Monday, 16 March 2015

Race Review: Kingston 16 (Lidl Breakfast Run)

This morning I woke up reminiscent of the tin man without enough oil, so yesterday can only have been my longest run so far in training.

The Kingston 16 (or Lidl Breakfast Run as per its sponsor's wishes) has long been a great warm up to The London Marathon; being that bit further than a half marathon... And that bit further it felt.

For starters, the race begins at 08:30 (or 08:00 if you're racing the 20 mile course) and coupled with National Rail improvement works it made for a super early wake up call. So of course we got an Uber which took about 25 mins from West London and was very much worth it for the extra 45 minutes in bed.

Kingston 16 - The Lidl Breakfast Run





















 We ran the 16 mile course, however there are also 8.2 and 20 mile courses, though the latter was fully booked by the time we got around to signing up. The 16 mile course is made up of two full laps of the 8.2 mile course which didn't bother me too much apart from the fact that each part seemed longer the second time around.

The course was pretty flat apart from two inclines over bridges which were over with pretty sharpish, and had some scenic parts - namely, passing the very impressive Hampton Court Palace which has quickly joined my must visit list.

Overall I felt I raced pretty well, with my pacing scarily accurate per mile for the first half. However, it all went to pot after a while and here begins my life lesson: don't try new things on race days! One of the racing sponsors were handing out gels at mile 5, so I grabbed one to keep hold of until around 10 miles where I thought I'd need a boost.

I started taking the gel between mile 9 & 10, taking it pretty slowly and successfully not managing to spill any down me as I was running (unlike the water)! I didn't really feel much until around 12 and a half miles where my tight shoulder suddenly became unbearable and I stopped to stretch. Immediately I felt a shortness of breath and super shaky, I did my stretches and thought I was just a little panicked at the pain so I soon started again.

The stretches worked like a dream and the pain started to alleviate but the shortness of breath continued. I've never had a panic attack, but I imagined that's what it starts to feel like where your chest suddenly locks up. I forced myself to take long deep breaths and somehow carried on running until the finish line (though as my running partner says, making some quite worrying noises). When I finally crossed the line three miles later, I was no better and it was only after lots of water and long deep breaths did the feeling of tightness on my chest go away.

I'm not sure what that reaction was... Whether I was just dehydrated, or whether my body isn't used to that much of a sugar load anymore. Either way, I'm just glad it happened now and not in the marathon - safe to say, I've learnt my lesson about trying new things on race day.

Given all the drama at the end of the race, I was pleased to finish 122nd in the Women's category with an average pace of 9:11 which puts me in good stead for The London Marathon in 6 weeks. Looks like those sprint and hill sessions I hate so much are starting to pay off and hopefully I'll see this again as I chase down my half marathon PB at Richmond Half this coming weekend!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Throwback

Sometimes when you're training for a race, it's easy to forget where you've come from. What better way to remind yourself than to pull out your medal haul and brag on social media. So I did just that...


Honestly though, when I first started exercising all those years ago, my friends were literally gobsmacked, thinking it wouldn't last a week. I had been a lazy teenager, blessed with a figure that did allow me to eat what I wanted (for a little while), and a terrible diet. Exercising for me was something that other people did. Now I can't go a few days without it.

It's easy to forget that once upon a time you couldn't even run for a bus, let alone run a marathon. That you couldn't even get up out of bed the first time you did circuits and that once upon a time, you thought a burpee was something that gross boys did.

Never forget where you started, and how far you still yet can go. :)

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

White City Whippets

So the first few months of this year are pretty ments for me. Not only do I decide to move house in January, two of our biggest events of the year seem to fall smack bang in the middle of it all. So what better way to send my hair grey than to sign up to run the London Marathon right at the end of it all?

Smart idea Peters...

So whilst I may be working hard, I'm working out even harder. Having totalled a whopping 140 miles so far in training plus numerous gym sessions and netball games, I'm feeling pretty god damn proud of myself.

Rather than bask in the glory, thinking that I've kept myself motivated all this time, I need to do a shout out to a new running group I've joined - The White City Whippets. Not only are they the loveliest and cheeriest bunch of people I've ever met, they also motivate me to run track and hills on Mondays and that in itself is a whopping feat.

Since I've been running with them, I've taken 3 minutes off my 10K PB time and felt fitter and happier than I have in a long time.

A photo posted by jessicapeters (@jessicapeters) on


If you'd like to join, we meet at Nike Westfield at 6:45 on Mondays and Thursdays, ready to run for 7pm. Bag drop and changing facilities are available.

I promise you, you won't regret it.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

LunarGlides 5+ Shield Flashpack Review

SO, Christmas happened. And I know what all of you are thinking - it was bloody ages ago. I agree, however I was given a pair of somethings that you can't review until you've given them a real run around. So, I'd like to introduce you to my new trainers who will be accompanying me on a very exciting journey in April... My LunarGlides 5+

LOOK AT THEM. (Not my photo, please don't be mad)
Any of you who know me, know I love the lightweight of a Free Run, but having run a marathon in them before, I realised that I probably do need something a little more supportive to haul my frame around a 26.2 mile course. The need for a new trainer was born, much to my boyfriend's dismay.

The LunarGlide has been around for a while and mine are even a version old at a 5+, however once I'd laid eyes on them, I thought they were so good looking I couldn't walk away.

Having run in them, I can confirm that any fears about weight are irrelevant as these are only marginally heavier than the Free Run 4.0's I was running in before. However to ensure that my running style doesn't change too much and I don't get injured, I'm still running a number of shorter runs in my previous trainers.

There are a couple of cool features on the LunarGlides which I imagine is made possible by the sturdier sole, and less need for flexibility. Namely, a H20 Shield outer which provides pretty good resistance to rain and puddles. I haven't had the opportunity to test this out in a really heavy downpour yet, but in truth, neither do I want to, so I can say that they're as waterproof as they need to be at this point.

Also in this wonderfully waterproof upper, Nike have managed to squeeze in a reflective under layer, which just happens to be leopard, or cheetah print. I tend to wear a lot of black when I run, much to my mother's dismay - trust me I do know how dangerous it is so I should really sort it - but it's nice to know that I am somewhat visible, even if it is just a flash of my trainer as I whizz by.

They're a pretty snug fit, and as a standard size 6, these are just on the verge of actually fitting, but the tight fit is in no way uncomfortable. Plus, unlike other trainers I have had, these just do not give me blisters, no matter what socks I wear with them - useful if my feet are having a fat day!

And so, I look forward to reviewing their poor, knackered soles after the marathon and telling you my final thoughts. But in the meantime, I'll leave you with my view on the most important aspect of a running shoe - they just look super cool.

Friday, 7 November 2014

An ode to Zara coats


an-ode-to-zara-coats-jog-off






















Oh Zara, I've loved you from the moment I first walked into your store a genuine young professional and came across your wonderful array of polyester prints - the kind where the creases would fall out no matter how you stored them. Heaven for a busy (read: lazy) girl like me who has no time to fold or iron properly. 

And then I came across your coats. Your thick wool and sharp cut trenches really got me hooked and soon we were madly in love and I really thought nothing could come between us. 

Everyone knows a good coat lasts a lifetime, and Zara, your coats for me do. The styles are complimented time after time and give me security in winter that even though I'm wearing my pajama top underneath, my overall look is fabulous

But there's a real fault in all your workmanship... Why oh why do you make the pocket linings of your coats so weak? Perhaps you think it's sexy for us all to walk around with our hands in our pockets and granted sometimes we think when posing nonchalantly it does. But the gritty truth of it is that there's nothing sexy about gently cupping all of your worldly possessions against your leg to prevent them from slipping down that black hole in the (guess what) polyester lining never to be heard of again. Except for the frequent key in leg when you sit down or the hugely under represented phone banging against knee when walking that has truly left a bruise on occasion. Don't even get me started on the daggers you get when you're frantically tapping the corner of your coat at the tube station.

It has happened to one or all of the pockets in every single one of my Zara coats, and you know what? It's making me not love you Zara. I didn't think anything could come between us, but this has, and now I'm not sure how we move past it. Sure I could sow them back up, but it just seems like all you ever do is take take take in this relationship.

So, at this chilly time of the year when we should become inseparable, cuddled up in pub gardens together sipping mulled wine and going for long strolls around the Christmas market at the Southbank Centre, it is with great sadness that I think we should take a break. 

I'll think of you often and fondly, but for now adieu. 
Jess

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

My fail-safe bad day gym workout

I know I promised you a blog on the IPM Netball tournament we took part in, but something more pressing has come to mind. Don't worry I'll still post it cos it's hella funny, but I really wanted to talk to you about rubbish days.

The last two days at work have been pretty tiresome. The work is not boring, please don't get me wrong, but there's just been an onslaught of stuff thrown at little old me and my team. It's times like this when I find it the easiest to just slink on home after a long shift, throw myself under the covers and watch Netflix (drop off to sleep immediately). However really I should be powering down to the gym ready to work out until I forget all about the rubbish day.

So if I'm short on time and got a bee in my bonnet about something, I like to do a short but hard-hitting workout that leaves little time for being a bit mopey. I'll share this with you in the hope that one day my experience might actually help someone!


