Tag Archives: running

Get out and run.

As you all know I love running – I haven’t been running regularly for long – only since I had the children – but it is now my means of keeping sane and trim – I love it.  It being the 4th July yesterday we went to watch the Peachtree Road Race – the largest 10k event in the World with 60,000 entrants from elite runners to casual joggers to walkers.  I have never wanted to enter mainly because of the size of the field and it isn’t run in a loop, so getting anywhere close to home after the race is a nightmare – plus because of the number of runners taking part you can be standing in starting corrals for 2 hours before you even cross the start line.  However, I love watching it, and this year we made it to the course in time to watch the elite runners go up the hill past Piedmont Hospital.  Now on television you really do not get a great sense of anyone’s speed – except their speed relative to others – but watching the leading men run up that hill made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end – my God they were fast!  Not surprisingly the Kenyans and Ethiopians dominated again with the Kenyans taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the men’s race – won with an amazing time of 27mins 37 secs – it doesn’t seem that long ago that running 1mile in under 5mins was a feat!  It makes my 10/11 min miles look like a casual walk.

Thrilled, waiting for the runners.

Flying up the hill.

Getting into the swing of things.

Now here’s where I am going to court some controversy.  Firstly can someone tell my why Newton think it will help their marketing to set up a tent with beer kegs and pass out beer to runners at 8am?  Maybe I am taking the ‘fun’ out of ‘fun run’ but I was really curious about why they did this – am I just becoming a fuddy duddy?  I can’t think of anything I would want less at mile 3 of a run in that heat – and it’s not really what I associate with $180 running shoes.

The Newton Beer Kegs.

Secondly, I began running to help lose some weight so I do indeed know what it is like to be overweight, but if yesterday’s race participants were a sample of the US population we are in a terrifying state of affairs.  I know we are facing an obesity epidemic but I would guess that almost 90% of the ‘runners’ I saw were overweight and many were walking the race.  Now I applaud them if they were taking part as part of their getting fit goals but I kinda think for many it’s the only exercise they will do this year.  I felt like holding a banner up saying ‘do this 3 days a week and get healthy!’.  It saddened me further that many of the spectators were sitting on lounge chairs with a box of 24 donuts.  Okay off my soapbox for now, and these are my own opinions that you’re welcome to disagree with.

After my hot as Hades run this morning I popped into Lululemon to treat myself to a new Swiftly short sleeve t-shirt in blush quartz which I love – and it coordinates well with many of my pace setter skorts.  I normally buy the Swiftly tanks but I love the cap sleeves on the t-shirt – it looks a bit more polished – if you consider that important when sweating your t*ts of running.  Plus I got to investigate our brand new store on Howell Mill Rd – I LOVE it and they have the friendliest staff!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Running over the moors.

We’ve arrived!! After a tiring but thankfully uneventful flight we landed in Manchester at 8.35 yesterday and were met by my Mum and Dad.  Poppy and Hugh were exceptionally excited and we had one of those ‘T Mobile’ Welcome Back moments that made me all misty eyed.  They both slept most of the way which was a blessing as having bought 3 movies for their iPads I realized on the plane that none of them had downloaded onto Hugh’s – what an idiot I am!  In my midst of syncing iPods, iPads, iPhones, and shuffles I had somehow completely omitted the most important thing – movies on Hugh’s iPad.  He is the only one that will obsessively watch “Hercules” over and over and over again…Thankfully for me his sister was gracious enough to switch iPads which allowed her to play games on his while he watched “Hercules” before passing out:)

Sensibly I took some ham sandwiches for them on the plane as I knew they’d turn their nose up at Delta food.

Once home we had lots of fun catching up with my sister and her boys, Tom the youngest just 8 weeks old and is grinning from ear to ear already.  My brother and his 9 month old, Alice, then came for dinner later.  It was so much fun seeing all the cousins play together with Poppy of course herding them around and playing ‘mom’.  I then watched the incredibly boring England game with Dad – good result but geez rubbish to watch.

After restful night’s sleep I headed off for a long run this morning.  It was a beautiful sunny morning and it felt great to shake some of the jet lag off and run up some massive hills, taking in the views of sheep, moors, mill chimneys and towns down below.  Little changes around here which is why I love it.

Mum and I decided to have a ‘potter’ around Bury just to M&S and Tesco but of course that can take 2 hours and the children were not impressed – their jet lag well and truly still present.  I did manage to take a few snaps while we were out of some items that I didn’t have time to try or consider but I thought were definitely worth a second look at some point.

Mum with Poppy and Hugh at a Bury landmark.

I pointed out this t-shirt online a few weeks ago and still love it in real life – once I have stopped converting pounds into dollars I may take the plunge.  Right now it seems exorbitant for a t-shirt!

I LOVE this swimsuit and had been admiring it in Mum’s M&S magazine last night – this could be going home with me.

I am loving all things butterfly and bird print currently so this shirt caught my eye, though it’s cotton and could require ironing, not something I like to spend my time doing.

These spotty ballet flats are so cute, but certainly no time to try them…I will be doing when we head to the Trafford Center this week – they are adorable!

My sister was laughing at the following photo – apparently I’m not supposed to take photos in stores as they suspect it may be competitive intelligence but I couldn’t resist this one for MM – the baked bean lover in the house.  Heinz have a packaging that is completely new to me and I LOVE the idea as I am always looking for tupperwares for half opened tins of beans.  I’m sure all you UK residents are completely up to date with the fridge packaging innovation but I’m blown away!  MM thinks it’s sacrilege for beans to come from anything but a tin and was more intrigued by the vegetarian sausage and beans behind Poppy!

Just don’t get me started on how much more advanced British supermarkets are with their packaging and product innovation – the scale of the country compared to the US must allow for more experimentation and variety.  Thankfully pickled onion Monster Munch are still readily available here!

Most of the morning was spent with the children telling me that they didn’t want to walk anymore – they are so used to jumping in an SUV and being driven store to store (on the rare occasion I shop with them), the pedestrian life is quite a shock for them.  Fortunately I was wearing my AllSaints boots (Bonny cuban which I can’t see on the UK or US site right now) which are so comfortable and I love the buckle and fringe detail, they are one of my favorite purchases so far this year.

Finally, a trip back home wouldn’t be the same without picking up a “Hello” magazine…I will enjoy reading this later this evening while the children play with their Euro 2012 football and Olympic Games silly bands – EVERYTHING is red, white and blue here:)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Music that motivates…

I decided to change the title of this series to ‘music that motivates’ rather than ‘inspires’…the reason being this next tune that got me racing up the hills yesterday.  It’s Kelly Rowland and “Down for Whatever” – definitely not an inspirational song but brilliant motivation when running!  I actually heard it first when I was back in the UK at Christmas when she was having huge success judging on the UK version of the X Factor.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what other mindless, thumping, dance tunes are in store for me in the UK charts later this month!  Enjoy!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Another 13.1 done…

So another half marathon successfully completed.  Still a tad slower than I had hoped for but the course yet again had far more hills than the profile had led me to believe.  It was also one of those courses where you ran backwards and forwards along the same 3 points so you could always see the faster folk running past you the other way – just a little demoralizing!  I much prefer a nice long loop where you have no idea how many are in front of you or behind you!  It was won by a 26 year old girl (it was an all female race – I prefer mixed) in 1hr 31mins – amazing.  The last 2 miles seem to go on FOREVER but thankfully my reception committee was there to cheer me across the line.  The weather was amazing and we got to relax afterward with music and wine by the side of Lake Lanier.  I shuffled around the house for the rest of the day – my knees got really tight – but I’m feeling pretty good today after a good stretch and using my foam roller.  I have to wait till Wednesday to see if I get an NYC marathon number before planning another half.  My goal now is to get leaner, toned, stronger, faster and more competitive – my next 13.1 will be under 2hrs!

