30 Apr 2013

Current Obsession

Oven roasted sweet potatoes, soooo good!

But they don't only taste good, they are good for you too:
- they are rich in Vitamin C and are also a source of Vitamin D
- they contain iron and are a good source of magnesium
- they are a source of potassium, an important electrolyte
- their colour indicates that they are high in betacarotene, wthe precursor to vitamin A in your diet

New Outfit

Would it be alright to wear this particular outfit for the rest of the week??!

29 Apr 2013

Race Report: Manchester Marathon

Yesterday I smashed my PB to pieces, finishing the race on a chip time of
3:44:15, more than 15 minutes faster than my previous personal best. Crossing the finish line on Sir Matt Busby Way, in front of Old Trafford, I was so shocked and pleased with my time that I didn't know if I wanted to laugh hysterically or bawl my eyes out.

But how was the actual race? The days before the race all weather reports promised rain and just a few degrees above freezing - oh joy.... I had the Finchley 20 in the back of my head when getting dressed in the morning and brought my GoreTex gloves to wear in case of pelting rain. I debated if I should wear long or short tights, settling for a pair of 3/4 length in the end, paired with a long sleeved and a short sleeved t- shirt - and the brilliant hat I got from my sister a while back. On my feet I had my new Adidas Boost shoes, hoping they'd make my 26.2 mile journey a little bit more pleasant.

The start of the race was near Old Trafford and so was my hotel so after a short walk in the cold but dry weather I arrived with plenty of time to spare and checked in my bag and kept only an old fleece jacket I thought I'd discard just before starting the race. To stay warm(ish..) I bought myself a cup of tea then headed for the loos. Bad bad idea, as the cup of tea had me dying for the loo from mile two and onwards....

With my predicted finishing time of 4 hours I was put in starting group B with all the mega fast runners and I felt a little bit lost standing there among all those speed demons and vowed that I'd stay with my own pace and not get sucked into running too fast in the beginning of the race. When the gun went off I was so cold my teeth were chattering and my hands and feet were pretty much numb, mainly because the wind was pretty grim.

The first few miles I had loads of people passing me but I stayed with a, for me, comfortable pace. My legs felt light and fresh and I thanks myself for resting Friday and Saturday. I started drinking and taking energy Shot Bloks early on as I'd been too nervous to stomach much breakfast and after an hour or so of running I struck up conversation with a guy that'd been running next to me for the last few kilometers. He'd done Brighton marathon just a few weeks before and wanted to try and improve his time a little bit as he'd gotten tired towards the end in Brighton. We kept a very good pace, but not a strenuous pace, and passed the 13 mile mark in roughly 1h56minutes, still feeling very comfortable. Shortly after the 13 mile mark there was a little hill and that's where I lost my companion when I powered up the hill like a boss.

At that point I'd realized that I would be finishing under 4 hours if I kept the pace but thought it'd be brilliant to finish in 3h55minutes so since my breathing felt completely unstrained I let the legs move on their own accord, feeling like a Duracell bunny. I'd gotten a bit stiff in my left leg/bum , which always happens when I run a long distance, but although it wasn't very pleasant I could power through the pain (thank you Coach Martin and Coach Mark for that!). With 15k left I still felt strong and got a big boost when I passed a group of men running up a little hill and heard an elderly lady shout 'That's girl power for you!'.

I'd already started passing a lot of people that had passed me earlier in the race, recognizing their vests, but I didn't know if it was because they'd gotten tired while I kept my pace or if it was because I'd increased my pace. The last five or so miles were not pleasant for my left leg muscles but it wasn't bad enough to slow me down. When I saw the 25 mile marking I turned up the speed a notch and despite my breathing getting a bit more labored my legs were just going like a Boeing, with not much effort. When I turned into the finish straight and saw the clock over the finishing line saying 3:45 I got so shocked I almost stopped but then I put on a proper sprint - it might have been the fastest I've ever run in my life, actually.

I was tired, walking to pick up my medal and finisher t-shirt but not as exhausted as I've been after my two previous marathons. Even today, the day after the race, I'm less sore than I was after the other races. I quickly called my dad, sent a few texts to the rest of the family and closests friends, the first one to Zoe who've been a massive support in my training for the race. After a walk back to the hotel, a quick shower and a trip into the city centre I met my friend Gem for celebratory drinks and a big meal. Still I woke up at 6am this morning, starving....but that's a cheap price to pay for smashing one's personal best to pieces!

The crowd support was pretty brilliant, especially in Altrincham, with lots of people cheering you on along the course. The water pouches they had for hydration was the best thing I've ever experienced in a race, along with the Shot Bloks and the isotonic fluids in little tetra boxes. It was a decent sized race but not too big and I was pleasantly surprised by the course - it took you through some lovely areas of Manchester. Starting and finishing at Old Trafford was pretty immense, even for someone who's not a Manchester United fan....not to mention being childishly pleased with running a negative split!

27 Apr 2013

For Boston

In remembrance of the terrible attack on the Boston Marathon 2013 I will tomorrow run my marathon wearing these two bracelets. One is yellow and one is blue, the colours of the Boston Athletic Association, and has the words 'brave' and strength' engraved on them.  After having fussed all winter about reaching my goal time in tomorrow's race I'm now running for the joy of running, sad that innocent people got killed and injured, but glad to be a part of something that brings people together.
I got these bracelets from a very dear friend some time ago, reminding me to stay brave and strong, and now it's time for all of us in the running community to do just that - stay brave, stay strong.

25 Apr 2013

....And Now We Wait.

Yesterday I did my last run before the marathon, an easy 8k. Today I did a last Body Pump session. Tomorrow and Saturday I'll be resting and fuelling. Training is now done and there's nothing more you can do about it. You start getting nervous about tripping over and spraining your ankle, you start agonizing about what to eat and what to wear (what AM I going to wear??!), wondering why on earth you're running a marathon (who came up with that brilliant idea??!) and yet you start googling upcoming races. Life becomes very marathon focused, so to speak.

In my opinion this might be the hardest part of marathon training, the wait. It's a hard, frustrating and nervous wait but at this point you need to sit back, relax and have faith in all the training you've done. Everything you need is already inside you, so now we wait.

23 Apr 2013

This Makes Me Happy.

Sunshine. Running. (Semi) Early finish at work. Tunes. What can I say, I'm easily pleased.

22 Apr 2013

'Are You I Pain?! Get Over It!'

Monday is Coach Martin-day. If I'm off or finished early I always head to BOOM! for a through workout and today was no different. As I was saying last week Coach Martin is all about commitment, as in commiting to the hour you're on the bike in front of him. Today I really had to commit and work through the pain, but despite the last ten minutes of the class being tough I stuck with it and for that I wont only be stronger physically but also mentally. You feel strong from knowing that you can take control over your pain, strong from knowing you wont back off or give up, strong from knowing that you can commit to the cause.

Pain will be a part of your life when you train hard. I don't mean pain as when having an injury but pain from pushing your body to work a harder than is comfortable. You need to get over the pain, as said today by semi-professional cyclist Martin and before by ex-professional cyclist Mark. They have firsthand experience on conquering pain and if I never knew what they meant before I learnt it in May last year when I ran the Edinburgh Marathon, and the last 10k were agonizing. My leg muscles were screaming 'STOP!' but as the stubborn mule I am I didn't, and I managed to reach my goal of finishing the marathon in less than four hours.

So what's the morale of the story? Well, in short you could say it's that you have to keep your eye on the prize and to reach that goal you're gonna have to work through some pain. It wont be easy, it will require commitment, but knowing you can soldier through it makes all the difference in a race.

My current favourite indoor cycling song, absolutely addicted. Coach Martin brings the tunes!

Step By Step Guide To Marathon Running

With only a few days to go until my marathon I thought I'd share this simple, but fantastic, Step-by-step guide to marathon running....

21 Apr 2013

Here Comes The Sun

Ah, the sunshine has finally reached London again. It might be chilly but the blue skies and sunshine does significantly lift your spirit. Yesterday I enjoyed cycling from the east end to the gym in the west end through a sunny and quiet London. At Fitness First Baker Street Roo put us through our paces with a brilliant Body Pump session before I got on my bike again and headed to BOOM! Cycle where Debbie worked on our endurance for one tough hour.

After gymming, spinning and cycling I headed off to a friend's leaving do out in Colchester/Essex.I there met some very good and dear friends that I hadn't seen for a while and got all sorts of pep for my upcoming marathon - I might not have much faith in myself, but my lovely friends do!

