Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Marathon training kit

Like I ever need an excuse to treat myself to new running stuff? A few of these are Christmas presents to myself and a few from others. I bought this h&m running jacket after seeing Leah post it on instagram. I had been eyeing up both Nike and Sweaty Betty's reflective jackets but they are both ridiculously expensive. At only £35 (actually £25 after a few online voucher codes!) I am pretty impressed with this. The only down side is that it doesn't have zipped pockets on the front, but one big zipped pocket at the back. But that is where my bumbag will come in handy!

While doing the parkrun, I keep my car keys and phone in my jacket pocket but my old jacket only had mesh pockets and the keys would work their way through them and everything would jangle around irritatingly as I ran! Plus when it gets warmer I can't be wearing a jacket. So, the bumbag will be perfect for parkrun and longer runs too. I don't usually take my phone with me on runs but on longer runs I think it will be useful and I can also store gels in it for mid-run fuelling. 

I also asked for a hat for Christmas to keep my head warm and dry when running in the rain. The peak will also keep the rain out of my eyes which is my pet hate when running in the rain. I won't have any excuses for avoiding runs now!

Running clothes

I also got some of my favourite nike running socks and nike running leggings. When I first started running, I would just buy whatever was cheapest from Sports Direct. Whilst I do still like a bargain, I definitely like to get some better quality pieces now. These nike leggings are my favourite, I have a plain black pair that have seen me through the last 2 winters. Compared to cheaper ones from Aldi or Karrimor, you can definitely tell the difference. No fraying or thinning anywhere and they actually keep me warm! They are so comfortable too, nothing worse than uncomfy running clothes. 

And to show you all how awesome and reflective the jacket is, I took a photo with the flash on. Everyone will be able to see me coming while I'm wearing it!

Running clothes

So, now I feel equipped to train for my marathon. I am going to kick it off tomorrow with a New Years Day parkrun, fingers crossed I can get out of bed! Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, 30 December 2013

2013 - a year in running

384 miles, 2 half marathons, 1 10k, 1 5k race and 3 park runs later...

Liverpool half marathon

March - Liverpool half marathon - 2.15.08

Chester half marathon

May - Chester Half Marathon PB - 2.05.05

May - Manchester Great 10k PB- 57.48

June - Knowsley Active Challenge 5k PB - 26.37

2013 is the year I really felt like a 'runner'. I've done a few races before but when I look at my mileage from previous years, I've never even topped 100! Looking back at my training logs though, I'm really proud that I have ran 384 miles in one year. I know it's not much compared to some and I wish I had made it to a nice round number like 400, but for little old me who hated PE and breaking a sweat, it's almost amazing! I'm even a member of a running club which would amaze any old PE teachers. 

I'm a bit sad I didn't do more races in the second half of the year but I had entered the English Half Marathon but didn't end up doing it because of being too busy planning a wedding (what a shame!) and then time and money prevented me entering more. I started going to my local park run in November and enjoy that though (when I can get myself out of bed that early on a Saturday morning). 2013 has been a challenging year at times and running has given me the opportunity for 'me' time and to switch off. I always feel so much happier when I have been running regularly and noticing the small improvements from week to week, whether it's going further or faster, give me the motivation to carry on. 

I have enjoyed my half marathons the most this year and since returning from honeymoon in October, I have been debating my 2014 race targets. I've entered my very first MARATHON! Absolutely terrified on the one hand, but really excited to get stuck into training on the other. Scott is running  it with me too so it will be nice to have some company on longer runs. 

I've picked the Rock n Roll Liverpool marathon as my first marathon because what better than one on home turf? The route actually goes past the bottom of my street! There are some killer hills on the route, but it's also very scenic and hopefully I will be able to round up some good moral support. I'm also looking at a few races in the build up to this to enter, but running races can end up being quite a pricey hobby! So far the Southport Mad Dog 10k in February and Liverpool Half Marathon in March are on my shortlist. I will share more about my marathon training plans shortly, I'm going to update the blog a bit more regularly throughout training so I can look back on it after my first full marathon.