My outfit today was inspired by the need to be comfy and by School Gate Style’s color palette.  I love pink and grey together – MM always says it’s my love of the ’80s.  I’m wearing my Hudson Collin jeans (mid-rise today for added comfort!), grey ruffle J.Crew tank from a few seasons ago, pink Boden LE sparkle pocket cardigan from AW 2011, and my favorite Tory Burch camilla pink Eddies.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Packing for 4.

Yeah Spring Break is here!  Everyone in this family needs it.  7am school bus rides take their toll on all of us after a while.  My daughter has been asking for regular updates on ‘how many more sleeps’ there are until we go to the beach.  It’s fun to see how excited she is.  I’m not quite so excited yet as I have to pack for a family of 4 camping for 2 nights, and of course you need as much stuff for 2 nights as you do for 5 ranging from pillows to dixie cups, and from spf 30 to toilet roll.  I know we will forget something – the test will be is it something we can do without?  I’ll just make certain that my cocktail shaker makes it:)

Prior to everyone disappearing on Spring Break my running buddy and I went for a 10 miler yesterday.  I found it really tough – I don’t know what is wrong with me.  I had no significant aches or pains but just felt like I had low energy, my body and soul just wanted to give up.  Maybe a couple of days of rest at the beach will help?  I hope so as I’ve got another half fast approaching in April.

As I went to meet the school bus yesterday I was shocked to discover our only immediate neighbor has put her house on the market.  Spring is definitely the time everyone tests the market as most families want to move before the start of the next school year in August.  We don’t talk a lot, but she is a great neighbor, mainly because we do both just get on with our lives with little interference so I will miss her.  However it would be fantastic if we get another younger family moving in.  We’re in a good school district so fingers crossed.  I also really hope she gets what she has listed it for – it’ll certainly do wonders for our house value and prove to me that the Buckhead Bubble is recession proof.

So I’m going to take a few days off being online – I’ll be back next week with stories from Tybee.

10 more miles.

I must start by thanking Elaine, my pacer, for running with me yesterday morning.  We had an amazing 10 mile run.  I normally run on my own and it is so nice to have a partner on a longer run.  Somehow we both seem to know when the other is struggling a little and needs to kick it up a gear.  We sprinted up the hills and really dug deep with what seemed like a great pace.  Unfortunately we didn’t time ourselves – it was intentional – but now I wish we had done as I feel like we were flying.  Maybe it was my pre-run chia seed drink?  Coincidence or not I’ll definitely be drinking it before the half on Sunday.  I LOVE my CEP compression sleeves too.  I ran in them then wore them all day and I had no swelling at all, I really appreciated the extra support they give my calves.  Maybe I need some compression tights?  It has to be said that I was fit for nothing for the rest of the day – I was completely drained.  After consuming my body weight in carbs I spent the day shuffling from one sofa to another and then hit the sack at 9pm which was still really only 8pm due to the clocks changing!

I nipped into Ulta this morning – luckily for me, unluckily for my bank balance, there is one around the corner from the office.  They are having their 21 days of Beauty event, and though I don’t usually need an excuse to shop there, there are some fabulous deals on which I don’t want to miss.  Today they are having a Philosophy event and I grabbed myself a Peel Party kit for $39 plus I got a free Philosophy gift with it too, on top of that you get $3.50 of any $10 purchase so I walked away with an arm full of goodies for some spring pampering.  Keep an eye out for the flyers and the various offers each day – there are some real bargains to be had.

I can pat myself on the back too as I have remembered Mothering Sunday in the UK is this Sunday!  I’m so excited I remembered.  Normally I forget and my poor Mum has to wait till May for the US one, but something triggered me to remember this year and I’ve successfully ordered a gift – can’t tell you what as Mum reads this – Hi Mum!!

This morning I was still hobbling around with sore thighs so wanted something comfy to wear.  It might also be my last day in a sweater for a while as the forecast is for 80 degrees for the rest of the week.  I’m wearing my Hudson Signature Collin jeans and AllSaints Itat shrug in black (I have it in vintage marl too), with my Tory Burch Eddies in black.  I tried to create a little quiff with my bangs this morning too – it must be okay as MM immediately noticed an paid me a compliment…not a bad start on a Monday morning:)

AllSaints Itat Shrug

Celebrating 3 years…

I’ve always struggled with my weight.  Hold on, let me rephrase that with a more honest appraisal – until 2009 I ate too much and exercised too little.  Even at University when I was wearing tiny sizes I still always thought I was on the chubby side mostly due to my love of a St. Andrews fish supper, and my lack of motivation to do anything physical in cold, wet and windy Fife.  At school I didn’t participate in any of the few sports available, again due to lack of aptitude and interest.

When I arrived in the US, in 2000, for some reason I thought the heat and healthy eating would help me lose weight.  Who was I kidding?  I very quickly paid the price of the HUGE portions that I ate ALL of (there are starving kids in Africa you know!), the cheap beer, and the sun loungers – how the hell can you exercise in 90 degree heat?  It was the ultimate constant vacation.  As I moved into my 30’s I resigned myself to the fact that I was a ‘big’ girl and I should just stop worrying about it and enjoy life.  I hated shopping for clothes and in hindsight I was probably more miserable about my weight than I was prepared to acknowledge.  Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t all bad but I did kind of feel I was letting MM down as he had always been physically active playing football, running and just generally being more ‘get up and go’ than me.

My daughter arrived in 2006 and I PILED on the pounds.  I really did adopt the mantra eating for two.  Because I then lost a lot through breastfeeding and stroller pushing I persuaded myself I was back to ‘normal’ though I never stepped on scales – all I knew was that my pre-pregnancy clothes fit again, but given they were all US size 12s that wasn’t saying much…A year after my daughter was born I was pregnant again.  Hooray another opportunity to eat all I want.  Admittedly I didn’t gain quite so much with my son but I was still probably unhealthy.  When my son was born in 2008 I was in a much happier place, we had moved into our new house and I was feeling more settled.  I had a sense that changes were afoot.  While on maternity leave I discovered the joy of being out and about and had even ‘jogged’ a little with the stroller.  Maybe I could be more active?  I knew I had it in me as I had done step classes, jogged a little and played some football in the early 90’s – but my downfall was always that I was consistently inconsistent with any form of exercise that I tried to embrace.

When I returned to work I noticed a good friend had started to lose weight…she was changing shape dramatically and quickly and I asked her for her secret.  It turns out it was Jenny Craig.  Now I am NO fan of fad diets or paying to lose weight – I really do believe it is down to the simple math of burning more calories than you consume, but I needed something to get me on the right path and give me a kick up the backside.  So at the beginning of March 2009 I headed with some trepidation to a Jenny Craig center and signed up for membership.  I returned home with my bags of food determined to make it work – especially as I had just spent what seemed like a small fortune (but worth every penny now).  In the first week I think I lost 5lbs which was incredible motivation.  By September 2009 I weighed 135lbs – I’d done it – I lost almost 40lbs!

So today I celebrate 3 years since taking the plunge, and keeping it off has completed my metamorphosis into the occasional half marathon runner who thinks nothing of running 6-8 miles, cycling 30 miles, and swimming 30 laps of the pool.  Oh and hence the short hair – I was so thrilled to see my neck and collar bone again I wanted to show them off!  Not surprising that I don’t recognize the girl in the photos – who is that again?

Summer 2007

Summer 2007

Summer 2007

Fall 2008

Fall 2008

Fall 2007

Fall 2009, post-Jenny, in my 26″ Diesel Jeans

Post JennyPost JennyPost Jenny


Enhanced by Zemanta

Music that inspires…

Thanks to The White Stripes that’s another 4 miles under the belt on a gorgeous spring like evening.

Run fast for your mother.

This weekend ended in a far more relaxed fashion than it started.  I wasn’t going to share until I’d done the deed, but I struggle keeping things to myself, so I’ll tell you now that I have entered another half marathon.  As part of my training I headed out on my first 10 mile run for some time on Friday morning.  I started off feeling pretty chipper, it was a warm sunny morning and my confidence was high.  At mile 7 though I thought I might die.  Mile 7 unfortunately coincides with a mammoth hill, and in the warm sun, with aching legs, my mind, not my body, gave up and I started to walk.  How humiliating…At the top of the hill I did manage to get going again and ran, with the odd walk, back home.  I felt like I was out for hours but my time actually wasn’t too bad, though I did feel a little demoralized that I’d had to walk.  I rested on Saturday and then summoned the motivation to head out yesterday again.  I couldn’t believe how great I felt!  I ran 6 miles easily and felt like a Kenyan marathon runner on the last couple of miles.  Maybe this training malarkey really does work?  I’ll probably attempt another 10 miles this Friday now my confidence has been bolstered a little.  It’s a shame the compression socks don’t make you run faster, though my calves didn’t ache a bit over the weekend so they must do some good.

Florence was my musical inspiration in those last few yards yesterday – ‘Dog Days Are Over’ has to be one of the most perfect running tunes, I felt like I was flying to the beat of those drums.

Saturday began with a lot of cheering for my son.  It was his first swimming lesson after a couple of previously failed attempts when he flatly refused to get in the pool.  So as you can imagine I was a little nervous about how it was going to go this time.  Fortunately with his sister around and a friend from school he was gently persuaded to give it ago.  I basically legged it as soon as he was distracted and thankfully he didn’t bat an eyelid – success!  For a post swimming reward we all headed to Goldberg‘s for fully loaded bagels.  Even though my body shape tones and changes, I’m still convinced I gain weight the more I run, I am always hungry! I’ve sworn off the scales until after the race…that might change tonight though when my new Boden bikinis arrive and need to be tried on.

MM and I were planning a date night on Saturday, unfortunately this weekend was his turn to be sick so we had to postpone.  No bad thing really given I still felt weary from Friday.  It was fun to curl up on the sofa and catch up on some episodes of Dexter with a delicious glass of Malbec.

I’ve a feeling this week is going to be a little stressful.  It’s my son’s birthday party this Saturday and although on paper there doesn’t appear to be too much to do I know I’ll still be running around cleaning all week.  I love hosting parties but question my sanity every time we do it as I end up cleaning for hours before and after the event.

I didn’t post any photos this weekend as I have to be honest with you I spent all weekend in sweats, I even went to Target in my running gear which I normally wouldn’t even consider, but bear with my until this half is over and done with:)  Today in an attempt to feel a little more put together I’ve opted for my Boden Everyday Jersey Tunic in coal giant leopard (currently in Clearance at only $34!), Boden Cashmere Wrap (now sold out), and my Boden piped shoe boots.

Boden Everyday Tunic

I’ve even opted for a little black head band, following the lead of the gorgeous Michelle Williams at the Golden Globes this year, whose pixie cut always looks amazing with or without a headband.  Mine is a little less obvious due to my dark hair but I’m praying headbands will help me through the dark days of growing my hair longer, though I am already questioning that decision.


At last night’s Oscars Michelle was by far and away top of my ‘best dressed list’  in this fabulous Louis Vuitton tiered dress and the pink clutch was just genius.  The Telegraph, as ever, has great photo montages of most of the dresses on show last night.


My current choice of nail polish is Essie‘s Navigate Her from their Spring Collection, which in the bottle is a lovely creamy green color, I’m not convinced it suits my skin tone though.  Just a good excuse to pick a different color out tonight.


Music that inspires…

Okay laugh all you want but play it on the treadmill and see how much faster you go.  With the volume cranked up, while doing a bit of interval training, she did amazing things for my speed this afternoon:)