Trying out Esquared PLUS Promo Code!

The lovely folks at Esquared approached me to try out the newest London-based fitness app – an opportunity that I snatched up right away! This is an honest review, and all opinions are my own – promise! 

As most of my lovely readers will know, I’m a keen runner and all-round fitness enthusiast. I’m always on the lookout  for new and exciting ways to enjoy fitness in the city, but like most Londoners, I hate the idea of being tied down by a contract. That’s why Esquared, a new London-based fitness app, seemed right up my alley! So let’s jump in:

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What is Esquared? 

Esquared describes itself as “the only place to book on demand exercise classes and gym sessions in real-time. No membership. No commitments. No catches.” It’s a bit like ClassPass, but without having to pay up-front for credits- you just pay as you go.

Some of the studios on offer through the app include:

  • Best’s Bootcamp
  • Fierce Grace Yoga
  • Good Vibes
  • More Yoga

How it works

It’s really simple to get started on the app- just download through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store  and sign up in a few steps. Then, you’re good to go! You can easily top up your account, or use my promo code (further down) for your first class free – exciting stuff!

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Personally, I’m concentrating on my running at the moment, so was looking for classes to complement my training. Straight away, I found two of my favourite London studios, Good Vibes and More Yoga, and signed up for classes straight away. (Side note – I always forget how difficult pilates and yoga are… and regret signing up about 10 minutes in!)

 

You can sync the app with the calendar on your phone, meaning that you can keep track of classes, and get reminders, and make changes to your booking if you need to. I found this really handy, as some evenings after work I’d find myself in the mood for something other than a regular gym session – and I could make bookings right away!

Once you’re finished with your class, the app asks you to provide a quick review to help other users make their decision. It’s as simple as that!

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Don’t mind me, on the way to Sunday yoga

The Pros 

  • Really easy to use; syncing to your calendar is a really nice bonus and helps you manage your classes on the move
  • Easy cancellation – you can cancel up to an hour before your class without losing your credit
  • No limits on the number of classes you can do at any given studio (unlike ClassPass)
  • In-app payment is really simple, and there seem to be quite regular promo codes

The Cons

  • Still relatively limited in terms of studios – would love to see the likes of Another Space and Psycle on there!
  • You have to review every class straight away, before you can book any more. This is a bit frustrating as you might want to leave a longer review, and that could get in the way of your next class!

Is it worth it? 

Overall, I do think it’s worth it. I would absolutely love to see more variety in the classes on offer – think hot yoga, Crossfit and ballet barre – but for someone who wants flexibility, and likes to book classes at the last minute, it’s perfect!

Promo Code! 

And now to the good part – a promo code for followers of Pip in Motion! It’s super simple:

  • Download the app through the App Store or Google Play Store
  • Enter the promo code PCALVIN20564 
  • Voilá! £20 credit to try your first class with Esquared!

 

What’s your favourite way to keep fit in the city? Have you tried Esquared? 

Lots of love,

Pippa

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Five Minute Review: Running Man

One of my aims for the year is to average a book a week, making that 52 in total. I want to capture at least some of them here, as I believe reading and learning is a key facet to mindfulness and living in a fulfilled way. But hey, we’ve all got busy lives. So in that vein, here’s your five-minute book review!

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If I had to describe Running Man in five words, it would be:

Interesting adventures, somewhat weak narrative.

If you’re a runner, you’ll probably have exhausted all the obvious choices when it comes to running literature- Born to Run, Eat & Run, Running with the Kenyans…etc. etc. I turned to Running Man for a dose of running-based inspiration, and whilst it delivered that in spades: charting the author’s journey from drug and alcohol addiction, to ultra marathon adventure racing, to prison and then to rehabilitation; the narrative structure was sometimes lacking. It was very much a chronological telling of the events in the author’s life, but lacked cohesiveness and an overarching message. Don’t get me wrong, there was still a wealth of insights to be learned from such an adventurous and often troubled spirit; it’s just that perhaps the autobiography wasn’t the best vessel to convey them.

Would I recommend it to a friend? If they were a runner, maybe.

Marks out of 10: 5
This concludes the review.

Tell me, have you read Running Man?

What books would you recommend I read?

Lots of love,

Pippa

2016: A Final Recap

It’s 2017. Yay!

All I can say is, it’s been a rollercoaster. It was a challenging year all round, what with a slew of current affairs nightmares and celebrity deaths. Nonetheless, it wasn’t all bad- here’s one final recap!

crazyrunninggirl-oatmeal-2016-quote-768x768January:

January began with a slight lack of motivation that was swiftly and thankfully followed by  being given the all-clear to marathon train! And then came the training itself! I started the New Year with a determination to get dating and started seeing someone relatively early on in the year.

February:

Marathon training really took its toll on life and I learned a lot of lessons about maintaining balance in all aspects of my life including work, dating and a social life. The highlight of the month was a trip to my parents’ house, where I raced and took first female at The Golden Gallop

March:

I passed my 3 month appraisal at work, though it was a few days after breaking up with the guy I’d been seeing, and it didn’t go as well as I had hoped…oops. You live and learn. In other news, I completed my first ever 20 – miler which marked a huge shift in the way I perceived myself as an athlete. I’d just completed this amazing thing I hadn’t even thought myself capable of a few months ago!

April:

I ran my first marathon in Manchester! Even though it was tough, and I got my ass well and truly handed to me, I’m so glad I did it! The rest of the month consisted of recovery, a ton of gorgeous yoga classes, and spectating friends at the London Marathon.

May:

My birthday! I set out goals for the year of 25, which included putting myself out there more, trying new things and making a real effort to expand my social circle. I also cut all my hair off! Pixie cut for the win.

June:

The high point was Dorking 10 miler with the running club, followed by the horrific low point that was Brexit. Ugh. Come on England, what were you thinking?

 

July:

Training for Budapest Marathon began with a horrifically hungover 10 mile long run! I had been at a local festival the night before (hosted by my boss) and there had been tequila. Youch. In other news for July, I discovered yoga at Another Space, which has become my ultimate yoga class when in London.

August:

Battersea Park 5k signalled my first ever 5k race one balmy Summer’s eve in London. I had the first nigglings of a calf issue then, which put me on rest from running right up until my trip to Iceland. Reykjavik Half was a gorgeous race day and a lovely holiday- my calf held up, the weather was beautiful, and I ran next to Christy Turlington, beating her by a matter of seconds!

August was a great month and my inspiration was at an all-time high. One of my favourite female ultra-runners Nikki Kimball left me a comment on my WCW postand I wasted a good afternoon intended for blogging watching the Rio 2016 Women’s Marathon in my favourite coffee shop. But hey, if you enjoyed wasting it, it wasn’t really time wasted!

 

September:

One of my closest friends left me! The fantastic Geni is off doing aid work in Kosovo for two years, supporting a community that desperately needs it- and in tough conditions too! She was my brunch buddy, personal therapist, cheerleader and coffee enthusiast. My plan is to go and visit her soon.

Training wise, I got into a total slump, but managed to dig myself out of it thanks to sage advice from Coach Andy, as well as just taking the pressure off! I started climbing again – a former love of mine, and rediscovered another way to move my body and feel empowered.

Oh, and a low point? My favourite podcast Running on Om stopped and I mourned. Still in mourning to this day!

October:

I was lucky enough to snag tickets to The OM Yoga show and zenned out for a full day, doing a multitude of free classes, trying amazing vegan eats, and most importantly getting free samples. I was saddened when I realised an old calf injury (see August) resurfaced, and it became clear that I wouldn’t be able to run the full marathon distance in Budapest. However, I ran the 30k, and had a great holiday with a huge contingent from City Athletics. I saw a city I’d never have found an excuse to travel to; ate great food, and drank many a glass of wine.

November:

I was made redundant right at the start of November, which started things out on a bit of a low. Nonetheless, I kept busy (my way of coping) with my new Gymbox membership, plenty of physical activity, and even a running and brunch pop-up! In other news, I was told that my landlord intends to sell my flat, so I’ll be having to move out in the coming months. Not ideal timing, but not a horrific situation either.

December:

December was spent wrapping up at work, and hitting the pavements on a job hunt. I met with some amazing companies and secured two job offers (which are still in consideration). I spent time with the people closest to me at many a Christmas party, and balanced it out with some great workouts. Then, a week before Christmas, I broke my ankle. Or maybe tore a ligament. We still don’t know. Cue going home to my parents’ house a little earlier than expected, for good food, a few glasses of wine, and snuggles with my puppy.

 

All in all, it’s been a year of ups and downs. Nonetheless I feel like I’m in a relatively positive place, in terms of my ability to handle the trials and tribulations that come my way. I have a great group of friends, including many a City Runner, and I’ve had some great experiences this year. If so much can happen in one year, I’m excited to think where I’ll be in 12 months time!

 

What was your highlight of 2016? Any favourite race?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

The Crutch Chronicles: Christmas

Christmas was somewhat difficult this year. I love Christmas spent with my family, but at the same time it can be quite intense. Running is usually my way to cope- physically removing myself from potentially overwhelming situations and substituting them for fresh air and endorphins. Sadly this year that was not the case. Add to that the fact that I’m somewhat incapacitated, and can’t actually do a lot for myself (even make a cup of coffee!) and you can see why this year was a Christmas I’d rather forget.

You know how it’s easy and often tempting to regress into old family dynamics when returning to your family home? Well it’s quite tricky not to do that when you’re physically incapacitated and have to rely on those around you. I felt childlike and like a sad, Bridget Jones type at the same time. It’s been difficult!

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Here’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly:

The Good

  • I got to eat great food and have my family bring me cups of coffee
  • Crutches are great for upper body strength- I’m gonna have Michelle Obama arms by the time I’m done
  • I got to get outside most days, even just for a hobble down the road with Shadow
  • The Matriarchs (Mum and both my Grandmothers) taught me how to knit. I have a scarf in the making! It’s fugly, and I don’t care.
  • finally got to binge watch Parks and Rec, which had been on my must-watch list for ages!
  • I worked on (and reevaluated) my goals for 2017
  • My pup Shadow was by my side to give me hugs and slobbery kisses…yum.
  • I got to bust out my sparkly Christmas leggings because I can’t fit anything else over my swollen ankle!

