Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Eating Healthy on a Limited Budget

Something a little different today! You might remember that I'm a third year college student, and this summer I'm sticking around in the city while doing an unpaid internship. Both of these mean I'm not exactly loaded right now, and my food money needs to go a long way. People often talk about eating healthy being expensive, but I've found a few tricks to making it work and I thought I'd share! So here are my ways to eat healthy when your budget is pretty small. 
  • Buy frozen. The trick with this is to buy frozen ingredients - frozen ready-meals are usually not that healthy for you, but stock up on frozen vegetables, fruit, meat and fish. I can usually get 6 frozen chicken breasts for the price of two fresh ones at my local supermarket. Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh - some people even argue that they have more nutrients, since they're locked in straight away when the veg gets frozen, rather than fresh vegetables ageing and losing nutrients in transport. Frozen berries and fruit can be great in smoothies and also mean you don't need ice! Fish can often be cooked straight from frozen too, saving you time.
  • Use your freezer. Buying a half-loaf of bread can be almost as expensive as a full loaf. If you won't use a whole loaf before it expires, but don't want to shell out more for individual portions, buy a loaf and stick half in the freezer. Same goes for all bread products and lots of other things too. You can even make up little Tupperware containers of whole meals if you like and freeze them!
  • Eat mix-and-match meals, like stir-fry, big salads, or quinoa/veggie bowls, so you don't need specific ingredients and can use up whatever you have left. If your recipe calls for some very specific vegetables, fruit, spices or protein choices, you'll back yourself into a corner. Allow for flexibility!
  • Get produce at fresh food markets. If you live in Dublin I'm sure you know Moore Street, but every city has something similar. Street traders selling fruit will usually be a lot cheaper than a grocery store, and they often have minimal packaging too - extra bonus!
  • Pick and choose your fruit and veg. Instead of trying to buy lots of different fruits or vegetables each week, choose one or two of each that you'll eat that week. You can always switch it up the next week, and you won't eat all those different kinds anyway.
  • Get creative with fancier items. If you want to eat chia seeds, but can't afford one of those big bags of them (why do chia seeds always come in such huge, expensive bags?) then there are other cheaper ways to incorporate them, like chia seed bars, or bread made with chia seeds - if you're in Ireland, Brennans have a new bread made with chia seeds that's pretty inexpensive.
  • Use reward cards! Even if you don't shop somewhere often, reward card points can add up - I don't spend a lot of money in Holland & Barrett by any means and yet I currently have a €3 voucher sitting in my reward card account. Any food shops that offer reward cards, pick one up - it's free to get one, it's free to swipe it when you buy something, and you just might get a nice little reward!
So there you go, my tips for eating healthy without a lot of money. I hope some of them were helpful, and if there are any other ideas out there I'd love to hear them!

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Monday, 28 July 2014

Weekly Workout Recap: 21 - 27 July

Monday: 6km run

Tuesday: Rest (had a blood test, not a good idea to run!)
Wednesday: 5km speedwork
Thursday: 5km run

Friday: 5km run

Saturday: Rest (spent the day at a waterpark and playing crazy golf!)
Sunday: 10km long run

This is one of those weeks that I keep having recently, where you feel like you did really badly at the end of it and then you actually write it up and discover it was pretty much perfect run-wise. I know I've been slacking on the 'extras' though - where has all my core work and strength training gone?! Don't worry, strength will be making a lovely reappearance this week, and core will be starting Monday. Definitely. Gotta stop slacking on those, they really do matter! 

I'm kind of excited to be done with Dun Laoghaire and be able to play around a little bit more with my workout routines. Some more cross-training, some more strength, some more biking and swimming - yes please! 

(Also, I got this shiny new Bloglovin' button so you guys can follow me there if you like!)

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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Friday Five: SUMMERTIME!

This Friday's five are brought to you courtesy of the heavenly weather we've been having recently. It. Is. Gorgeous. Waking up in the morning to clear blue skies and sunlight streaming in the windows is just perfect - even if it does lead to some hot and sweaty early-morning runs! So without further ado, here are five things I've been loving, liking and frequenting this week. 

