The Comeback Chronicles: Episode 5

Uhhh so it’s been a hot minute since i posted on here… apologies all round. Since I’m trying to get over myself and actually write something, I thought I’d share where I’m at currently, and what’s been happening recently.

What’s been going on

  • Summer has arrived in the UK and it’s hot as balls.
  • I’m a month into a new job and things are ramping up nicely.
  • Things have been a bit horrific in the UK politically, and that’s part of what’s led me to hide away under my pillow.
  • I’m in a bit of a lull with fitness – but maybe that’s the heat.

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Workouts

I’ve been trying to switch up my workouts to first thing in the morning, with about a 50% success rate. What’s bothering me about my morning workout attempts:

  1. I hate mornings.
  2. I’m not having very efficient workouts in the morning, (see above).
  3. I feel slightly rushed and don’t have time to play around and try new things.

I’m hoping that this is just part of the transitional phase, and that my workouts will get better as I start to get more used to being up earlier in the morning. For now I’ll generally get to the gym and do something fairly straightforward like the step machine or spin bike, before moving onto bodyweight and kettlebell circuits once I’m a bit more awake. My main goal at the moment is to be able to do a pull up – I’ll keep you posted on that one!

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Running

I’m in a funk with running, it has to be said. I’ve been going through the motions but not really feeling it. My ankle is still sore, and my calves are stiff pretty much every morning when I wake up. So it’s not ideal. I’m supposed to be running a Salomon Sunset Run this weekend but honestly I’m not sure I’m up to it. My calves feel raw and sore, and I think it might just be time for some TLC.

Everything else

I’ve been really busy recently with work, family time and hanging out with friends – a real priority since my birthday, when everyone was so lovely and reminded me how many people I have around me. As much as I love spending time with those close to me, I haven’t had much breathing space, and so I plan on getting some real self-care in over the weekend (read: sleep. God, i need sleep). But all things considered, it’s not a bad, heading for burnout kind of stress like I was feeling a few months ago – it’s more a whirlwind of activity, which I can definitely get on board with.

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How have you been? What’s new in your world? 

How do I get my mojo back?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

What a week…

Okay folks. You may (or  may not) have noticed that I didn’t post last week. I had written my weekly update and was ready to hit Publish when the events of Saturday night unfolded. A van rammed into pedestrians, and then men got out and began attacking unsuspecting Londoners with knives. Eight people died, with many more injured.

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Thankfully and luckily, I was at a friend’s house only a few miles down the road, and as such was never in any real danger. But I have to say it shook me – more so than previous attacks on the capital. The London Bridge and Borough area are like a second home to me. My running club is based just a few minutes from where the attacks took place; I drink at those bars and eat at those restaurants. The odds of me being a victim of the attack were always slim; but at the end of the day it could have been me, or someone I care about. The whole area holds a really special place in my heart; it’s where I’ve met some of my closest friends, and where I’ve had some of my most difficult, beautiful and meditative runs. It feels like home, and I was just so distraught to see it threatened and attacked in such a heartless way.

I was heartened, nonetheless, to hear stories of Londoners coming together; such as the wall of post-it note tributes,  countless cab drivers offering free rides to anyone caught up in the attack, and most importantly the Londoner who took his pint with him whilst fleeing from terrorists and became an unlikely symbol of resilience.

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I spent most of Sunday in a funk. I’d slept on my friend’s couch the night before – going home on public transport in the midst of a terrorist attack didn’t seem like the most prudent course of action – and I just couldn’t get my shit together. I was tired, both emotionally and physically, from watching the news unfold in the early hours of the morning, and I was stunned that this had actually happened in my city. Again.

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It’s been a weird week, all things considered. We started off with a nervous commute on Monday morning, an evacuation of Trafalgar Square – right by my office – on Wednesday; a general election on Thursday and the post-election chaos that ensued on Friday.

I’m sorry for this rant. It started off as an explanation of why I haven’t been posting this week; and then it just turned into something else. Normal service will resume tomorrow, I promise. But for now, I just wanted to profess my the overwhelming love and pride I have for my city, no matter what. We stand together. 

Lots of love,

Pippa

The Comeback Chronicles: Episode 4

Well it’s been a good week all things considered. I’m not sure how much I’m making a comeback in terms of running, but life has been good. So let’s catch up, shall we?

What’s been going on

It was my birthday!! On Monday I turned the ripe old age of 26, and brought in a new year with friends at the most gorgeous Italian restaurant. Aside from that it’s just been a fairly standard week at work with some exceptionally hot weather in London.

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Dreamy, dreamy London

 

Workouts & Fitness

This was the second week of my new morning workout regime, and I have to say it didn’t get off to the best start. Monday it was my birthday – and no way am I getting up to do a 6am workout on my birthday, thank you very much. Tuesday was the aftermath of slightly too many glasses of champagne, and so despite swearing blind to my Uber driver that I was getting up at 6am the next morning to go for a run … that didn’t quite materialise.! Nonetheless, these are the workouts I did manage to squeeze in:

  • Monday: Rest day – my birthday!!
  • Tuesday: Rest day – sliiiiightly hungover
  • Wednesday: Sandbag circuits, 30 mins cardio + abs
  • Thursday: 30 mins cardio + abs
  • Friday: Short circuit 30 mins cardio + abs
  • Saturday: Dog walks
  • Sunday: 4 mile run in the sweltering heat

Running

 

I stayed off the ankle for the most part this week, as everything was feeling very achey from The Comeback 10K. Today however I managed two loops of a 2 mile loop near my Mum’s house. It was glorious if not swelteringly hot, and so I ran mostly thinking about the iced coffee that was waiting for me at home!

 

Food & Nutrition

This week has to be one of my proudest weeks, nutrition wise. I got bought a gorgeous vegan birthday cake by my new colleagues, and I had the most scrumtious chocolatey-fudgey slice. Now this may not sound like a win, but for someone who’s typically struggled with food, even avoiding birthday cake in previous years, I was pretty damn proud of myself! Cake and prosecco are what it’s about sometimes – that’s why it’s called balance. And also, as if my colleagues went to the effort of tracking down vegan cake for me?! They may be keepers.

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Oh and did I mention there was a dog in the office on my birthday?!

Everything else

From an emotional point of view, things have been better. Whilst I still have the Family Drama going on, I’m now in a job which is a better fit for me culturally, and overall I feel more relaxed. I have a bit more headspace, and I’m able to process some of the things that have happened over the past few months – which can only be a good thing!

 

How’s your week been? 

Lots of love,

Pippa

Race Rundown: The Comeback 10k

Well well kittens. This Saturday marked my Comeback Race – also known as the Nice Work London Spring 10k. This was meant to be my official comeback to running, ankle 100% healed and feeling fresh. I’m not gonna lie, it didn’t quite go down like that. I still have a long way to go, but the race was a great way to remind myself of how far I’ve come. So without further ado, let’s jump into the rundown.

The Course:

Three 2-mile loops of Regents Park.

The Goal:

Back in the day I would always set myself three goals – not this time! I basically just wanted to finish. And not re-injure the ankle. Simple pleasures.

Pre Race

I was essentially in denial about this race until the night before, at which point I frantically messaged both Ed and Alan – recruited to help me along the course – and tried to get out of it. Long story short, they were having none of it. And so I stayed up far too late procrastinating, almost slept in, and rushed to the race. My pre-race nutrition was not on point; two cappuccinos, half a banana and a Trek bar. Not really what I’d go for normally, but I suppose it was better than nothing.

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Feeling fresh for the race. JKJK. 

During

We started out pretty strong, before my lack of running fitness and physical exhaustion (having worked out 4 mornings in a row that week, without stretching) started to kick in. Nonetheless I made it to the 5k mark without stopping, and only took a walk break just after that. The final lap was really tricky, and I took a loo break mainly as an excuse to stop running for a second – oops! We finished in around an hour – not too bad for a standard training run, but also a lot slower than normal.

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Post

To be honest I was feeling pretty shitty afterwards – a combination of feeling tired, defeated and embarrassed. I know I shouldn’t have felt embarrassed about my time, but honestly it was far from what I could have expected on a normal race day. I was also a lot more tired than I’d expected- I went home and slept for about 4 hours, before cancelling all my evening plans in favour of a night in.

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I was feeling nauseous, drained and my whole body was aching. I think this may have been dehydration, but honestly it didn’t help my emotional stability one bit. Taking a night off and staying in was absolutely the right decision, and I binge watched Dear White People on Netflix whilst eating rye crispbread – all my stomach could handle. I also took a hot bath which helped with my muscle aches, and felt much better the following morning.

What I learnt:

  • Lowering your expectations and checking your ego is key
  • Not resting at all the week of the race was probably a bad idea
  • A 10k can take a lot out of you, especially if you haven’t done one in a long time
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself

How do you deal with a bad race? And do you nap afterwards?

Love,

Pippa

The Comeback Chronicles: Episode 3

Well kittens. Another week, another update! After writing a whole post for last week’s update, it went entirely missing… and so we have a lot to catch up on from the past two weeks!

What’s been going on

Last week I was at Ecocamp Glenshee for some well-deserved relaxation in the form of running, cycling and fresh air. Then this week, I started my new job – it’s been intense! I’m writing this feeling pretty knackered after a combination of a new job, switching my workouts to the morning, and my first race back after the broken ankle. Exciting stuff, huh?

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Workouts & Fitness

I was very active in Scotland – when the scenery is that beautiful, you just have to get outside. But then this week, I took the fresh start of a new job as an opportunity to start a new habit – something I learned from Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast – and so I switched my workouts to first thing in the morning before work. It’s been tough and it’s still very much a work in progress, but I think I was pretty successful for the first week!

Last Week

  • Monday: 40k cycle, 2k swim
  • Tuesday: 4 mile run
  • Wednesday: Short 16k cycle (absolutely knackered)
  • Thursday: 40k cycle
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: 30 minute run, 10 min row, abs & circuits
  • Sunday: Rest day but a teeny circuit on the rooftop

This Week

  • Monday: Rest day – first day at the new job
  • Tuesday: Kettlebell circuits, 30 mins cardio + abs
  • Wednesday: Sandbag circuits, 30 mins cardio + abs
  • Thursday: Sandbag circuits, 30 mins cardio + abs
  • Friday: 30 mins cardio + abs
  • Saturday: The Comeback 10k!
  • Sunday: Rest. I need it.

 

Running

After one run at the start of last week, the ankle was feeling a bit sore, and so I decided to rest it up in preparation for The Comeback 10K, which was yesterday. I might actually write a full race report on that but TLDR; it hurt, and was actually a lot tougher than I expected on my body! A humbling experience for someone who used to treat a 10k as a short training run. How the mighty have fallen (literally)!  I’ll be taking it easy for now…

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Food & Nutrition

I have to say my food choices have been on point the past two weeks; highlights include a gorgeous hummus, beetroot falafel and roasted vegetable wrap from Nero of all places; and lunch with a new colleague at 26 Grains in Covent Garden. Avocado on rye with an oat milk cappuccino on the side. The stuff of dreams!

 

Everything else

I’ve been settling nicely into the new job, although the Family Drama keeps rearing its ugly head and making things difficult emotionally. Nonetheless I’m trying to take it easy on myself, with lots of treats and weekend naps. I was in quite a low place after The Comeback 10k, as I was feeling nauseous as well as achey and emotional – I think a lot of it turned out to be dehydration, but it’s forced me to acknowledge that my body needs to rest.

 

How’s your week been? 

Lots of love,

Pippa