1. Pyramids on the Treadmill - 11 minutes
I hate running on the treadmill, truly I do, but anytime I need a bit of lung bursting cardio, there's nothing better than pyramids. Start slower than your normal pace, and rate up each minute until you're at sprinting pace and then work your way back down again, focusing on your breathing. If you need to, take a minute in the middle to run at your slowest pace again but then pack back down from where you were before.

For example I go from 9 to 13 (these measurements are your speed in kmph, or more simply the number in the top right hand corner of the treadmill), but find a pace that's comfortable for you. You need to make sure that you can run at your top speed for a full minute at least to be able to complete this without stopping.

Treadmill-pyramid-jog-off


2. Full Extension Crunches 3 x 10
Hands down, this is my favourite exercise at the moment so I'm truly sad I can't find a picture to demonstrate this - I shall have to make do with showing you my fave celebrity abs instead. (YES, I have a girl crush on her body).

Disclaimer: If I took this photo, that would be creepy.

 Start by lying on your back with your arms laid on the floor above your head. Bring your legs off the ground slightly and you are in your fully extended position. Now pull your knees in towards your chest and bring your arms up to wrap around your knees (without actually touching them) and you've reached your crunch position. Remember to lift with your chest, rather than straining your neck forward as not only are you likely to score yourself an injury, you also look a bit stupid.

Do 3 sets of 10 of these in each workout you do and I promise that you will get abs. (Disclaimer: maybe not total washboard, Cameron Diaz abs, but abs none-the-less).

3. Power Plate Workout 3 x set
Again, another new fave workout set, coming from the fact that I now have a new gym with a Power Plate. Power Plates are AWESOME because they increase the productivity of your workouts. I'd quite like to do a whole post on these so I won't natter on about this too much now.

If you don't have a Power Plate, you can do this in your living room on a yoga mat, with a stopwatch and that'll do. Hell if you're as unequipped as I usually am, just throw a towel down.

Anyway, we're doing three sets, and it's as simple as this:

Power-Plates-Workout-Jog-Off
























These three steps haven't failed yet to cure a bad day, along with some pumping music and good post-gym food too (Dried Mango is my absolute favourite). I'd love to hear what gets you through a bad day at work, so tweet me at @jessapeters and I might feature some of your favourites on the blog next time.

P.S. I know this has been a pretty text heavy post, so I promise to bring you some more sweaty photos of me soon - I know that's all you're really here for.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Fixing Dad Trailer

You know me, I never give up a chance to advocate exercise for about a hundred different ailments. But more and more, I'm seeing research proving this is true time and time again.

Today I'd like to introduce you to some friends of mine - The Whitingtons, and most importantly to their incredible project 'Fixing Dad'. See for the last year or so, Anthony and Ian have been on a mission to support their type 2 diabetic dad, Geoff, turn his life around and secure him a better future... And they're filming the whole lot along the way.

I can't write it any better than they have, so please read their words below, watch the trailer and find out more here. I can't tell you how far they've come since this trailer was made, but I can assure you that this documentary is going to be truly special.





Welcome to Geoff's journey to a better life. Geoff is our Dad and he has some serious health conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart problems, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and Charcot's Foot. At the start of our project, in late 2013, he weighed around 19 stone. He was being kept alive by a cocktail of drugs which thinned his blood, lowered his cholesterol, regulated his blood sugar, lowered his blood pressure and made him able to live in a body that was close to collapse. 
He is currently 62 years old. He lives in Ashford with his wife Marilyn. He works as a security guard for 12 hours a night after retiring from his job as a telecommunications engineer which he did for 40 years. 
Geoff is a nice guy, in fact he's possibly the nicest guy you'll ever meet. He'll give to the point of suffering himself and always puts others before him. Now he is in retirement with little money, severe health issues and a low quality of life. Geoff's working hours mean he has no hobbies or many close friends but he finds comfort in junk food, alcohol and working hard. It all started whilst working at BT where he was part of a heavy-drinking culture and became a member of the 'Fat Bastard Brigade', a group of men who prided themselves on drinking 18 plus pints a day.
We are Geoff's sons, Ian and Anthony. Our mission is to fix our Dad. He's given his life to ensure we or anybody close to him never went without. Now it's time for us to give back and give him the support he needs. We're using our film making experience to document our journey and this website as a resource for all the other people out there who have fallen victim to the temptations, stresses and let downs of life. If our journey to success inspires just one person to help another person get back on the right road we have done our job.
Join us over the next few months. Our dad's tried to sort himself out on several occasions over the last 20 years, but this time we are there to help motivate him. He's up for the challenge, so here goes!

To find out more about Geoff's story, head to the Fixing Dad website here.