1. Summer evening picnics in the park

I just couldn't stand another evening of just heading home after work, so when I left the office yesterday I headed to the local park - there's one about 15 minutes from where I work. I packed a picnic (tuna pasta salad and strawberries - so good!) and a towel to lie on and just lay in the sun reading for a couple of hours. It was perfect

 Note: This picture was taken about three seconds before I scrubbed all that makeup off with a facewipe. I am not a fan of wearing makeup any time I'm likely to be hot, it just feels too heavy on my face. 

2. Nakd Apple Pie bars

I rave about Nakd bars all the time, but there's one particular flavour I've been buying boxes of in Tesco and it's the nicest thing ever - the Apple Pie flavour. These are all kinds of awesome. They're lovely and chewy with a great texture, and what's better, they have cinnamon in them. I might have to buy myself some cinnamon and start putting it on everything because these remind me how much cinnamon makes life better. You HAVE to try these.

3. My new planner

Confession: I'm obsessed with planners. I keep a planner all year round (usually an academic year one that splits in the middle of the year instead of in January - it's just easier to have one whole college year kept together) and I write everything and anything in it. Every day I do a to-do list, plus I'll add in grocery lists, appointments, things I'm doing with friends, training plans, wish-lists, events... everything. And because I have the attention span of a goldfish, I need it to be pretty and exciting or I'll just get bored of it, so my planner is also covered in stickers and doodles and post-it notes and all kinds of madness. Never let me loose in a stationery shop, you will regret it. (I might do a post sometime on how to stay organised with a planner because mine is a lifesaver.)

This week marked the last one in my trusty 2013-14 planner, so I picked up this cute new one from Easons for a tenner and I love it. It doesn't have quite as many cool features as my old one (which had a very convenient plastic pocket at the back for stickers) but it's really bright and colourful and has heaps of space inside. Love.

4. Momentum Jewelry

I showed you guys my Momentum Jewelry purchases the other day, and I absolutely adore them. The wrap bracelet is super comfy and I love looking down at my wrist to see my message, and running with my FootNote on my shoe makes me feel really motivated even if I can't see it all the time. I've been poking through their site and I'm kind of tempted to order more...

5. Sprinting

Bit of a weird one, I know! Lately I've been trying to finish up some of my runs by doing a few sprints. I'll finish whatever distance I wanted to do for the day and start walking, but in the walk I'll throw in a few blasts of all-out sprinting. I actually love it! I used to love sprints in school, although I wasn't the fastest (but not the slowest either! I'm not so bad), and I'd kind of forgotten how fun and freeing it is to just go as fast as possible. This is one new addition that will definitely be sticking around in future runs!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

New Shoes, New Jewellery, New Motivation!

It's been a little bit of a low motivation week here. On Tuesday I had to get a blood test, which always knocks me about a bit - I have the horrible combination of being terrified of them and always fainting (I get weird adrenaline reactions - I also tend to faint if I have a bad fall) and having really awful veins so it takes forever to get somewhere to take it. I always spend the day of a blood test feeling a bit weird and wobbly... not fun. 

But last night I headed out for a run and it was just one of those runs. It shouldn't have been - I'd eaten crap all day, it was really late, I hadn't been sleeping well or enough for a few days - but it was just beautiful. I did some speedwork and then at the end, on my walk home, I threw in a few sprints, just because I could. You know when you're sprinting and it feels like you're actually flying and nothing can touch you? That right there is the whole reason I run, and it was beautiful. Such a perfect reminder of why I do this and why it's worth it.

But I have had two other motivation boosters to help me along my way recently too ;) First up are my beautiful new shoes! 

These are Mizuno Wave Inspire 10s, also known as the upgrade to my beautiful 9s that you've seen so much on the blog. And man is this colour bright! I'm finding it tricky to work out what to wear with them - especially what socks. Everything I owned was bought with fairly muted purple-and-white shoes in mind... but these are lovely. Just as supportive as the 9s but much lighter - they've changed all the materials in the upper to make them less heavy and easier to run in, and I am in love.

I also got something else recently that's been a huge motivation booster and I just had to show you guys. 

These two are from Momentum Jewelry and they're absolutely gorgeous. The bracelet is a really soft fabric that you wind around your wrist a few times - it's stretchy so it will be really secure, and they're designed to be worn while working out so you can do whatever you want (and get as sweaty as you want!) without them rubbing or chafing or anything. I got a custom message on mine, but they also have heaps of pre-set phrases you can get. 

Case in point: my FootNote. This is a little silver plaque that threads onto your shoelaces at the front of your shoe, and I love it. I can spot the little flash of silver when I run and it's really motivating - even when I can't see it, just knowing it's there gives me a boost. It doesn't rattle or jingle either, huge bonus! Mine says 'Accept No Limits', which is one of their pre-sets, and I love it.

Also - this place has the best customer service of anywhere I've ever shopped. I had some issues with ordering because (being Irish) I don't have a zipcode, and they were so nice, going so far as to sort everything out over a long-distance phone call and give me a discount while I was at it. (By the way - I'm not sponsored or affiliated or anything, I just think this company and what it stands for is awesome, and I want to share!)

So between my new shoes, my new jewellery, and my awesome run last night, things are lookin' pretty good around here :) Hopefully this is the boost I need!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Weekly Workout Recap: 14 - 20 July

This recap is going to be a bit of a sad one, I'm afraid, because at the start of the week I still had food poisoning and although I was almost better, I was still getting intermittent stomach cramps that made it too hard to run. I wanted to make sure I was totally okay before starting back, since I'd rather miss a few days now than miss weeks later! So we only have three little days to account for. Oh well...

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 5km easy

Friday: 6km + sprints (it was SO HOT! which is why I sort of look like I died)

Saturday: 10km long easy run (the last hurrah for my old running shoes!)

Sunday: rest (40 minute walk)

At least I got some pictures for you guys, right?! Sunday I was holed up in my room for literally 14 hours straight working - as a web developer, the day a website goes live is always manic, and I've never worked so hard. 7am to 9pm with literally no breaks... not so fun. At least I got out for a bit of a walk at the end of the day! And the site is live now so I don't have to worry anymore.

Going into this week the main goal is distance. Lots of distance. I still have my training plan but it may get shuffled around a little bit - I actually have free evenings now so I'm thinking about using one or two of them for the gym and swapping some other days. I also really want to start doing yoga - I can see it being really beneficial for my mind as well as helping me to stretch a bit more - and once Dun Laoghaire is over I'm excited to start cross-training more often. The future looks good, guys!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Friday Fives: A Triumphant Return

After skipping a week of Friday Five last week (sorry!) the randomness is back with a bang! Here's five things I've been liking, loving and frequenting this week...

1. My new shoes

So I got new running shoes and I am in love! There'll be a full post up soon all about my gait analysis and what I like about these shoes, but they're Mizuno Wave Inspire 10s and they are so beautiful.


2. Smooth peanut butter (aka the best food ever invented)

I have no pictures of this because that would mean delaying eating it, and that's not happening. Remember when I tried crunchy for the first time and it was revolutionary? Well, smooth peanut butter turns out to be even better. I'm officially obsessed.

3. Zero High5 electrolyte tabs

These perfectly fill a hole in my life. I wanted something to replenish my electrolytes after runs but not give me energy - I'll stick with bananas and bagels for that, much tastier! - and these do the trick. 

4. Country music

Bit of a random one, I know, but last week I went to see Kacey Musgraves live and she was amazing, and now my country music obsession is back full force. If you've never heard it, listen to this acoustic version of 'Mama's Broken Heart' - it's a Miranda Lambert song, but Kacey co-wrote it and this version is hers, and I actually like it much better.

5. Nakd bars

Do I need words?! These are the perfect afternoon snack, pre-run snack, bedtime snack... everything really. Since I found out you can get boxes of them in Tesco I've been buying them regularly to take to work and I'm hooked. Sidenote: the fruit flavours are usually better than the chocolatey ones. This goes against all my instincts but it's true!


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Weekly Workout Recap: 7 - 13 July & an Explanation!

So I disappeared for a little while. Just as everything was looking so good, I vanished from my blog for a whole week - why? What happened?! 

I got food poisoning. Yep, Friday night before my race, trying to carb up for the morning, I ate some rice that it turns out was both undercooked and had been sitting in my press for way longer than you should keep anything. Long story short, I had to take five days off running, because as well as the standard food poisoning symptoms I also got these awful stomach cramps that took ages to properly ease. Not fun :(

So we're going to do a very quick, short workout recap and then move on! And I do still have a Clontarf 5 Mile recap coming up for you guys very soon.

Monday: 6km easy, core
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 5km speed, weights
Thursday: 5km hill work
Friday: 5km speed, Keiser air resistance
Saturday: rest
Sunday: rest

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Weekly Workout Recap: 30 June - 6 July

This is so late, my bad! I've had way too much going on recently, and the past few days were a crazy intersection of work deadlines, missed sleep and some medical issues, which just left me incapable of getting posts up. But everything should be more or less sorted out now, with a bit more balance, and I'm excited to post way-too-much as usual ;) So here's my (belated) weekly workout recap to kick things off.

Monday: 6km recovery run, core
Tuesday: 5km speedwork, weights, core

Wednesday: rest (this picture is from my walk to Clontarf to get my race number!)

Thursday: rest
Friday: 6km speedwork, weights 

Saturday: 8km (Clontarf 5 Mile) + 2km, core

Sunday: 2km run, weights, core, Keiser air resistance 

This was one of those weeks where you feel like you didn't do much until you write it down. I've got a training plan written out for Dun Laoghaire but every week I seem to swap days around or combine workouts differently. I'm hitting all the basic components of my plan each week though so that's good! And I really am noticing a difference in what I can do speed-wise, so that's exciting. Here's to being another week closer to my "goal race"...

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Holland & Barrett goodies!

This morning after the Clontarf 5 Mile - amazing race! recap is coming up soon - I dropped into Holland & Barrett to find some new goodies. I think this is the most I ever bought in a H&B trip... must have been the post-race hunger telling me I needed all of it! But I'm really excited about everything I got, so why not share?

Vita Coco coconut waters in Acai & Pomegranate and Pineapple

Coconut water is a great post-run drink because it's so high in electrolytes. I hate the plain kind, but tried the orange flavoured one a little while ago and liked it a lot, so I thought I'd pick up a couple of new flavours to try. If you're concerned about the flavours adding artificial crap to these, don't worry - the flavour just comes from pure, natural juice, with nothing funny in there.

Zero High5 Electrolyte & Magnesium Sports Tabs

My absolute favourite purchase of the day - I was so excited to find these! You might know I've been trying to find a good way to get my electrolytes back after long, hot summer runs. I wanted something calorie free, just because I'd be drinking it after a run with my post-run snack, and I wanted something with all five essential electrolytes. These tabs look perfect! You put one or two tabs in 750ml of water, wait for them to dissolve and off you go - they're citrus flavoured. I haven't tried them yet but I am soooo excited about these!

Peanut Protein Blast Ball and Maxi Recover & Rebuild bars

You guys know I love these peanut protein balls for my post-gym protein. So yummy and filling and the best part, all natural! So I picked up another one. I also decided to try out these bars - I do sometimes eat Maxi protein bars because they can be easier to find, and they always taste so nice, like a treat almost. I've never had these flavour but all their others that I've tried have been great so I thought buying two was worth the risk! I know these have some odd chemicals and things in them, but they make me feel so good that I don't mind that little bit of artificial sweetener and funny sugars. 