All sleep deprived I'm now sitting in the sofa watching the London Marathon on telly (despite the race taking place on my doorstep....), and for the first time in a few weeks I am looking forward to my marathon next week. I might not hit my target time but this week has certainly reminded me that  I do love running and that's the only thing of real importance.

17 Apr 2013

Recommended Reading

Today I've read two interesting pieces, very different from each other but none the less interesting.  I read a lot of blogs and pieces that people I follow on Twitter tweet or retweet about and today's two pieces are no different.

The first piece is from excellent bike blog I Bike London, a blog that talks about all things cycle related. A lot of it is about cycling in London and despite that this post talks specifically about cycling safely with lorries in London I do think it's applicable in many other cities. One comment states that 'Patience is a life saver' and that sure goes for cycling in any city.

The second piece I read on my phone in the changing room after having run some hillintervals at the gym this morning. It's a posted on a website called dangerouslyhardcore.com (I know I know, the name says it all) and discusses Why Women Should Not Run. The author talks about how steady state running at 65% of maximum heart rate or more will actually make you fat, as the more you run the more your metabolism slows down hence making you fatter. With this reasoning I'd be 150kg, being an avid fan of all things cardio....and obviously weight loss must be the only reson why someone would want to run, right?! Eh...read for yourself and make up your own mind as to whether it's complete BS or not.

P.S. if you want to read more about cycling and cycling in London I also warmly recommend Cyclists in the City, another excellent cycling blog.

16 Apr 2013

Usain and I

I am the original Captain Slow. Well I know that techinally James May is but I think I'm actually better suited to be Captain Slow. I'm never going to be a female version of Usain Bolt and 99.9% of the time I'm fine with that. I might not be fast but I can go for hours and that's not too shabby either. When it comes to running I'm pretty happy to run 1-2k intervals, they're hard but my body sucks it up and the legs try their best to keep up with the (very) moderate pace. Every now and then I have a moment madness and decide that Usain and I should run together, like the wind.

Today was one of those days. Since I'm having a day off I slept in a little and headed to the gym for a 10.15am Body Pump class. My legs were feeling the effects from coach Martin's monster spinning yesterday but cycling to the gym they loosened up a little and I actually felt pretty strong during the class. Afterwards I had planned to do a little bit of running but for some reason I got these crazy idea that I should do short, fast intervals. Totally crazy, right?! I started out with a 5 minute warm up and the cranked up the speed. I did 1 minute at 15k/hour the recovered with a slow 1 minute jog and after three intervals I rested for two minutes. I repeated that two more times before finishing up with a few minutes running at marathon pace. Short, sweat and sweaty - I like it!

So what to make out of this session? Well, my breathing wasn't all that laboured but my legs felt a little slow and tired. I think this will have to be something that I do more often, in an effort to get out of my comfort zone and try and get a little bit faster. Not 'Usain Bolt'-fast but just a teeny bit faster, so that maybe I could me Vice Captain Slow instead.

15 Apr 2013

Life is Precious

As a runner I'm shocked to see the horrific pictured being spread over the internet from the Boston Marathon bombings. Lives are lost, people are injured and you're left with a bit 'why' echoing in your head. My heart aches yet I feel empty, and I struggle to comprehend that not everyone thinks that life is precious.

For me running was a bit of a life saver. When I started running whilst recovering from my eating disorders running gave me peace of mind and a sense of purpose. It was a friend that sometimes helped me clear my head and sometimes helped me stay on the path of recovery, giving me a 'reason' to eat properly. I don't understand why someone would tarnish a sport that does so much for so many. I don't know why these bombs were set of, but as Peter Flax of Bicyling Magazine said on Twitter - "Setting off bombs at a marathon finish isn't a political statement. It's a moral statement. Like you want hope to die. Ain't gonna happen." Regardless of how hard it is or how impossible it feels this is a time to come together and show that hope wont die - and to remember that marathon running also makes for great achievements.

 My thoughts goes out to everyone affected, and as nurse I'm so impressed and thankful for the hard work that the medical workers and emergency personnell are putting in. Instead of being a day where we celebrate great achievements we're doubting the world we live in, and the people in it and that makes me sad because running brings people together. Yesterday I was out running with my lovely friend Zoe and we were sharing stories about all the lovely people we've met through running - at races and at training. Some have become friends while others were just people we met and connected with for a few moments or miles but that you still remember even after a lot of time's passed. Running brings out the good in people and when you're on mile 23 of a marathon, and someone gives you a kind word of encouragement then your faith in mankind is somewhat restored.

