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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Hello Again Old Friends!

So it has been a while since I've last been in touch and my sincerest apologies to all those silent readers out there who enjoy my blog!!

So what's been happening? A lot! Basically since we last spoke I finished my second year at university and am now enjoying my summer holidays while prepping for year 3.. but in between that and my job I have been exercising so do not panic all is not lost!!!

I decided - hold your breath - to join a gym.. During the summer months its become a lot easier to join a gym rather than just relying on work out dvds and reasonably good weather to run in! So I've been able to row, cycle and use the cross trainer as well as gather more expertise and more use out of weights and core workouts since using the gym. And my dreaded detest of the treadmill is finally being lifted! I've hated treadmill as I've always found them dull, you're not moving anywhere and it feels as if they are only there for fitness not enjoyment. But over the last couple of months as my weight loss has continued and my fitness has increased I have been able to utilise the treadmill to work on my speed and I love it!! I've been able to throw all my passion into something again and I've enjoyed every second of it! It gives me targets and goals! But one piece of advice I must share is to put your workout towel over the top of the treadmill to hide the time and calories otherwise you find yourself focusing on an end whereas, when you are on the road you simply have the route and you can choose how far you go by destination, not time. So all round it's been a success.

In July, you will have been no stranger to the fact I also ran a 10K Race, if you read my blog or are a friend of mine, you will know that I have been pestering/ asking kindly for donations and was astonished to reach £177! I was therefore determined to run a great race. But at this point my training had not gone so well, and the weather was increasingly becoming hotter. I had no clue as to how I would fair, but I had told people not to get there hopes up, I would complete the 10K but perhaps walk it and take it at a slow pace.

Race Day came and I had never been so nervous before but the support was incredible and to those who came for me made me run that race - the temperature was almost unbearable but I jogged/ran the whole way and in a time of 1hr 30 mins I was pretty chuffed to have said I had done it!

thank you to all who helped me raise money for a fantastic charity and to all my family and friends who came to support me that day :) xxxx

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The Devastation of the Boston Marathon.

At 2.27pm US Boston time and 7.35 UK time on the 15th April 2013 we were made aware of two explosions which had gone off near the finish line of Boston Marathon. A terrible tragedy which has already brought to light the death of two and more than 100 injured with 17 critical injuries. As a runner myself and seeing as I'm a blogger I thought I would take this time to reflect on what can only be described as a horrifying destruction on innocent life.

Runners: Why do we run? Some run to lose weight, some run to gain confidence, some run to stay fit, some run because they love the sport. No matter why you run at some point or another most runners will partake in a running event, whether for charity or just for ourselves. It is as those points in our lives, we realise how much we really love running, no matter what brought us to this point, because we are part of a secret community that is suddenly brought together and made into something much stronger. What could be better for one runner than to be joined together with other runners all there to run and achieve something. We do not enter these competitions to compete with anyone but ourselves, we work together and push each other, we even use people we have never met before as pace makers! Together as runners, we are doing something remarkable without even knowing it, we are changing the world by bringing people of all different abilities, ages, races, nationalities, genders we are the generation of life changers, starting running to change our own life but as a community we are doing so much more than that. Just look at events like Race For Life or any event in fact, people are running for charities, people are literally running to save lives. And somebody came yesterday and tried to destroy it. As a running community this will only pull us together more and bring us closer to the sport we so well and truly love but what has happened has ripped us into terror and fear. To put an explosion near the finish line is a sick act, it is where we are most joyus where we know we have done something great. They were pulled away from that and for people there to become fitter and left in a state of fear and anguish and in some cases injured is just wrong and upsetting.

Spectators: Where would we be without them? They are there because they understand. All the training we put in they sit by and watch, they are with us from our first sweat, and every mile mark, till when we cross the finish line. That goes for volunteers too, handing out water and medals and t shirts at some point or another they become a runners best friend. They push us through that last stretch and make us run even when our legs give out. And if that happens and our legs do give out they are there to offer support and encouragement  when we need it most, the spectators are a community in themselves, they work together and support everyone, because they know everyone has a story. They stand by that finishing line proud and waiting with that camera to take that photo to watch your time to see your face. They stand there so they can be ready to take care of you and praise you. Once again it was ripped from them, those people who were there for us when we needed them, those innocent people who stepped aside their troubles to look out for us runners. They were torn apart by an act of terror and fear. In the one place where we all unite and work together to support everyone, it was stolen from us.

What needs to be said though, is we will come back stronger. We will come back fighting these people who dare rip apart a community, because from what I see is it is bringing us closer, they have done something to bring us closer. We will come back running and supporting.

Monday, 8 April 2013

When the going gets tough...

I have been sapped of all kinds of motivation these couple of weeks!

having the edge of a bug does not make that any easier, work, blogging, and running have all been at a minimal for me so I greatly apologies!