Nakd bars

I love Nakd bars! I decided to get a bunch of different flavours and try them out as my afternoon snacks at work this week - I've been looking for something more natural for my snacks but it's just so hard to find properly healthy snack bars in Ireland that aren't super expensive. I've juuuust discovered that Tesco sell boxes of Nakd bars though, so I'll definitely be picking those up in future! For now though I just got five different flavours.

That's everything, and I'm sooooo excited about it!

What's the most exciting food you bought recently? :)

Saturday, 5 July 2014

First Friday Five of July!

Friday Five time again... it literally seems like I wrote the last one yesterday. Where is my summer going?! Come baaaaaack....

1. Fruit adventures

I wanted to mix up my fruit a bit this week - I tend to stick fairly rigidly to apples and bananas but I wanted something a little bit more exciting, so (as well as a tray of apples and a bunch of bananas, because I'd miss them too much!) I picked up a little packet of blueberries and a punnet of peaches this week. Soooooo yummy! I've been eating the blueberries as a pre-dinner snack because I'm always ravenous when I get home from work, and I had a peach for breakfast this morning with a protein bar. Hopefully next week I can pick up some more awesome fruit! I'm thinking maybe blackberries or raspberries...

2. Speedwork

I know - who am I?! Normally I'm all about the long slow distance, but recently I've just been getting such a huge kick from doing speedwork. It gives me such a sense of accomplishment and I've been hitting goals I didn't think I'd make, which is fantastic. Plus you don't need to be out there forever to get that lovely tired-out feeling in your legs! Which brings me to my third favourite...

3. The treadmill

I know. You think I've lost my mind. I can see where you're coming from! I've been dodging the treadmill for ages now - it's literally months since I last used one - but I got on one to do my speedwork on Tuesday and I'm hooked. I used to really enjoy the treadmill a couple of years ago and I'm now sort of remembering why. It's convenient, it's easy, and the miles just slip away without needing too much effort. No traffic lights, no awkward pedestrian crossings, no dodging bikes... it's lovely. I know it's counterintuitive in summertime but I might actually do a bit more treadmill work.

4. Bagels

Wholemeal bagels are right up there with my favourite foods of all time, and I've been adding them in all over the place recently. For breakfast, lunch, snacks, as a side at dinner, and with cream cheese, butter, turkey, chicken, or peanut butter. I've already had two today...

5. Nutri-Grain Raisin Breakfast Bakes

Remember when these used to be Nutri-Grain Elevenses? Much better name - I wouldn't ever eat these for breakfast really, but they make amazing snacks. And yes, I know they've got a decent bit of processed crap in there and aren't really that much more nutritious than a regular treat bar, but they're like a pre-packaged cake and I'm obsessed. I literally need to buy these one at a time because I'll devour a box if it's in my house! I like them for evening snacks, or sometimes for that mid-afternoon kick at work when I'm slacking a bit.


Friday, 4 July 2014

Running Survey: Would You Rather...?

I was reading blogs earlier and came across this survey on the lovely Jesica's blog rUnladylike. It looked like so much fun and a great way to tell you a little bit more about me, so I figured why not?! If you'd like to answer the questions too and leave them in the comments that would be awesome! Here goes...

Would you rather run a 5k or a marathon?

Hmm... I'm going to say a marathon because a) I've never run one and really want to, and b) I much prefer long slow distances to trying to be speedy! We all know I'm not all that fast.
Would you rather run a flat race in the heat or a hilly race in the cold?

Flat race in the heat, always always always. I do fine in the heat - to be honest, I'm such a sweaty person that I'll be drenched by the end of any run even if it's cold - but I hate hills!

Would you rather get new running shoes or a new running outfit?

I need new shoes at the moment but I've already lined up to buy them, so if I was going to get a gift or something I'd always go for the outfit! I love getting new cute running clothes, it's so motivating. 

Would you rather run a marathon without headphones or a Garmin?

Without a Garmin for sure. I think I'd die trying to run without my headphones!

Would you rather choose a race because of the convenience (location, price, travel) or the swag?