All my previous angst about my upcoming marathon now feels silly and petty and when I do run the Greater Manchester Marathon I will be running for Boston, every 42.195 meter.

It's All About Commitment.

I went spinning today at BOOM! Cycle, with Coach Martin on the instructor bike. Early on he told us that our hearts and heads would tell us that we could, and in the past had, work(ed) harder than we were to do today - but our legs would strongly disagree. Well, it turns out he was right....

Martin always have a plan in order to, as he says, make us wake up as better athletes the morning after - if we just commit....and commitment was needed today! The class kicked off with a warm up that merged into a big build up towards our anaerobic threshold, adjusting the resistance in order to find that elusive threshold where we start producing more lactic acid than we can get rid of. The format of the class was simple on paper, once we hit anaerobic threshold we take a seat and hold the same cadence, resistance and posture for 10 minute. Stay on the same RPM throughout, no slowing down of the cadence. Keep the resistance on for the full ten minutes, despite the legs burning and screaming at you to ease off. Sit in the same posture throughout, always one hand on the handelbar, no sitting up and changing the angle in the hip (hence letting the lactic acid out of the legs easier). Easy, huh?!

Not so easy, no, but pretty darn hard core. You're almost relieved when your legs go a bit numb with lactic acid as it's better than the burn you've experienced before but you managed to power through it. Ten minutes done and dusted and Coach Martin lets you turn down the resistance a tiiiiny bit for a couple of minutes before bam! Resistance back on but now it's time to stand. Same story, different position - and no hanging on the handlebars but instead activating your core and remembering that spinning/cycling is lower limb training. Keep the RPM constant. Keep the resistance constant. Your heart and lungs are pretty ok but your legs are yet again in agony. Another ten minutes where commitment is everything. Sure, you can ease off and be a bit more comfortable but, as Martin says, if you want comfortable you should stay in your sofa. No this is about commiting to the hard work and keeping your eye on the prize.

Surely it should be over by now, your legs say. Coach Martin thinks otherwise. Instead of giving us a little rest he informs us that it's now eleven minutes of hard work left and tells us to increase the resistance a bit and bring the heart and lungs into the match. In all fairness, it shouldn't be only the legs that are in agony, but your whole being - right?! Instead of keeping the same posture we now go into a form of interval session, working one minute seated and one minute standing. We're allowed to take of a smidge of resistance when standing for the first six minutes, but after that all the resistance that goes on stays on. The last five minutes are almost a 'near death'-experience with increasing resistance that numbs your legs, make your heart want to leave the body and convinces your lungs that there are not enough oxygen in the world. In short, the last five minutes are tough freaking awesome!

Before you know it the class is over. Your legs are shaking as proof of your commitment and there's a puddle of sweat underneath your bike. What on paper seemed so easy have kicked your butt to the ground but you're happy to sit down there, knowing that yes...you will wake up a slightly stronger and better athlete tomorrow.

14 Apr 2013

That's What Friends Are For.

The other day Swedish blogger Jeanna was talking about how, sometimes, when you're stressed and busy you stop prioritizing your social life and the stress make you grow too tired to listen to your friends. I'm for one is guilty of that, having a job when it's necessary that I'm on my best attentive and caring behavior at all times (no burying myself in a pile of papers with my headphones plugged in for me...) I sometimes come home from work during busy periods and I just want my 'me-time'. I am a firm believer in me-time and reflection but sometimes it's the stress talking and you get stuck with your own thoughts and starts overthinking, when you in reality would benefit from and enjoy the non-judgemental company of a good friend.

When I was ill and worried about my marathon it was my friend Zoe's wise words that got me back on track, reminding me to approach rest and recovery with the same discipline that I approach training. Today we went out for a 25k run, enjoying the sunshine and companionship, and yet again she gave me a proper pep-talk, reminding me how much I love running and how lovely the post marathon feeling is. On the last leg of the run I got to return the favor, getting her through the last few miles in the ridiculously strong head wind and that't when it struck me - that's what friends are for. Inspiring each other to be the best you can be but also safe in the knowledge that even if you're not at your best you still have someone that's got your back.

