An Evening with Dean Karnazes

Last week I was lucky enough to attend Never Stop London’s event An Evening with Ultramarathon Man Dean Karnazes. The whole event was in anticipation of the London Marathon, and was part of the promotional tour for Dean’s new book, The Road to Sparta.

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The evening took the form of an interview with Dean, followed by Q&A from the floor, and then wrapping up with a book signing. It was a great evening, all thing said, and here are some of the things I learned:

 

Dean Karnazes does not get muscle cramps

“Those things look really painful!” – Direct quote. This, I have to say, made me hate him a little.

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Running is all down to good biomechanics

I mean, at least as far as Dean is concerned. And whilst a lot of your biomechanics is genetic, there’s still a lot you can do. This comment in particular has given me a kick up the backside to work on my own…er, backside. Yoga and pilates can do a lot for runners, and I’m determined to complement these with strength training and mobility work as I make my comeback.

Fuelling an ultramarathon with dates will not go well for you

When Dean did the Road to Sparta, he decided to fuel “as his ancestors did”- and that involved a lot of dates, olives and bread. Sadly, it would turn out, dates are not great for the digestive system… let’s just leave it there.

Dean Karnazes has an insanely high lactic threshold

Dean has, like many elite athletes, been studied at depth by the sports science community. At one point, he was stuck on a treadmill for a lactic threshold test that should have taken 20-30 minutes. He was on there for over three hours, unable to reach the lactic threshold, and had to leave before the test could be completed…. he had to go pick up his kids. As Dean said, sometimes it comes down to good genetics.

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Keeping active throughout the day is just as key as having a “workout”

Dean not only runs almost every day; he has a standing desk, and switches up his work day with HIIT circuits, pull ups and core work. The idea of not just having an actual workout in the day, but just having that active mentality really hit home for me – it definitely fits with my whole Move your frame mantra for 2017.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how humble Dean was for a man of such impressive abilities. Later on I saw that during his London Marathon effort he decided to stop, on several occasions, to give out hugs and have a chat with supporters. Love that guy!

How did everyone get on at London?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

 

The Crutch Chronicles: Episode 18

Hello kittens!

This week has been an odd one at best. It’s been one of those weeks where you just have to cling on and hope for the best, but thankfully it’s over now. I’m sat here writing this just before heading out to the London Marathon (spectating, not running)… so here we go!

 

Where I’m at physically

The ankle is pretty good, to be honest. I’ve done three running sessions, and aside from some slight tension over the site of the original injury, I have to say she’s holding up pretty well! I’m suffering a little from plantar fasciitis, which is most likely the result of such a traumatic injury to the ankle and a tightening of all the muscles in my lower leg. But plantar fasciitis is something I can deal with, and I’m just grateful it’s nothing worse at this stage.

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Exercise

After a long weekend lazing at home with Mama Bear, I was raring to go with my workouts come Monday. But oddly enough my regular gym was closed for maintenance for a week, forcing me to switch it up slightly with the timing and location of my workouts. Being the creature of habit that I am, I didn’t particularly enjoy this, but I made it work the best I could! My focus for next week is to switch at least some of my workouts to early morning… but more on that later.

  • Monday: Kettlebell & sandbag circuits, abs, 20 minutes cardio, 30 mins running (!)
  • Tuesday: 40 minutes cardio, abs
  • Wednesday: 20 mins running (!), 10 mins cardio + abs
  • Thursday: Rest day and meeting Dean Karnazes (!)
  • Friday: 30 mins cardio + abs
  • Saturday: Sandbag circuits, abs, 30 minutes running & 10 minutes rowing
  • Sunday: London Marathon day!

I have to say, being as tired as I am right now, weight training has slightly gone out of the window. I want to lift more weights as strength training is incredibly gratifying, but it’s just a case of striking that balance.

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Food

I have to be honest and say that this week hasn’t been the best, food-wise. I don’t think I’ve been eating enough to support higher levels of activity which meant I had a few vegan fails, including reaching for Quest bars and store-bought sandwiches that I knew had animal products in. But that’s the whole point of a transitional phase- you get to slip up every once in a while. It doesn’t mean I’m any less committed to a plant-based diet- I just have to live and learn!

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However, avo on toast has been 👌🏽

Running

I’ve been able to get a few runs in this week, so that’s been really great. With the London Marathon coming up, it’s probably just as well. I’m surrounded by running events, films and expos, and I don’t think I’d have been able to cope had I still been on the injury bench! My runs have all been on the treadmill- I’ve been able to gradually increase to 3 min jog intervals with a 1 minute break. It’s incredibly gratifying to be able to run again, and it just feels so inherently natural to me.

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Where I’m at mentally

I’ve been struggling recently with a feeling of burnout from a lot of the things going on ini my life right now, but honestly running is helping me ground myself and keep things moving!

How’s your week been? 

 

Lots of love,

Pippa

The Crutch Chronicles: Episode 17

Happy Easter everybody!