Shallow as it is, I'm going to say the swag. I love everything about races - the atmosphere, the sense of community, the shared energy, everything - but at the end of the day I can run the distance by myself for free. I want something physical to show for my efforts if I'm going to pay money for the privilege! (Maybe this will change when I stop being a broke student...)

Would you rather run a PR that results in an injury or finish strong and miss a PR?

There will always be other PR opportunities, I'm going for finishing strong and missing the PR. Injury is so awful I couldn't possibly pick it.

Would you rather do 100 squats or 100 push-ups?

Funny question given my July challenge! But definitely for me it's SQUATS no question, I suck at push-ups. Although I'd probably benefit more from doing the push-ups... 

Would you rather run without socks or without a sports bra?

Without a sports bra - I don't have enough up top for it to be a problem :P Besides, wearing running shoes with no socks is so gross - and wouldn't you get heaps of blisters?

Would you rather run on a treadmill for an hour or run around the same street block for an hour?

Definitely treadmill, I think I'd get dizzy running the same block for an hour! You could always watch a movie or something on the treadmill to make it less boring. 

Would you rather run a Ragnar Relay or be part of a marathon relay team?

Definitely a Ragnar Relay, it looks like so much fun! Someday, someday...

Would you rather run naked or take a naked yoga class?

Definitely run naked - the thought of doing all that stretching and bending and wiggling around with no clothes on makes me squirm. Besides, if you're running you'll get past people before they have a chance to really see much, right? :P

Would you rather come in 4th at the Olympics or 1st at the New York City Marathon?

1st in New York for sure - I can't even imagine coming anywhere decent in any race, let alone first in New York. Imagine knowing you were the fastest person that day. Wow...

Would you rather give up running for 3 years to get a BQ (Boston Marathon qualifying time) or never BQ but run as much as you want?

Much as I want to BQ someday (and I want it so bad I can't even explain) I don't think I could handle not running for 3 years so I'll have to go for not BQing. Besides, there's heaps of amazing things you can do in this sport that aren't BQing!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

RACE RECAP: Funlavin 10k

It's been a couple of days since Sunday's 10k, and I'm still on a bit of a high.

Before you get too excited, I didn't PR (and wasn't expecting to!). But I did have an amazing, very inspiring race that has me super optimistic for my PR attempt in Dun Laoghaire in August.

So I guess we'll divide this recap into sections and make it a bit easier to read...

Travel, Registration & Pre-Start

My dad walk/jogged the 5k that was happening at the same time, so he drove me over to Dunlavin. We left at 8.30am knowing we'd be stopping in Tesco (I wanted coconut water for afterwards) and hoping to make it by around 10am. 
....At 9.15 we were pulling into Dunlavin town square. Note for next time - it's definitely not that far from my house to Dunlavin! 

We picked up our race numbers and timing chips - this was actually the first time I've ever had a separate timing chip to tie to my shoe. Every other chip-timed race I've done had those timer strips on the backs of the race numbers. I was actually pretty excited to have a proper timing chip for once!

Sign-in was a breeze as there was a very small number of pre-registered runners, and we mooched around for a while - stopped into the shop, read the paper in the car, found a bathroom - while waiting for the 10.45 warmup. The organisers arranged to use the town hall both pre- and post-race, meaning we could use those bathrooms - a wonderful and very welcome change from porta-potties!

At 10.45 there were a couple of short speeches and then we were offered a group warmup by a lovely lady whose name has unfortunately escaped me. It was a nice dynamic warmup, and although I'd done a little warming up myself first it was still great.

At a couple minutes to eleven the 10k group was led off down the hill (the 10ks started further along than the 5ks, to prevent the two groups getting mixed up on the section of route we shared). The timing mat was rolled out (it had to be carried from the 10k start back to the 5k start after), there was a quick shouted countdown, and we were off!

Kilometre 1

I was feeling good but not great in this kilometre. I was passed by tons of people - loads were left behind me, but I still felt like I was dropping back and must be going really slow. I felt like I was working decently hard, but at the same time it didn't seem like huge effort. So when my Garmin beeped in the first kilometre at 5:39 I just about passed out on the road.

