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

 

 

Five Minute Review: The Happiness Project

I set myself a 2017 goal of reading 52 books in a year. The aim of this goal was primarily to get me just reading more, even when I didn’t particularly feel like it. I have to say I’ve been struggling up until now, as I haven’t read many books recently that have really captured me. However, here’s a good one for ya!

If I had to describe The Happiness Project in five words, it would be:

Easily digestible and actionable wisdom

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Gretchen Rubin had a realisation a few years ago whilst on a bus in the middle of a New York rush hour: her life was passing her by. Whilst she had every reason to be happy, she wasn’t always appreciative of what she had in life, and she was half-assing it somewhat. And so she decided to embark on a one-year happiness project, which is the subject of this book. The goal was to see if she could change her life without changing her life. For every month of the year, Gretchen takes you through her focus – be that living simplistically, showing gratitude, eating well or being a better parent.

 

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Although it sounds slightly vapid and superficial, it really does have some learnings about how to live a better and happier life, through small, actionable steps that can have a profound impact.

Would I recommend it to a friend? Absolutely! Although… you could just listen to her podcast.
Marks out of 10: 8
That’s it folks!
What should be the next book on my list? 

Lots of love,
Pippa

 

 

April Favourites

April was, as per usual, absolutely mental. I’ve had the same old injury, family drama and a busy work life going on, so the main focus of my favourites have been recovery, rest and treating myself. That being said, May is looking far better so far- but maybe that’s just cos I’m on holiday! Anyway, without further ado, here are my favourites!

 

Therapearl Ice Pack

This has been a relatively late addition to my life despite having been injured for absolutely forever. It got embarrassing when i had to admit to my physio that I hadn’t been icing my ankle because I’d run out of frozen peas. Oops. Anyhow, this ice pack was inexpensive and does the trick. I’ve been strapping it to my leg using a theraband, but I helpfully discovered that they also offer one that has its own strap. Handy!

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The London Coffee Festival

And in particular, this gorgeous Dragonfruit & Hazelnut Mylk Latte courtesy of Plenish – this is what dreams are made of.

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Avocado on Toast

As I started experimenting with veganism a few months ago, the one thing I missed was poached eggs on toast- my standard Saturday brunch order. However now I’ve discovered avocado on toast and I have to say it’s the freakin’ best. You can get it pretty much anywhere, and it makes you feel all yummy and nourished inside ❤

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Vega Chocolate Protein Powder

After my fails with various vegan protein powders, I was a little hesitant to try a new one. However the Vega protein powder came with great reviews, and I bought it when it was on offer in Whole Foods. It’s great for a vegan alternative to whey protein, and I blend it with ice and coffee, which brings me onto…

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Protein coffee on the rooftop ❤

Press’d Coffee

I discovered these guys at the London Coffee Festival earlier on in April. When I saw that their offer was liquid concentrate coffee I was 100% skeptical. However I tried some, loved the taste, and immediately bought myself two little squeezy bottles. It’s essentially ultra-concentrated coffee that can be added to hot water, or even to iced coffee, smoothies and baking. The only thing I will say is that it’s hard to show restraint when it comes to portion size- and this stuff is strong!

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Tiggs

I discovered this amazing salad dressing at a farm shop in Herefordshire, and immediately fell in love. Tiggs do a whole range of dressings including beetroot and carrot, but the pea and basil one is my absolute favourite. It’s like a pesto except just that little bit healthier and, of course, vegan! I’ve been adding it to avo on toast for a delicious, easy dinner.

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I don’t currently have any podcast recommendations, since I’ve been losing many an hour lost in a new audiobook series – but I’ll fill you in soon!

 

What have your favourites been this month? Any products I should try out?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

In which I sign up to *all* the races

As part of The Comeback Chronicles (sequel to The Crutch Chronicles), I apparently decided to make my return to running *official* by entering far more races than I can really afford or justify. And let’s not even talk about the fact that my ankle is still screwed. Ignoring all that, here’s a rundown:

 

Vilnius Half Marathon

When: 10th September, 2017

Where: Vilnius, Lithuania

This is the main goal race of the year; the one that’s gonna get me back in gear as a runner, as I make my slow but steady comeback. My running club does at least one big destination race each year, and Vilnius won the vote! It’s an opportunity to travel to a place I’d never have had an excuse to go to, plus it’s really cheap which helps a lot.

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Swim Serpentine 

When: 17th September, 2017

Where: The Serpentine, a 40-acre lake slap bang in the middle of Hyde Park, London.

I have never swum in open water before, nor do I own a wetsuit, but it’s gonna be a good opportunity to learn! I’m mainly doing this because I lack the motivation to actually get my butt in the pool. Once I’ve set a goal and parted with the cash though, it’s always much easier for me to find motivation. Once I’m actually in the swimming pool, I really enjoy swimming, it’s just actually getting there that’s the issue! Luckily though, I have several friends who are triathletes and confident open water swimmers, so I’ll be taking all the help I can get! As a side note, is it really weird that I’m doing this mainly to become a better runner…?

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The Big Half

When: 4th March, 2018

Where: Basically the London Marathon route

I got caught up in the excitement surrounding this brand new race, taking place in March 2018. It follows almost the same route as the London Marathon – except that obviously, it’s half the distance. Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn has endorsed it, plus there are discounted entries for inhabitants of the London boroughs on the route… and so I bit the bullet!

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London Marathon 2018 (Ballot) 

When: 22nd April, 2018

Where: The streets of my favourite city

Let’s be honest it’s the freakin’ London Marathon, what else needs saying? I’ve entered the general ballot, and I’ll get an extra ballot entry through my athletics club and a third ballot entry by doing the Swim Serpentine event. My odds are pretty good at this stage, and so I’d better get my butt in gear! My main concern at this stage is my calves which gave out about 2 weeks before Budapest Marathon, and so I’m really focused on actually getting that fixed.

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Aside from these races I’m sure there will be a ton of other smaller events I end up signing up for. For the running, my main goals are to make only one comeback, and make it properly. As for the swimming… I have no idea what I’m doing, so I’m all ears!

 

Any tips for my comeback? What races have you signed up for?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa