February 2018 – What a crazy month!

Thank you February 2018 – you have been incredible.

I have made massive progress towards my London Marathon training – conquering some of my biggest distances on the plan: 16 miles, 18 miles and 20 miles. I am well ahead of my training and feeling really confident this time round. I’ve definitely had some niggles but i’m keeping a close eye on them. I didn’t really do any strength work last year (which was potentially my pitfall) so i’m making sure I get to the gym at least once a week and continuing my speed sessions at track (which involves 20-30 mins of strength drills).

I also ran my fastest 5km in over 18 months (25:08) at parkrun and set up a running club at work, which i’m sure will help get me out during my lunch break!

Half way through the month I finally decided what I was going to do after the London Marathon. I got that itchy feeling where I felt like I needed something else in my calendar. I absolutely loved training for Race to the Stones last year so I bit the bullet and signed up to do Race to the King which is 52 miles across the South Downs. I wasn’t planning on doing another ultra this year so I am going to do it over 2 days with my bestie Charlie to keep it easy (who even am I?) – it’s essentially two back-to-back marathons on consecutive days.

If you’ve been on my Instagram, you’ll know I have just got back from New York where I celebrated my 30th birthday. I was well and truly spoiled and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!

One of my absolute highlights was waking up at 4.00am on my birthday, opening all of my cards (and some gifts from my husband) and then running 8 miles through Central Park before breakfast. Absolutely incredible. It was a very grey cold day but I still felt like I was in a movie. Or that I might bump into Rachel and Phoebe from Friends. I couldn’t believe how many people were up early running before work. If I lived there I would do the same. Central Park is that tiny piece of quiet and calm in the midst of a very busy city.  And anywhere that has a designated lane in the road for runners is a winner for me.

After our run, we went to a local running shop and FINALLY managed to find the new Roll Recovery R8 (it’s so hard/expensive to get them in the UK).  It’s essentially a torture device to help you stretch after your run, which mimics a deep tissue sports massage. I will do a product review once I’ve had the chance to use it properly because it has so many benefits and you need to know all about it! In the meantime, I can confirm it’s painful. Really painful. But in that addictive/good for you kind of pain. You know the one I mean?

Finally – to top it off, I got back from New York to the incredible news that I have been chosen to join the UK ASICS FrontRunner team. A bit of a pinch me moment to say the least. I started running 4-5 years ago and have been on an incredible journey. You’ll know from the bio on my homepage that I lacked confidence for such a long time. It took me a really long time to believe in myself. I constantly questioned my worth as a runner. Was I too fat to run? Was I too slow? Was I cheating if I walked in the middle of my run? Was I kidding myself? Of course I wasn’t. It seems silly now, but I didn’t have other running friends, or the wonderful community on IG telling me otherwise. My husband has always supported me 100%, but I never believed him (he often tells me my bum doesn’t look big and it actually does).

Last year, I finally started to believe in myself. I joined Instagram, starting blogging, and took on some absolutely crazy challenges. I wanted to prove to myself (no one else) that I could do anything. And I did. In the process, I realised there were LOADS of other people just like me when I first started. People I could help. People who could flourish, grow and believe in themselves too if they had someone support and encourage them.

As runners, regardless of pace, experience, size etc, we have a lot to learn from each other – and I can’t wait to use this amazing opportunity from ASICS to help and encourage others to get out there, move more and believe in themselves. I can’t wait to meet the rest of the team this coming weekend in Birmingham and start this crazy new chapter!

Stay tuned x