Let me be clear: this wasn't a good idea, but it made me so happy. It broke the 1km record on my Garmin - actually, it smashed it, by a full 20 seconds. I thought I'd always fight to run anything even fractionally below a 6 minute kilometre, and this was on the flat rather than downhill and didn't even feel that hard. I knew in that minute that a) I was a better runner than I'd been giving myself credit for, b) today wouldn't be a repeat of my Flora disaster, and c) I've got a real shot at PRing in Dun Laoghaire.

But still, running your fastest ever kilometre in the first of a 10k in the mountains is maybe a tad silly. So I got a bit antsy for the future.

Kilometre 2 -5

Surprisingly still going strong at this point, running in the low 6's (I think roughly 6:05-6:20) and not finding it horrendously hard. I'd looked at the race map beforehand and knew we started out with mostly flat and a bit of downhill but would move into uphills later in the race, so I was getting a bit worried at holding such a strong pace and knew it might come back to bite me. I tried to pull back a little, but we got a big stretch of downhill just after the 4k mark so it was tricky. I passed two water stops in this stretch - there were three total - but ran through without taking any as I was carrying my water bottle.

Kilometre 6 - 7

The hills hit just before the 6k point, and my god did they hit. I'm usually a fairly decent hill runner, and I ran up most of them, but I had to walk the hill around the 6k mark, it was an insane hill. I'd say I walked most of 6.5 - 7.5, which was almost entirely that big hill - not pleasant. The third water stop fell around the 7.5k mark and I got a cup of water just because it was nice and cold - my bottle was starting to warm up a bit in the sun and not be quite so refreshing. The cold gave me the kick I needed.
Kilometre 8 - 10

Not going to lie, this was tough. It flattened out a bit from about the 8k mark, but I was shattered, and just wanted to stop to be honest. I remember running down the last stretch, with only half a kilometre left and the finish line in sight, and still having to push so hard not to walk. But I did it! Mainly because I was coming in with a lot of the people doing the Family Fun Walk and didn't want to chicken out in front of them...

Final time: 1:08:56

This time sounds crappy but I'm actually thrilled. For someone who doesn't run hills, this was a tough course, and that first couple of kilometres just made my whole month. I didn't know I was capable of that sort of speed. Onward and upward!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Special Announcements for July!

Why hello there! Can you believe it's July already?! I'm a third of the way through my summer... *sob*

But it's hard to be sad when it is so gorgeous outside. Let's all just take a minute to appreciate how freaking beautiful this city is right now...

These are all from my journeys to and from work today. Weather like this just reminds me why I adore Dublin so much. I've started taking photos of everyday pretty scenes in the sunshine just to remind me how gorgeous it is.

Now that you're done indulging me and my random photos, for some special announcements! Not one, not two but three.


The best thing in the world - we finally got internet in my new house. A month to the day since I moved in here. You are going to be inundated with blog posts now that I can blog all the time from the comfort of my own home :P

#2 - The July Squat Challenge

I mentioned a while ago how I've been forgetting to do squats, and how I really need to do them. Well, I decided to kick start my squats routine by making a commitment - 100 squats a day in July! I'm really excited - I've made a little note on my phone and everything and am checking them off in 10s throughout the day. 


Yep, you read that right. I'm DOING A HALF MARATHON! I decided a little while ago but was waiting for a good time (and a good internet connection...) to tell you guys, plus I wanted to be certain I really wanted it. I'll be running the Clonakilty Waterfront Half Marathon on the 6th of December. Why December, you may wonder? Because I'll be training for Dun Laoghaire, working on my 10k times, until August, and then I want two weeks of relative rest and a slightly longer training cycle (16 weeks). Plus I've never done a "destination" race before, and this one will involve staying over in a B&B for the night - so exciting! And besides, I prefer running in cooler weather. 

Training plans will go up here soon, as soon as I work out the kinks. But I'm EXCITED!