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.

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-20-33-59

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.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-15-02-50

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

The Crutch Chronicles: Episode 16

Oh hey there, it’s been a hot minute! Let’s have a quick recap of that whole injury thing. I feel that now that I’m 100% off crutches and basically back to normal, I should rename this series. But I also like that it serves as a reminder of how far I’ve come. Thoughts?

 

Where I’m at physically

Generally things are good with the old ankle. I’m weaning myself off wearing an ankle support for everyday activities like being at the office, but the fear of re-spraining the ankle is very real. Aside from some aching after running (onto that later) and a bit of swelling, I’m generally pain free – but I’m trying to walk as much as possible. It’s a perfect excuse to enjoy Spring in London.

IMG_1768

Exercise

I started the week at my Mum’s house in the countryside, taking a long weekend off work and travelling back on the Monday. Even though I was pretty knackered, I think I got a good week of workouts in!

  • Monday: Total rest day. As in, in bed napping by 6pm.
  • Tuesday: Sandbag circuits, 40 mins cardio & abs
  • Wednesday: Rest day – off to the physio!
  • Thursday: Kettlebell circuits, 40 mins cardio & abs
  • Friday: 30 mins cardio, some abs, and a walk down the South Bank because #summer.
  • Saturday: A day on my feet at the London Coffee festival, plus yoga to wind down in the evening
  • Sunday: Kettlebell & sandbag circuits, 20 mins running, 50 mins cardio, abs & stability work

 

IMG_1833
Yoga on the rooftop ❤

Food

Did I mention I’m loving the plant-based life?! Current favourites include avocado on toast, hummus and falafel, and a general mediteranean diet. Now that Spring is here I’m getting to eat lots of fresh strawberries and drink a ton of iced coffee – one of my favourite things in the world.

IMG_1862
Post-yoga iced coffee on the rooftop

Physio

I went to see my physio on Wednesday evening, and honestly things went as well as can be expected. I’m allowed to do walk/run intervals, but I have to balance that out with plenty of rest days and a good dose of hopping. (Apparently hopping on the spot, then side to side, and then forward and backward, is the best way to get my ankle used to load-bearing). Overall they’re happy with my progress, although I got a serious warning about taking it too quickly- running twice in two days the week before had definitely taken its toll on me.

IMG_1721

Running

I got to run again today! As I just mentioned, I’ve been advised to take rest days in between load bearing (ie. hopping or running) days. But today I got to truly crank it out on the treadmill for a full 20 minutes of run/walk intervals. Although I still have to be careful, it’s fantastic to gradually gain confidence on the treadmill. I don’t pay any attention to pace, but just focus instead on good technique and rocking out to my favourite tunes. It feels so good to be back… even if that comes with a ton of conditions.

IMG_1757
A sweaty mess but I don’t care!

Where I’m at mentally

 

Things are okay, I think. Being able to run again feels like a huge step in the right direction, although I’m still dealing with the Family Drama that’s draining a lot of my mental energy right now. It’s definitely an odd dynamic when running and exercise is your soul food – sometimes it’s hard to judge if a workout will tire you out or restore you mentally. But I guess it’s all about striking that balance!

 

How’s your week been? 

Do you struggle to strike a balance between running and rest?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

Five Minute Review: Norse Mythology

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 a little behind, however I’ve got about 4 books on the go at the moment, so I’m getting there! Here’s my five-minute review of my most recent find.

If I had to describe Norse Mythology in five words (or less), it would be:

Genuinely fucking brilliant.

neil-gaiman-norse-mythology-200000-1280x0

 

Gaiman has brought to life some of the oldest myths known in Europe, and gives the such an interesting insight into one of the cultures that most heavily influenced English and Germanic thinking. Top highlights include Thor having to dress up as a bride, a bird delivering poetry to the world in the form of mead, and most importantly, Ragnarok, or the end of the gods. Gaiman brings these to life in such a captivating way – I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author himself, and I highly recommend it for a dose of escapism in your life!

22116823

 

Would I recommend it to a friend? Absolutely! In fact, I already have!

Marks out of 10: 9

That’s all folks!

What should be the next book on my list? 

Lots of love,
Pippa

March Favourites

Wow. I’ve said this every month of 2017 so far, but this month really has been a whirlwind. I think it’s a combination of my new job, a recovering ankle and the unavoidable Family Situation.  I feel like I’m stretched slightly thin at the moment and to be honest it’s been a huge challenge, but I honestly feel like I’m just about managing to balance it all. So without further ado, here are some of my favourite products and things from March.

Scribbler Notebooks

For almost as long as I can remember, I’ve had a notebook glued to my hand. This serves dual purposes: firstly, I am very scatterbrained and prone to forget things unless I write them down. Secondly, I need a creative outlet for when times are tough. I’ve gotten through two Scribbler notebooks in the past month, and I’m a big fan. The layout is perfect for me, and they come in a variety of really gorgeous designs. Currently, I’m channelling a marbled vibe. Scribbling in notebooks has saved my bacon on multiple occasions recently- I can’t let anything slip past me!

notebook-1

Zinger Shots

I’ve been running a little ragged recently due to work and family commitments, alongside that whole trying to have a life thing. To be frank I’m pretty surprised I haven’t gotten sick yet, and whilst I give a lot of credit to my plant-based and nutrient-dense diet, I also have to give a shout out to this gorgeous ginger and turmeric shot I’ve been having in the morning. I pick one up at Whole Foods in the morning if I can feel that tickly feeling in the back of my throat that means I’m getting run down. So far, so good!James-White-Drinks-innovative-Zinger-range-of-shots

The Gym

I go through phases of how I workout – I think that’s the best way to keep it interesting. At the moment, I have to give special kudos to The Gym Group, for their affordable, clean and spacious gyms. Now, I’m strictly a do-it-yourself kinda girl when it comes to workouts, and so I don’t go to any of their classes. But recently I’ve been spending a lot of time at my two local branches – one near my office, the other near my flat – and they are just such good value for money. Sure, I sometimes wish there were more amenities in the  changing rooms, but honestly for the price I pay (under £30 for access to all branches nationwide) I’m pretty happy.

Coconut Chips

Since upping the intensity of my workouts recently, I’ve found myself turning into a bottomless pit of hungry. And in my case, hungry leads to hangry. What i’ve found useful is to to add healthy fats in my life (instead of my instinct to cram empty carbs down my throat). When it comes to a high-fat snack, coconut chips are perfect, and I’ve been enjoying these Coconut Curls from Ape. Nonetheless these work out a little bit pricey when you’re eating them every day, and so I’ve also recently bought a giant tub of Whole Foods Toasted Coconut Chips that I portion out throughout the day.

img_2130

Funkita Workout Kit

I know I’ve spoken about them at length, but this is a brand I can really get behind. Their workout kit is such good quality and so comfortable to wear. Plus, all the models on their website are strong and athletic- just what we need!

activewear.jpg

Happier

I’ve written about this already, but I’m absolutely in love with this podcast. I’m at that stage where I’m listening to it every day, gradually making my way through the back catalogue on iTunes. These ladies have so much wisdom, always distilled into real, actionable advice that can help improve your daily quality of life.

 rubin-podcast

PJs

I recently listened to an interview with Ariana Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and author of The Sleep Revolution. She had a multitude of incredibly wise and insightful things to say about sleep – and namely, how our society has degraded sleep to some weird, self-indulgent luxury. One of the things she mentioned is that we need to dress appropriately for sleep, and specifically, we shouldn’t wear workout kit to bed.  When you want to go to work, you dress for work; when you want to work out, you dress for your workout. So why shouldn’t it work for sleep?

As a person who is most certainly guilty of treating sleep as a necessary evil, what Ariana said resonated with me. And so, I have kitted myself out with not one, but two sets of pyjamas. Now when I go to bed, I feel kinda fancy, instead of just shoving on whatever gym shorts I have to hand. And I love it!

Norse Mythology

I recently downloaded the Audiobook of Norse Mythology, read by the author Neil Gaiman. Full disclosure, I thought I’d downloaded American Gods – another novel that had come highly recommended to me. Anyway, I digress. Norse Mythology is simply a re-telling of norse mythology… simple eh? It’s not a modern adaptation, nor is it a ‘twist’ on the tales; it’s just a really lively, vibrant and engaging telling of some of the oldest myths around. Gaiman just has a way with words. That’s all I can really say!

neil-gaiman-norse-mythology-200000-1280x0

The NHS

I’m fully aware that this isn’t the coolest thing to add to my favourites list, but I’m gonna put it out there anyway. The NHS is a freakin’ wonder. I get to see top, world-class specialists at the best hospitals in the UK, completely free of charge. I have had my fair share of medical interventions in recent months, and the most I’ve paid is probably around £8 for a prescription of painkillers. The NHS never ceases to amaze me.

 

So that wraps it up- my favourite things from the month of March.

So tell me, what have you been loving recently? 

Any book or podcast recommendations for me?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

The Crutch Chronicles: Episode 15

Hello kittens! As we write this I’m sat watching the Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race, feet up, glass of ginger beer to hand, and passed out chocolate labrador at my feet. It’s been pretty boujie. So let’s launch into our weekly recap of that whole broken ankle thing.

Where I’m at physically

The ankle has been much better over recent days, and I think a lot of that has to do with 1. taking it easy, and 2. my ankle support. I’ve been wearing a brace on for stability which has made a real difference. In addition to this I’ve been doing lots of stability work which I’m hoping will help.

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-21-28-46

Exercise

Another week, another set of workouts. I’ve been trying to balance getting workouts in with feeling a little bit tired, and so I took more rest days than usual.

The workouts were:

  • Monday: Sandbag circuit + 30 minutes cardio + stability
  • Tuesday: Kettlebell circuit + 30 minutes cardio + stability
  • Wednesday: Rest day and dinner with friends
  • Thursday: Full-body circuit + 40 minutes cardio + abs
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: Dog walking and a baby jog
  • Sunday: Dog walking and a baby jog

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 17.38.48.png
Dripping sweat. As per usual.

Food

Healthy fats have been where it’s at in general, and brunch has been king. Since going plant-based, I’ve been struggling recently to find a non-egg-based brunch option that I like, and recently I decided to take it back to basics with good old-fashioned avocado on toast. I went for brunch with Mama Bear at a gorgeous café in Hereford, and honestly the avo on toast was out of this world. I don’t even know what made it so good…but it was amazing!

IMG_1496.JPG

Running

I managed to do a bit of outdoors jogging over the weekend. (Full disclosure: this was against the advice of my physio). At the moment I’m allowed to do short treadmill intervals only, as the treadmill is a safe, flat and unchanging surface for my ankle. But I was out walking the dog on Saturday when it started to rain and frankly, I just wanted to get home that tiny bit more quickly. The roads in that area are good quality (no potholes) and almost abandoned, so I did a few jogging intervals. My pooch, bless him, didn’t even have to speed up his normal gait … that’s how slow I was. Nonetheless, I don’t care! I then followed it up with another jog/trot/walk around the area today in the lovely warm sun. Being able to run just feels like coming back to myself.

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 17.28.51

Where I’m at mentally

Work has been pretty mental over the last week but thankfully I’ve had a few different ways to unwind- the gym, podcasts and a good book amongst them. The longer days and better weather have been improving my mood, although frankly I know I just need to catch up on some sleep. But I’m at my mother’s house for a pamper weekend, so it’s brunch, dog walking and wine o’clock!

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 17.32.43.png

How’s your week been?

Lots of love,

Pippa