Yesterday I went out for a meal with one of my best friends, talking and laughing, ranting and lamenting, gossping but also getting stuck in the deep existential questions. Instead of staying in and worrying (or 'resting' as I sometimes call it...) I went out and reflected with a friend - and that's worth a lot. They say that ' shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow' and I think that's not only true but also something worth remembering when life has its ups and downs.

There's just no better way to spend a Sunday morning

13 Apr 2013

Adidas Booooooooost!

Oh my god I think I'm in love. I recently ordered the new hype shoe from Adidas, Boost, and today I did my first run wearing them - and I very much loved every second of it.

The first impression of the Energy Boost shoe is that they're so very light - and so very bright.... The lightness is a big plus and to be honest, the brightness is too (I've worn enough dark and dull colurs to last me a lifetime). The shoes are also very soft, using the techfit material/technology for upper support, which makes them very comfortably to wear even on your first run (and having a massive hallux valgus). But what about the actual boost then? The shoes feels a bit squidgey when walking but very nice and springey when running, giving you some extra bounce.

In short - I'm a Boost convert! The fit was great, the weight low and the feeling when running immense. I foresee many a wonderful runs in these shoes.

12 Apr 2013

Back In The Saddle

Aaaah, today I was back in the saddle at BOOM! Cycle - and it was bloody marvellous! BOOM! is home away from home, with awesome and friendly Hilary and Robert making you feel like a proper member of the BOOM! family. It's a little fitness oasis in London, purpose built, state of the art and offering top quality workouts, all whilst blasting tunes and being hip yet welcoming - perfect for en endorphine junkie like myself.

Today I went to Mark's 'Turbo Cycle' class, 60 minutes of road cycling inspired/focused cycling giving everyone (regardless of ability or fitness level) a thorough work out. I hadn't been spinning since before easter, due to holidays and illness, and my legs buuuuurned as Mark led us through 3 hills, all with a combination of increasing steepness (is that even a word?!) leading onto a section of speedwork while keeping the resistance we've accumulated up the hills. Hard doesn't even being to cover it, but you know it's the kind of training that gives results. Chatting with some of the other girls in the changing rooms after the class we were all singing Mark's praises and we all stumbled out into a rainy east London on wobbly jelly legs but high on endophines.

Some of the awesome grafitti they've got on their walls.

Friday I'm in Love

I'm a little bit in love with these new tights I got from Röhnisch. The fit is amazing, a slightly higher and broader waist makes them extremely comfortable, the 7/8 length on the leg is perfect and I love the details - the zippers on the back is the leg, the little pocket....... The fabric is firm yet soft and of course breathable.

Röhnisch only make clothes for women, and maybe that's why they fit my body so good? It's not a male design that's been feminized, it's designed for women only. Regardless of why they're a great buy for a great price, highly recommended!

11 Apr 2013

Are You In A Hurry?!

Johnson's Baby Oil. Quickest way to moisturize your body, and a pretty cheap one too. Apply on damp skin, pad dry and voila! Done!

10 Apr 2013

Refuse To Sink

Whoever knew that running 5 mediocre kilometers could feel so satisfying?! After having been laid up sick, unable to run since last Tuesday, it felt good to step up on the treadmill today. I did 5 easy kilometers, mixed up with some easy hills intervals, and although I wanted to carry on I decided that rather than pushing myself soon after an illness I should be smart and stop.

It's not long until the marathon, and despite doubting that I'll run very fast, at least I have to give it a go. I can't just give up now, can I?! Too much training's gone into this marathon and you know what? It's pretty spectacular to run a marathon and the happiness you feel when passing the finish line is unrivaled.

9 Apr 2013

Smart Gloves?! Even smarter HAT!

Yup, today I got the best hat ever. My sister sent me a hat with a hole for the ponytail from Swedish sportsbrand Soc - and isn't that just the smartest thing ever??! No more hiding your hair under your hat, now you can let it flow freely. In short - I'm in love with my hat.

Smart Gloves

I got these gloves (by Craft) from my mum when I was home for Easter, and I think they're very nifty. If your hands are a bit cold you pull the cover over your fingers, if they're warm you pull it off. Nifty.

8 Apr 2013

'There's A Bike In The Bath....'

This is what my poor housemate Richard encountered when coming home tonight. Seeing I'm still home, being off sick, but feeling quite a lot better today I decided to clean my bike a little and remove the mud guards I have on it for winter riding. The poor bike hasn't been out of the house since before Easter as I've been home in Sweden and then ill - but that doesn't mean that it can't get some TLC! Unfortunately my housemate didn't know that, hence almost having a heart attack when entering the bathroom....
I doubt I'll be riding it in to work tomorrow, as I don't want to risk the little health I've regained, but hopefully I'll be back in the saddle very soon. Today I almost felt well enough to go to my 2 hour spin class at BOOM! Cycle but I'd decided to be disciplined and sensible instead and gave up the bike to someone on the waiting list. There will be other 2 hour rides...

You Will Tell Them Yes

7 Apr 2013

It's All Okay.

A lot of the time I doubt myself and I often wonder if I am a little mad. Does anyone else do that? I think of all the crazy things that goes through my head, about my OCD personality and sometime I lose track of why I do certain things. Being ill and sedantary gives you a lot of time to think about your lifestyle and the choices you make in your life. The last few days I've been filled with doubt about my upcoming marathon and the real worry is that I wont run under 4 hours. There, I've said it out loud, or rather written it - but at least it out. I'm not worried about getting through the 26.2 miles, I'm worried about not hitting my target time. Being goal orientated and ambition is one thing, but losing focus on why you do certain things...now that's just sad. Forgetting the joy with running and being too pre-occupied with worrying about running a personal best is not on.
I do believe in discipline, dedication, determination and devotion. I think all four words are needed for a succesful marathon, but I also think it's important not to take over your life completely. Be focused, but don't let your self worth depend on your achievements. Don't lose track of why you do things or why you started. You're good enugh as you are, regardless of your acheievements. We're all a little broken and dented, like old antiquities, but that doesn't mean we're worth less. It's nothing wrong with being a little bit broken, both physically and mentally, so don't beat yourself up about it.
 As I implied in the begining of my post I worry about being a bit, well, mad. Maybe I am...I definitely am OCD with many things in my life. That's why I need to take a deep breath and say: 'Hello, my name is Josefine and I'm a little bit broken - and that's ok.' Now I just need to convince myself that it's also ok not to run my upcoming marathon in under 4 hours, but let's take baby steps, shall we!?!

New Reading

As I told you on Wednesday I'd ordered some books and yesterday they arrived (that's one thing I love with living in England,you get  mail on Saturdays). The first book I got is Racing Weight, which is not a diet book, but a book about performance wight management. It's a book about how to improve your diet quality in order to maximize the results of your efforts, A lot of it is 'common sense' but the book also give you a 6 step method to keep in mind. For me the lure of the book lies in the 'optimize your performance part'. I spend hours training in order to improve and cut time on my marathon and even though there's no 'aesthetic' reason for me to lose any weight (I'm not really skinny but I'm not obese either) I do find it interesting to see how much my performance could improve with less weight to drag around.

The second book I bought is Runner's World Run Less, Run Faster. As someone who likes to do different kinds of training the idea of having three key runs a week is very appealing. Reducing the risk for injury by running less but still getting faster is another great plus point and I look forward to delving into the book.. It also has training programs for the Boston Marathon, for all the 16 qualifying times.... Now, as Captain Slow I'd have to cut 20-25 minutes of my current marathon time to get under the qualifying time, but who knows - miracles do happen....

6 Apr 2013

A Reminder To Myself

Anxiety Girl

'Don't panic! Most importantly you are ready for the marathon (you have been for months), you can do this. Look after your body and approach your recovery in the same disciplined way you've approached your training.'
After having a total freakout about my (non-existant) marathon training yesterday I today woke up to a message from my very wise friend Zoe. As much as I'm disciplined with my training, I'm not quite as disciplined with my rest and recovery.... But that is now exactly what I have to be. I have to put away all the doubt and fears and have faith in the training I've done over the winter and just focus on getting well. Yesterday I was feeling absolutely rubbish but today I am feeling slightly more on the mend, which is why I have to be disciplined and stay resting. I'm in this for the long run and that's what I have to keep in mind, stupitidy can't risk that.
So what am I doing today then? I think I'm going to watch rubbish TV, eat ice cream (it's allowed when you're ill....) and not think about my marathon at all.
This is me in a nutshell....

4 Apr 2013

If Your Head Is Stupid, Your Body Will Suffer.

That's a straight translation from a Swedish saying and I don't know if there's an English version. The moral of the story is that if you act foolishly, you'll suffer. After having been home from work yesterday, resting, I was going to work today and since it's my routine to go to Body Pump before work on Tuesdays and Thursday I made my way to the gym bright and early. Bad decision. Bad, bad, decision. It wasn't a rubbish session, even if I took it easy after holiday and illness, but I didn't feel all that great after....achey in general, snotty, coughy and headachey. Work was hard and I, more than once, wished that I hadn't gone neither to the gym nor to work. Luckily enough I got to go home early and I'm now tucked up in th sofa watching 'The Big Bang Theory'.

But on the plus side I got to try (most) of the new release, Body Pump 85. So what did I make of it?! Since it was a 45 minute class we today only did biceps and triceps but I quite liked what we did. The best parts were the chest track (although that cover version of Muse's Uprising hurt badly in an old Muse fan's soul), the back track brought back the push press which I like and the tricep track had a bit of everything to make it burn (un)pleasantly. I didn't care for the abs track at all, I like to have some planks in the track. I'm now looking forward to try the lunge track (even if I in general don't like the new lunge tracks as they have too little lunges and too much squatting and jumping....) and the shoulder track. The leg and bicep track was perfectly adequate and the warm up was nice. Thumbs up, for the Body Pump 85!

I might think that the new Muse record is absolute cack, but this will always be one of my favourite songs.

3 Apr 2013

Itching To Run

Being back in London I was meant to go back to work this morning, but this nasty cough I'm sporting at the moment prevented that. I've been sitting in my bed for most of the morning itching to run (stressing about the upcoming marathon....) but instead browsing the internet, willing my body to recovery as soon as possible. Seeing I can't write about my own training at the moment I'll instead share my thoughts and browsing history from this morning...:

  • Barefoot running: My housemate sent me this video where they talk about barefoot running/minimalist shoes. I wasn't all that interested in the whole thing, dismissing it as something only the really hardcore people did - until my big sister impressively went and ran an ultra (you can see her in the fourth picture, sporting no 2) and started using the Five Fingers for training. Now I am the owner of a several pairs of shoes with a minimalist design, and I love them!
  • Adidas Boost. So yeah, I caved in and got them (thank god for internet shopping). As much as I like the idea of minimalist shoes I do think I want a pair of more supported shoes for my marathon and I wanted to see what the hype was all about. Stay tuned for a later review!
  • Body weight exercises: Being a weak person I was mightily impressed when I stumbled over this! I like the idea of doing body weight exercises and I very much like the idea of being all bad ass and doing all these exercises. And sure, I can do a chin (ONE chin, nothing more) so I guess that's a start?!
  • Books: Run faster without getting burned out (good for those of us who are busy over-achievers) and weight management as means to better performance (for those of us who carry a few pounds too many but only want to shred them to perform better).
  • Stretching: A hot topic - should you stretch or not? I often feel a bit guilty for not stretching as much as I should(?!) but this article seem to suggest I shouldn't feel the least bit guilty...
  • Tights: I might have bought the most comfortable pair ever when I was home in Sweden, by Swedish brand Röhnisch. They've got this fairly high and broad waist which makes the fit and comfort great - I  can't wait to try them on!

2 Apr 2013

Stop Being Sad

Today I'm going back to London after a lovely time back home. The sun is still shining and it doesn't feel all that appealing to go back to big ole' London with all its noises and people when it's quiet and empty here. You could say I am a bit sad. But although it's nothing bad being sad I try to should sometimes take a step back and remember that I do have a good life, in London and here in The Middle of Nowhere. So instead of being sad, I try and stay awesome instead, safe in the knowledge that I'll see all the people I love soon again.

1 Apr 2013


I'm an extremely goal orientated person. As in the picture above I set a goal and use a meticulous plan to reach that goal. See I love a good plan, it makes me feel safe and gives me a sense of purpose - as long as I stick to the plan I know I'll reach my goal. That's why falling ill makes me nervous, as it makes me stray from the plan. I lose one, two, three training sessions and it fill me with insecurites and messes with my self confidence. All of a sudden I start wondering if I'll really be able to run that marathon but this is where I need to take a deep breath, keep calm and carry on. Have faith in your body and your abilities, a few missed sessions wont break you but training too much might.

Yesterday I went for a quiet session with my sister, dressed in my new Adidas Adipure Motion shoes, laying down 11 slow kilometres in the Swedish sunshine. It might not have been my best run ever but it soothed my bruised self confidence and restored my faith in myself.