My last run was on Friday and it is now Monday (tut) I should have got my ass out yesterday but instead went for a traditional walk with the parents up a hill which is vertical... Ok so a little bit of stamina building there surely? I need to sort myself out and buck my ideas up! Its not all been down to an illness, but I've also been drained emotionally, it's been a couple of weeks of overwhelming things and running always helps with that but not this time. I just need to tell myself how lucky I am, because I know I am I just need to buck my ideas up and say Sally, you know what its ok to have a down day or two. But stop being an idiot and move on! Life can only get better if you make it do so!

So, off I go, to kick start life in an upwards direction!

Choi for now!!! ;)

Friday, 29 March 2013

Song of the Week

A brilliant song to keep you at a stead pace and to keep you motivated!

Chelsea Dagger - The Fratellis

It really is a Good Friday...

I had the chance to do a long run today so that is what I did! I got up early, started my warm up and tried to forget about the last time I did the route I would attempt today! (See last blog post) Although, I did a good half hour on Wednesday in the snow and up hill, I was slightly apprehensive as to how it would turn out. I was expecting a slow pace and hopefully to do a whole 10K..

I managed 9.9K! Stopped only a short walk away from my personal finish line but was chuffed to bits. It was hard, I have to painful, agonising blisters on the BOTTOM of my feet?! Which doesn;t help with the mountains of other skin issues I'm having at the moment. But. I am happy! I did the majority of what I wanted to do! I was so scared that I had lost my touch and in a time of 1 hr 12 mins I've managed to knock more than 20 mins off my first 10K! So I cannot complain! Everything is slowly falling into place!!

But I'm not just doing this for nothing! I'm running Race For Life in July and I could really use your help!
I have unfortunately seen way too many friends and family affected by cancer. And if all of you who read this just donate one pound you will be helping an enormous amount and I will be eternally grateful :) Follow the link below :) Thank you!

http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/sallycross8


Sunday, 24 March 2013

Song of the Week

Anything Could Happen - Ellie Goulding . Just trust me on this.

Some Days are Bad Days

Back home, and its great and the one thing I love about it the most is being able to have more confidence exploring new routes. And hills! So many hills its actually ridiculous! But... Today I had planned for a 10K. So I prepped got myself ready downed my Green Tea and embraced the cold. A new Ipod playlist - which always gets me more excited knowing I have new songs and new paces to work with them.. But it just wasn't my day! The weather was freezing I was in a top mood from various little things and I was so excited to just run away by myself for a little while.

Some days, even when you think you want to run you just can't I managed 1.55 measly miles, pathetic eh?! I just stopped I just couldn't be bothered to keep running. And I was so angry with myself because I've been given this opportunity to get out there with no deadline to get back and I just stopped?! I mean it could've been the cold blah blah blahahh but my heart and mind as much as I wanted it to be just wasn't in it.

And all I have to say, is when you have days like that, forget about them and whatever you do don't think about them when you next run, you can do it! Sometimes you just need a rest!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Song of the Week

Need something to lift you up but keep a steady pace? Kids by MGMT is the perfect choice! It has a great beat and constantly uplifts my spirits!

You don't need to rest you need to work harder!

Ahh the simple words of my spin instructor. If only it really was that simple! 

This week I pulled a muscle in one of my legs pretty badly that I found it hard to walk let alone run! And with so many essays going on at the moment and lots of work I found it hard not to get some piece of mind by going for my usual morning run! So instead I took to the spin class (Its ok as it is not impact exercise) 
Well, if I wasn't tired, sweaty, warn out before I can guarantee you 100 times over I was after.. You know that scene in 'Run Fat Boy Run' where he goes to a spin class and as he is about to leave he falls down the stairs like a tonne of bricks? I didn't but if I had seen that film and prepared myself for the worst I would have! I've done spin before but since running has taken over my life it was what I concentrated on the most! But I suppose no pain no gain!
Today though, was my first day back on the road after exactly a week after my muscle spasm and it was hard work. I managed a 5k which I am chuffed with as getting out the door was hard enough. But I forgot just how much I missed it! 
It was great fun and although the pain is still there, all I need to do was think of that spin class and I am back on the move again!!

Friday, 8 March 2013

How powerful can a song REALLY be??

7am alarm goes off.. I don't think so mate not today. back to bed. 9am. Get up Sally go for a sodding run!
And that's how my morning began. The last 10k I did was last Friday, with a busy weekend and interval running and workout DVDs today was the first chance I had to improve my time since a week of weight loss and hardcore cardio. Could I improve? Yea bitch!!! By 10 minutes I could!!!
So.. I did a more intense route, practically vertical hills, traffic and puddles and rain to get through. And yet I still managed to cut 10 minutes off my average pace. Taken into account I lost 3 pounds this week and I had been working up my cardio strength and weights,  I know that had a lot to do with it. However, I can't help but think... (so Carrie Bradshaw right there) how much impact does the music pounding through my eardrums have on my speed?
As I was running and getting closer and closer to the end it began to rain. It was disgusting and I was breathless, tired and beginning to get slightly uncomfortable.. Then out of nowhere, as if I had planned it, ELO Mr Blue Sky came on the Ipod... Not only is it my favorite song of all time but it is also upbeat and a great pacer for that last stretch. I couldn't help but laugh when I found myself running in the pouring rain to a song that was saying it was good to see the sun again after a while. Was it the irony that made it more enjoyable?

I cannot say how much of an impact that song had on me but as it played I changed course and went that extra bit further, I started to smile, and I leaped in desperation to the finish line.

Of course fitness is key and inevitably the most important part to speed. But music and your own state of mind (what little I have left of that anyway) will always helps push you through the worst bit! The bit you just can't help but want to stop. That's the point we need a crowd to support us and on our solitary runs during the week, for me, that's what music is, my very own supportive crowd!

Mr Blue Sky - ELO AMAZEBALLS

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Song of the Week

Kate Bush - Running up that Hill

Give yourself time to reflect on your run this week, this song is not only easy going but also pretty inspirational too to remind you why you are doing this.

The title is pretty useful too!

When Life Gives You Lemons

Today, I am having a bad day.. My self esteem is pretty low, I'm constantly hungry, and my body aches and craves sleep.

However, it is ok! Because the thing you can do, and the runners mindset that I have been able to build up, is to look forward. You start from the same spot, and you think I'm really not feeling this today. But you get up and you get in your kit. Because from the moment you wake up and know that today is a running day, that if you stay in bed, you will punish yourself later. The rest of the world doesn't care that you missed that measly run. But you do. Don't you?

Sometimes when I feel like that I just smile. Even if I'm not in the mood! I just look up and say 'Sally, if you don't run today you will feel guilty.' and I put on my trainers and leave the house. If I have a crap run, I move on, because at least I can say I had a crap run, rather than I didn't run at all.

Today, was my first real day of interval training. 10 runs 4 times with 2 minute walks in between, hard but good fun. I woke up bright and early at 7am and the first thing I noticed was the sun was coming through my curtains. Result! The first run in a while where I have been happy to get up so early for exercise! I get myself all ready and I head out the door.

I ran the park, my usual route, and for once I decided to take more time to appreciate the view. A scenic view with streams passing by and up early enough and out the door by 8 I saw no students, hardly any cars and I could hear the birds sing! I even saw a Kingfisher! At that moment, amongst all the anger, fear and panic that was previously rushing through my mind I just breathed. I breathed and I thought. Who cares? Because this feeling THIS feeling of possibility and freedom is why I feel guilty not running in the mornings or night or whenever. I don't just run to lose weight and keep fit. I run to keep happy, and remember the most important things in life.

Moral of the story? When life gives you lemons. Chop it up, put it in a martini and relax. After all, you deserve it!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Running Dehydration

I'm stressed out with so much work at the moment and so much going on in my life that I haven't had a chance to run since Friday. It is now Wednesday. And I fear that the next run I will have won't be until Saturday.

The dreaded scales once again will be there to face in a week and I really really want to lose 4 pounds but I'm scared that just won't happen! Why does life have to be so hectic?!
I have however, got great faith in myself to at least see a loss and today is a new day! Although I won't have the opportunity to run, I will have the chance to do a workout DVD and at least put on some sort of sweat!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Song of the Week!

So each week I plan to post a song that I have listened to on my run which has helped see me through a certain part.

Coming up to that grueling 4 mile mark on Friday I began to struggle. The sun was out the sweat was on and I knew just one mile more... But this song pushed me straight on through! I take the mick out of it but I actually LOVE it!

PLEASE BUY!

Sincerest Apologies

I have to make the biggest apology to all you lovely sexy runners out there! No excuse can be made for my lack of posting! How rude of me?!

However, I have kept up my running! And am now on track to completing a quick and successful 10k run in july for Race For Life!

http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/sallycross8 in case you fancied a cheeky sponsor! This year will be better than all the others! I have made such an effort trying to run for a brilliant cause and I really want to show my achievement too! I want to be able to say how I am trying so very hard to raise this money for a fantastic cause, something I fully believe in. I am going to run the whole thing and I have five months to get in the best shape of my life!!

On Friday I completed my 10K in 1 hour 33 minutes and I did struggle a little! I am happy to do this time if I finished without wanting to collapse so... first things first!

Dedication. If I really ant to do this I'm going to train very hard! I've been waking up early so I am able to fit each run into my day but I have to remember other exercise is crucial too! I know I am able to complete an easy 1 hour and 30 mins run by 5 months time. But I want to try and knock off as much time as I possibly can!

Any suggestions as to how to speeden up without killing yourself?

Also I'm introducing a new feature,.. Song of the week (See Above!)