 

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The Bad

  • I couldn’t run, walk or really do anything for myself all Christmas
  • Lack of running = grouchiness
  • Everyone’s Christmas gifts were kind of crap because I was unable to go do my last-minute shopping!
  • I can already feel my whole body getting a bit softer. As much as I’m not overindulging, I’m also being conscious not to restrict, so that my body can use all that energy for healing!
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Trying to focus on nutrition right now!

The Ugly

  • My foot. I mean, really. It’s disgusting. The swelling has now mostly gone down, but it’s a multitude of colours thanks to the bruising. It’s been too painful to shave, and wearing a cast all day makes your foot smell kinda nasty. TMI?
  • My mood has not been the greatest. I’ve been trying my hardest not to take it out on the people around me, but I worry that I’ve failed. I’m overwhelmed by the prospect of jobhunting without being able to walk, especially when the alternative is festering all day in my can’t-work-can’t-walk stupor. I’m trying to give myself a kick up the backside, but it’s a case of baby steps right now

 

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An Update

I’m off for an MRI on the ankle in a few hours. Following that, I have an appointment in the New Year to evaluate if I’ll need surgery, or just immobilization and a ton of physiotherapy. I’m trying to remain positive and have faith that this will all work out in the end.

 

How was your Christmas?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

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Highlights: Running in 2016

This year has definitely been a mixed bag in terms of my running, but overall I’ve made some great progress and had a great time in the process. So without further ado, here are my highlights. As always, I love hearing about other people’s achievements, so do let me know your best moment from 2016.

Manchester Marathon

Now this is a tricky one. My first marathon- Manchester was a goal I hunted down for several months. I was excited, motivated and absolutely terrified in equal measure. It took up all my headspace, and allowed for little else at that point. Race day itself was a struggle. A real struggle. At Mile 6 an age-old hip injury kicked leaving me in pain, and by Mile 8 I could barely even walk. But whilst I went to a really bad place mentally, it never once occured to me to quit, and that’s someting I’m eternally grateful for. My day was absolutely made by my two closest friends coming to cheer me on, meet me at the finish line, and most importantly buy me a fried chicken burger. Now that’s love!

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Reykjavik Half

Reykjavik Half was the first Half Marathon I’d ever raced, and so it was a definite highlight! Prior to that, I’d always had a weird mental block about the distance, convinced I couldn’t cope with the combination of speed and endurance. But race itself was a gloriously sunny, crisp day in August, and I ran happily along, finishing with a time of 1:53, well under my Sub-2h goal. Not too shabby for a first attempt, especially in the middle of a training cycle!

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Budapest 30k

This was definitely a tricky race for me-I had originally intended do the marathon but an injury had led me to downgrade to the 30K distance. I went to a really bad space mentally within the first few miles of the race, but was completely uplifted and spurred on by my fellow City Athletics crew. Post race, the holiday itself in Budapest was fantastic, with plenty of good food, drinks and great company!

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Golden Gallop 10k

The Golden Gallop holds a special place in my heart. Whilst I didn’t get a PB (in fact, I matched my previous PB to the second), I placed first female! Whilst it was a small race field, how often does a first finish happen to anyone?! The aspect that I’m produest of is not giving into negative self-talk about the win- whilst I didn’t run at an elite level, and yes it was a small race field, I was running an unfamiliar course with a 13 miler in my legs from earlier on in the week. So I have no reason to be negative- and I’ll never forget that finish!

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Running in Reykjavik

The day after the half marathon, I popped on my running shoes and headed out the door with no plan, pace or expectations. I just wanted to run. I took it gently, running along the coastline and breathing in the fresh, crisp air, now filled with a fine mist. It was one of the most wonderful runs I have experienced all year- one that makes you truly grateful to be alive.

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Fat Run London

A few weeks ago I tried something new- a pop-up running and brunch club. It was a stepout of my comfort zone, both in terms of the food and meeting a load of new people. But I showed up with running buddy Clo and we took in a gentle, autumnal 4 miles through Regent’s Park, before heading back to the most important part- brunch. The food was indescribably delicious- all roasted veggies and gorgeous chicken thighs, with kale and grain salads to go with them. I’m so glad I took advantage of the opportunity and didn’t chicken out at the last minute- it was worth it!

Sri Chinmoy 5K

As with the 13.1, I’d always had a mental block with the 5k as a race distance. But one sunney evening in September, I finally faced my fear and raced with my Athletics Club in the gorgeous Battersea Park. If I’m being completely honest, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done- it was a find a pace and cling on for dear life kinda situation. I finished in 23.03, which I’m proud of for a first attempt, and managed not to throw up at the end. Winning!

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What’s been your running highlight from this year? 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa