance and speed work I’ve done I’m aiming for a PB. Trying to beat 48.45. Got my new Nike’s to wear, the weather forecast looks fair. I’ve not slept very well this week so not feeling as fresh as usual but after the windy, wet, cold and hard training running I’ve done up to now I hope a flat 10k will seem easy! I’ve ran 220 miles since January with 12,615 ft in elevation gain. Looking forward to a marathon year of marathon running!

I’ve just received an email as I’m about to conclude my diary.

Bradford 10k is CANCELLED 😥😥😥😥

48 days until London Marathon…???

My thoughts over the past few days are on the global Coronavirus situation and the feeling of unrest with everything that may or may not happen. The prospect of the marathon being cancelled or postponed seems a smaller issue compared to the crisis some cities and towns are now facing. My fellow running buddies and I are continuing to train for our events in the hope they go ahead, however a Plan B is certainly on the cards for us now. The show must go on until we are told otherwise.

On a positive note amidst the outbreak I had a fabulous 16.5 mile run with the group on Sunday morning to end week 9 of training. A 5.30am alarm for a 7.30 start in Guiseley. Its a wonderful feeling to hit 9.30 in the morning and see the world come to life, people collecting their morning papers or simply taking a stroll, a few cars being driven by parents transporting children to Sunday football or weekend clubs AND I’ve nearly smashed a long run 🏃‍♀️ the day has only just begun! Sunday’s run did me the world of good after last weeks sluggish, tired and disheartening week of running. It wasn’t until I glanced at my watch at the brow of a hill in Askwith and thought WOW! 10 mile in and feeling fantastic and strong, an effortless run so far. The views from Askwith are beautiful, the temperature was just right, the company supportive and it’s all down hill to Otley! Yay! WELL always enjoy the moment you’re in because I knew we had a killer hill around mile 13/14 to climb our way back up to Guiseley. I’m pleased to say I managed to jog up the hill with only a couple of 10 second walk breaks. I was determined to hang on by a thread to the runner in front. So with leg muscles screaming at me I told myself childbirth is more painful than this so get your god damn arse up the ****ing hill!!!

The magic happened in this run after the hill dusting the last 2 miles back to Guiseley. The marathon mentality just clicked back into place. I surprised myself by powering the last couple of miles with tired hill legs at marathon pace. Even the ‘ chimp ‘ remained quiet and let me enjoy the powerful finish to my car 🚘

And there’s more magic 🌟 Since beginning this whole experiment on myself and my quest in being a Plant-Based runner it’s not until the last few weeks particularly with the long runs that I’ve noticed a significant improvement with recovery. Not necessarily the difference in the actual run itself but more in recovery. I do all the usual stretches stretches post run and consume appropriate recovery food but I’m now less achy and stiff with less Lactic acid build up, not feeling at all like I’ve just ran 10 or more miles and generally much more fluid and mobile, in fact I could describe myself as Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh pumped full of endorphins 😆 This was what intrigued me from the documentary Game Changers and I can now say after having the experience of training for two previous marathons and the way I felt then especially in my work place when I’m standing for long periods and often seizing up following long runs the difference is pretty amazing. My husband seems to think I’m training harder this time which is difficult to judge on yourself at times when your in a constant haze of active and ‘active’ rest days! I’m working on tired legs with all the mileage but I do think my workouts are of higher quality with quick efficient muscle recovery! So smart recovery equals smarter training which I hope leads to a marathon PB without any injuries along the way.

Thoughts to conclude…..🏃‍♀️

Running a marathon is not just a race but a journey of self discovery

Training for a marathon is like an undulating country road. Hills are your tough weeks downhills are your good weeks

There is always sunshine ☀️ after the storm ⛈ Don’t ever give up on yourself

It’s a bumpy ride to the start of a 26.2 mile race. You’ve weathered the storm, miles are in the bank, you’ve done your homework. Let the magic happen 🌟