As I write this, I’m heading out for Easter brunch with Mama Bear and the dog, which will be followed by a nice long walk. I’ve had a busy week at work – trying to cram five days’ worth of work into four in time for the long weekend- but now I’m at home, walking the dog, drinking coffee and being all-round boujie. The highlight of my week has been signing up to a half marathon in September with my running club, which will give me something to work towards as I rehab my ankle back to its former glory. So without further ado, here’s the update!

Where I’m at physically

The ankle is still pretty sore to be honest. I don’t know what it is, but on days when I’m stressed it seems to swell up like a motha. I have no idea why- especially since I’ve barely worked out all week! Makes me think of good old Karen:

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Exercise

I’m gonna put my hands up and say it’s not been the best week of workouts. I’ve had a crazy busy week at work, which included several late nights – the best I could do was to make sure the takeout we ordered into the office was healthy. After working late on Tuesday I did consider trying to shift my workout to the following morning, but that would have meant a 5.30am start which is totally not what I’m about.

  • Monday: Kettlebell & sandbag circuit, 30 minutes cardio + abs
  • Tuesday: Working late
  • Wednesday: Working very late
  • Thursday: On a late-ass train to the countryside for Easter weekend
  • Friday: Dog walks and running intervals
  • Saturday: Dog walks
  • Sunday: Dog walks

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Food

I’m currently experiencing this stress thing where I completely lose my appetite and only notice hunger when I’m physically shaking. As a result I’m trying to be more conscious of  snacking gradually throughout the day, even when I don’t feel hungry. One of my favourite snacks right now – strawberries straight from the punnet. Nothing says springtime like strawberries!

 

Running

Since I ran last Sunday, I’ve been experiencing a lot of pain in the ankle and so have been pretty limited in what I can do. Nonetheless I ran a teensy bit on Friday which was pretty great, and I’m hoping to head to the gym on Easter Monday (four day weekend, amirite?!) – so I’ll get on the treadmill then. As a side note, is anyone else crazy hyped for the Boston Marathon? I’ll probably shirk off all my adult responsibilities and just live stream the entire thing…because adulting is hard!

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Where I’m at mentally

I’ve been struggling with long work days, the Family Thing, and the inevitable attempt to maintain balance in all aspects of my life. Thankfully I’ve planned a half marathon in September, which will give me a goal to work towards and something positive to focus on. Aside from that, I’ve spent the Easter weekend at Mama Bear’s, getting lots and lots of sleep.

How’s your week been? 

How are you making the most of the four-day weekend?

Lots of love,

Pippa

Five Minute Review: Trump & Me

As you may know, I set myself a 2017 goal to read 52 books in a year – averaging one per week. Full disclosure: I’m totally screwed. But still! Here’s my five minute book review.

If I had to describe Trump & Me in five words, it would be:

Depressing, hilarious, terrifying, worrying, insightful.

Trump & Me is a three-part short publication profiling our favourite tangerine tyrant. Written by Mark Singer of The New Yorker, it gives a brief albeit insightful glance into Donald Trump’s psyche. I will say that it presumes a lot of prior knowledge about Trump’s business deals and the property industry in general, so at some points I was a bit stuck (or was that just my hangover?) – however, it’s still a great read. It just made me think this would be hilarious, if this wasn’t the leader of the free world we were talking about here. So there you have it. A good read on a bad man. (See what I did there?)

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Would I recommend it to a friend? If that friend was looking to keep up to date on current affairs.
Marks out of 10: 8
That’s it folks!
What should be the next book on my list? 

Lots of love,
Pippa

Starting from Scratch

As I’m sure you’re aware if you’ve been reading this blog for a hot minute, I injured myself rather severely at the end of 2016. It was a totally shit time, and honestly I appreciate all the kind word I’ve received on here. Nonetheless there are two pieces of advice that really stuck with me.

There’s a future you six months from now looking back at this blog post and remembering how you feel. And that future you is just fine and killing it at running Fed @ Feddybear

If you’re going to have to relearn to run, at least you have the chance to relearn good habits along with it. Hanna @ The Minimalist Marathoner

Let’s look at these in more detail.

The first is a call to action. It got me off my butt and motivated to do my physiotherapy exercises, which at that stage consisted of standing on two feet. (That’s how screwed I was). It made me think of the long game, and think forward to sometime in 2017 when I would be Back, when I would be A Runner again. And it gave me hope and inspiration to carry on during one of the hardest periods in my life.

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As for the second, it made me think of all the things I could be doing to make my eventual comeback that more successful. It’s come into play in the past few weeks as I’ve been back in the gym. I’ve been able to up my cardio, which I’m hoping I can translate into a good level of fitness, and moreover I’ve placed more emphasis recently on strength training and building power in my muscles. Then comes the final part, which is rest and recovery. Hannah pointed out that this was an opportunity to do it right and un-learn all those bad habits we runners pick up on the way.

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So my question is … how would you start from scratch if you could? And how do you do things that your future self will thank you for?

Seriously, help a girl out! I want to make sure I only make one comeback, and I want to have at least a season free from injury.

This is a call for help- but also, a thank you for everyone who sent me their kind thoughts over the past few months!

Lots of love,

Pippa