52 days until London Marathon

Well…..I’ve definitely had a marathon meltdown last week bang in the middle of the training plan. The sheer exhaustion of training mixed with the sheer exhaustion of life last week sent me nose diving into a melting pot of anxiety, tiredness and negative mind chatter, my chimp was having a right old party in my head. My long run of the week which was the half marathon canal race was clearly the icing on the chimps cake. I knew in my logical head that my muscles were tired after the previous Sunday 14 miler so I bailed out of the usual Tuesday session and opted for a slower chatty club run instead which was actually pleasant to have a natter with my fellow club friends. My working week had been busy and I’d squeezed in some strength training. So by the time Saturday came I wasn’t in my usual pre-race tapered body and doubted how I would manage running at marathon pace on a muddy puddle soaked canal path. However I’m always a half glass full of positivity girl than half glass empty and set off with a smile. All was well until mile 7, pacing was just right when my legs appeared 🦵 to turn to lead with my pace in rapid decline. The chimp began chattering the negative talk…” if this happens on marathon day you’re doomed….it’s a flat canal! What’s wrong with you? Oh its the Vegan diet, it’s not working…Told you so!…..You’ve had 8 weeks of training surely you can do better than this? No you won’t get sub 50 because you’re rubbish so you might as well give in now…..blah blah bloody blahhhhh!

Well after a mile of this mental crap and feeling lonely on some parts of the canal with not even a runner in sight I decided to take control of the chimp and dampen its parade. Right….I’m not feeling good, just tired from all the god damn hard training, this is no longer a race for me just a training run now so just pretend you are on a normal weekend long run. When I looked at it like that my pace was pretty good for a training run considering the terrain and wind. I did thankfully carry on running and was relieved to finish albeit with a slightly heavy heart and unconfident feeling about the marathon. I have since realised that I may not have been getting enough protein over the last couple of weeks as my weekly mileage is more or less a marathon at the moment so I’ve addressed that, reset and refocused. A little set back and veering of course makes way for a new mindset and clearer path to follow.

After the mental challenges of last week I am also hoping that the London Marathon won’t get cancelled due to the Coronavirus. I am following the marathon on Twitter and am part of a Facebook London Marathon support group which has not only been helpful and supportive in my moment of protein panic but also having runners to converse with over the dilemma on the virus and what “ MAY “ happen with the decision for the event to go ahead. I care a great deal about the safety of our country and whatever decision is made I hope it’s the right one which is out of our control but I’m obviously feeling selfishly unhappy with the prospect of no marathon taking place. My next long runs consist of 16, 18, 20 and 22 miles to take place this month but will I be running 26.2 in London?? I really hope so 😔

So a Plan B will be crafted over the coming days with the possibility of finding a smaller out of the city venue for another marathon within a month of London, less people less likely to be cancelled? Who knows. 🤷‍♀️ Or there are a few local half marathons I could do and go for smashing out a PB with all this potentially unused energy and fitness I have stock piled into my body!

The good news about this week is that I’ve purchased some new shiny race shoes! Nike vapourfly Flyknit. I’ve always worn Brooks which I love and will continue to wear but after reading up on these carbon plated lightweight super fast race shoes I decided to order some and test them out on the running machine. I’ve gone for the older model of shoe as the latest version were very expensive therefore I received a good discount on the Flyknits. They feel a dream to wear and are designed for long road distances which is absolutely me. They don’t have as much mileage and wear in the shoes so they are just for races, I will run one of my long runs in them on tarmac before London though! If they’re good enough for the Elite marathon runners they’re good enough for little old me 😀 I’m running the Bradford 10K in them at the end of next week so they will have their first outing, how exciting! They actually look pretty cool with jeans 👖 When the shoes retires they will make a great pair of comfy fashion sneakers 👟!

So with the protein panic over, uncertainty on Coronavirus and the celebration of new sneakers 👟 I’ve told the chimp to take a hike if he’s not got anything useful to say and decided to get back on the hamster wheel of training with a positive outlook. The show will go on one way or another through the forest of a plant-based diet. I can do this, I am healthy and eating a rainbow 🌈 of food with plenty of protein and I have no injuries 🙌🏻

Thoughts from this week…

There is a future me that is glad I never gave up

When you can’t run anymore, run with your heart 💖

Your legs are not giving out, your head is giving up…KEEP GOING!

16 miles this weekend up and down dale in beautiful Yorkshire 💖

62 days until London Marathon

The first day of week 8 and I’m in full swing with the onset of Mara-noia brewing. Mara-noia is my made up word for feeling paranoid about any little thing to go wrong leading up to the marathon. I created a ‘storm in a teacup’ scenario last week about a niggle in the back of my knee. After Dr googling myself I discovered it was most probably inflamed tendons due to repetitive action, you see after a long run I decided it was a good idea to do a HITT exercise class the following day and I blame it on the Mountain Climber exercise….Note to self ☝🏼Be careful with active recovery. I’m starting to feel much fitter now so it’s very easy to get over confident. I still have 8 weeks of training to go therefore tapping on the brakes with mindfulness is needed. So after the teacup storm of paranoia had blown away with a 3 day rest period I tread carefully and continue forth! All my long runs have been with running 🏃‍♀️ angel so far and we’ve scheduled the rest of the long ones in which is a comfort mentally knowing I’m not alone gaining miles in the bank. We have just completed our 14 miler with the company of another two runners who asked to tag along which really is supportive on a bitter cold, stormy Sunday morning. I’ve discovered how nice it is to simply ‘ be ‘ with people who are simply there to run in a pack for companionship, we are neither male or female but humans who have the same interest in the activity we choose to do. We do not moan or grumble about the weather, we chatter, natter, or simply run in comfortable silence…..☝🏼well if you call marathon training with the possible side effects comfortable…👉🏻blisters, chaffing , muscles that WILL shout at you, every weather element hitting and beating you, needing to pee or worse 😳 18 miles out and now regretting that curry you had the night before, feeling sickly at random moments, knees not happy, another FREAKING HILL or a very long stretch of boring road you need to include to make up some miles, encounters with cows 🐮, running out of water, energy gels not agreeing with you on that day for no particular reason, realising you’ve miscalculated the distance and have to do another loop of the village at mile 21 to name but a few. BUT with a gang of like minded people anything is possible 🤝💪 🏃‍♀️

The list of possible side effects are certainly lower for me than runners high. It took about a year to finally experience that, I used to think “ what the hell is runners high and runners feet?” Am I deprived of these supernatural running powers, amazing new fantastic feet that propel you forward on some sort of high out of body experience 🤔 Well the SUPER bit is most definitely the endorphin buzz that’s the heartbeat encouraging you to keep willingly putting one battered knackered not so pretty foot anymore in front of the other. Often a toenail or two missing with random blisters, lumps of hard skin here and there, yes most probably similar to a Trolls foot. There you have it….RUNNERS FEET 🦶

I am taking part in a local half marathon race this week, It’s Grim Up North Running race this week, a canal out & back, few members of Otley AC too are taking part so should be a good team spirit vibe, always feel proud to run in our club vest. The game plan is to run at marathon pace, practice with gels and wear the belt that I plan to use on marathon day for gel storage, electrolyte tabs and glucose tabs. As it’s a canal race which is open to the public I may struggle to hold the pace consistently depending on how busy it is but I’ll aim for a pace range. Simulating race day hopefully will provide a bit of reassurance with all the fine tuned details of pre-race. Then the week following that it will be the next stepping stone of 16 miles. GULP. The new app I’ve discovered…FootPath is great at helping me map out routes for distance 😁 Since running angel and myself have no navigational skills this has been a useful tool. No more circling waiting to land anymore….Yipee!

I’ve had a slight issue eating out this week. The Italian restaurant which was delicious and a lovely place just didn’t offer much at all for the vegan. So I opted for a vegetarian choice naturally BUT that mainly consisted of cheese. Now I know I went through a mourning period with cheese but I’m definitely put off it now after the way it made me feel. Yep a food baby was born. I chose a starter of Garlic mushrooms that were smothered in cream ( didn’t say that on the menu ) I ate some of the sauce which was delicious and all of the mushrooms. For main course I chose the vegetarian risotto which again was gorgeous and didn’t taste too cheesy, followed by some birthday cake which contained dairy. So feeling satisfied and having a lovely family birthday celebration we left to go home. Well, a food baby somehow grew and by the time I got home I felt a little queasy and appeared to be having what I would call dairy sweats! My husband thought this was very amusing! I felt very laboured and would say it took an hour and a half for the dairy to digest! Hell I was running 14 miles in the morning and I felt like a ton of bricks 😩 Note to self…..☝🏼Try not to let that happen again and maybe mention to the chef your dietary requirements and ask nicely if they can accommodate you. It’s a learning curve is this diet and I certainly felt like a dairy sweat fest took place 😂!

Thoughts this week…..

Running water never grows stale, so you just have to keep on flowing….🏃‍♀️

To truly enjoy the downhill you must conquer the uphill 🥵

If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you 🙌🏻

GUESS WHAT?

I finally bought new gloves 🧤😆 and then forgot to wear them for the 14 miler, instead I automatically put on the useless fingerless ones 🤷‍♀️ Only realised a day later that I didn’t use them 🙄

77 days until London Marathon

The first trimester of training is complete. The foundation and what is necessary to begin the second trimester of distance build up with shorter runs now evolving into intervals…lets embark on what is possible. I’ve always associated marathon training similar to being pregnant and then giving birth to a marathon baby 🤪 You spend a certain amount of time taking extra care of your body whilst training, nurturing yourself with appropriate nutrition to keep strong and well while growing your muscles and stamina. Taking adequate rest and relaxation as your body adapts to the growing changes, it’s hard work feeling tired and achy while still living your everyday life, it’s tiring growing a human being. Then it’s the big day! Your body is ready to deliver…. you push yourself to your absolute limit, every mile or centimetre dilation is another painfully energetic push to the finish line. You are hoping and praying 🙏🏻 for no medical emergency, that your body can withstand the pressure of this marvellous journey you’ve embarked on. The finish line is in sight, tears of joy prick your eyes and hopefully you’ve made it across the finish line in one safe happy self with the prize in your arms 🏅👼!

The last 5 weeks have been interesting in training. Apart from going to running club once or twice a week I’m pretty much a solitary runner. I’ve got my newly discovered podcasts at the ready for the long runs and its looking like I’ll not need them as I seem to have found myself a running buddy ☺️ A woman I know from Guiseley who bagged herself a free public ballot place messaged me offering a little company on some training runs. Well if I’m sent a running angel 😇 then I’ll gladly accept. We seem to have have bonded through extreme winds, muddy woodland, horrendous hills and lashing rain. Neither of us can seem to map a route with exact measurements and often end up circling like aeroplanes waiting to land on the exact mileage, which has to be an even number by the way 🤣 I’m glad it’s not just me! So we’ve accepted each other’s malfunctions and intend to carry out the rest of our training together. We seem to balance out pace wise. I am built for endurance and strive for a speedier pace, while running angel is a sprinter without any experience in distance therefore we seem to average out pace wise on our steady runs. I am happy to be chasing on the shorter runs and she is learning to slow down slightly on the longer runs to adjust to the endurance.

Food wise things are going great 👍🏻 I am well adjusted to my new diet. I must admit I do miss the occasional egg and fish. Although I feel strong enough running I’m still looking at every detail of my intake to make sure I’m reaching the right levels of nutrition. I realise now that Soya milk appears to be the best for Vegans with the highest protein content and considered a complete protein with soy containing all the essential amino acids. As soya milk isn’t a winner for me taste wise I’ve decided to use it for my smoothies and stick with Oat milk for tea, coffee and cereal. I actually think I’m eating more Protein now than when I ate meat. I never really bothered much with pulses and grains before but now they are present in many of the meals I consume. My hair quality has vastly improved and I believe the wider variety of nutrients I’m receiving are a part to play in this. Hair can unfortunately be one of the last components of your body to receive nutrition, maybe the rainbow of food and variety of pulses are giving me more than enough to spare on my temperamental mane! I do hope so 🙏🏻

We recently had some foodie friends round for dinner, perfectly timed on the 1st of February when Dry January was over 😆 Of course it was a Vegan. I chose the Persian sharer platter from the 15 minute vegan comfort food book I received at Christmas. It was absolutely amazing, a vibrant spread with lots of enticing colours and packed full of flavour, each dish easy to make and some things made in advance and eaten at room temperature or warmed through when ready to serve. The foodies who are all meat eaters where thoroughly satisfied and I even managed to get shut of the Christmas dairy free baileys 👎🏻 that I stirred into a dark chocolate creamy pudding. It tasted lovely in the pudding just weird and watery on its own so glad to find a use for it!

So the second trimester is almost upon me. Week 6 I’m coming to get you. This is the toughest part of the plan. Stormy weather will not defeat me. Injuries I’m trying to keep at bay. Face masks in full use after weathered skin exposure. Foot cream liberally and religiously applied. Stretching is compulsory. Eating enough of the good stuff requires attention. Gin isn’t compulsory. Comfortable shoes are necessary now due to running feet issues. Beautiful glass slippers not necessary. I STILL NEED RUNNING GLOVES 😩

Thoughts on running so far….

Let’s see what’s possible 🏃‍♀️

Go fast enough to get there but slow enough to see 🙌🏻

I may not be the strongest, I may not be the fastest, but I’m sure as hell trying my hardest 😅