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Showing posts from 2018

Calling All Ploggers

We're all finding ourselves surrounded by more and more brands and channels making us aware of the rising plastic pollution problems. Most of us have been trying to recycle for years, but there is still too much plastic ending up in landfill, or worse across our landscapes and in our seas. Our European cousins in Sweden are ahead of the game as usual with their efforts to clean up and have been combining their love of the outdoors, exercise and being generally good humans and cleaning up after each other.. Behold a new phenomenon - Plogging! Erik Ahlström started the Plogging movement, which is a combination of litter picking and jogging, when he moved to Stockholm from the Åre ski resort. He created the website Plogga to help organise events in 2016 and it has been growing internationally since. The Mindful Movement Club recently had a beach walk and clean up session at the beginning of summer near Shoeburyness, but interest in this proactive way to get exercise and clean our enviro…

Bike Week - Not just for Newbies

After months of staring at my bike and thinking about getting back to my commuter days, I finally bit the bullet yesterday and got my pedals turning again. Its been almost a year since my accident and its fair to say that I have not been feeling too cool about the prospect of dancing the wheels between the trucks and buses on route to work again. But I haven't wanted to lose the bike, or the choice, I just had a massive confidence drop in my ability to feel okay about getting back out there.
Truth is, I'm still not totally cool with it, but I am getting better. Following the old bike getting written off by the insurance company, I have been able to purchase a replacement Genesis Road bike (Ruby), but I still don't have the balls to use it. I don't want to be on the drops in traffic and this has led to me keeping it in storage, rather than putting it back out on the road. So I am dabbling again with my single speed PlugOne Charge (Old Blue) as its a familiar friend and…

Moving in New Directions - All aboard

Last year I was trying to find alternative ways to switch off and to find a reason to keep my head up. I was in need of a new challenge, which didn't involve running, something that would enable me to escape the city for a short break and be a reward worth keeping on for.
I'd been investigating adventure breaks for a while, then kept getting bombarded with facebook adverts for a company who promised to enable short breaks - weekend adventures and make them easy to book up. Welcome to "Much Better Adventures" - a global partner for hundreds of local guides which allow you to pay a small deposit and slowly edge your payments towards the trip.
I had been looking for something peaceful and completely different from my usual trips and became completely smitten with the idea of paddling along the fjords of Norway. Like all online ideas and challenges, the paying for the experience is the easy part. Sure it took me some months to chip away at it, but even though it wasn…

Moving in New Directions - Don't Look Down

Over the past couple of months I have been getting used to a lot of change at home. My daughter Poppy has moved into her own flat and my time has been spent on moving flats (yes multiple - it's a long and boring story). My role as every day mum and my household responsibilities have changed and I'll be happy to admit, I'm finding it a bit weird and strange.
So its been a perfect time to try a few other new things out. Bouldering being the first one - I tried this on the first Monday evening after I started my new flat share. The flat share in itself was all new - I've not been in a flat or house share since I was 23 (F**k that is actually 20 years ago!!) so learning to live with another person who isn't family, a partner or a friend, all brings changes too.. but its working out pretty cool.
So aside from the change in accommodation - how did I get to the Wall? 
Run Dem Crew have collaborated with Hackney Wick Bouldering Project, to set up 3 sessions of Bouldering,…

Cheer Dem - Run Dem - Crew Dem

Its been about 2-3 years since I made the life changing decision to try to meet up with running crews in London. Initially I was too scared to approach any of them, as I thought my slow pace and non-athletic figure would make my introduction the most anxious horrific experience ev-vah.. Slowly I have found myself fully accepted in the belly of the beast of both Run Dem Crew and Chasing Lights Collective. And what an enormous belly of love I have found.
This year was my 2nd chance to help with Cheer Dem duties at London Marathon and I was given the full pressure of ensuring the road for our cheer zone ahead of Mile 21, was as colourful and as welcoming as possible. A task that I would have assumed to be way out of my league, if asked previously. With a few cans of chalk spray, plus some encouragement from Charlie and Sanchia, the road was closed, our stencils went down and our colours went up.. All early morning crew pounced, with placards, banners, big heads and our cheer zone became…

Backpackers Keep It Up - 365 days and counting

Founded on 16th February 2017, the BackPackers are a running crew like no other. Led by Community Captain Leeanne Adu and Vice Captain Megan Beggs, alongside regular coaches Nav and Chevy from Chasing Lights Collective, the crew has grown in numbers and strength for the past 365 days.
Celebrating its 1st Birthday this evening, there are instantly recognisable reasons for its success. This is a family of nurturing individuals, not hardcore running machines. They celebrate the efforts required to keep moving, regardless of the every day mental and physical challenges which often prevent runners from getting to the start line, let alone claiming their medals. 
With 3 pace groups - Walk / Jog, Jog or Joggier, they welcome all levels of runners - but they do not focus on Speed, Time or Distance. These are new and seasoned runners, beginners, happy joggers, runners returning from injury - the back of the pack - but do not let that fool you.
This crew meets every Thursday evening at 6.45pm,…

The Art of Bailing Out or Realising Its Okay to Just Play

Over the past couple of months I haven't found enough time to train for the events which have been looming up on the calendar. Mostly due to work commitments and changes at home, but also due to illness, I've missed a few chances to get ready for events, specifically the impending 70km run across Brecon, which I was meant to be attempting this weekend. 
Each time I have gone out for a run, I've been mentally counting the amount of times this would be repeated, over the course. A nice 10km run was turning into the mental calculations of number of hours running / number of hours of available sunlight.. number of times I'd have to hit a PB and repeat it, to make it through the miles without being picked up by the sweeper.. all the time sucking the joy out of every step, as the date gathered pace.
So for weeks I have been dreading it and slowly wondering what the ***k I was going to do. Initially I thought it was a 50km run, so having completed the IOW 25 miler last year,…

Jars of Goodness and Kick Starting the Training

It's that time of year.. a lot of folks are on the dieting abstinence thing and feeling the squeeze after the annual seasonal gluttony.. I'm no different, but this year I'm trying to cut weight in a sensible way, by actually eating the correct stuff and trying to get rid of the extra pounds put on from missing training and eating way too many chocolates.
In 2017 I began to study sports nutrition, to help me get ready for the endurance events. I quickly learned that if you're doing a lot of events and mileage, you have to eat the right food. Even still I am a normal human being and have done the usual festive forgetfulness of all things good for me, so I'm starting again from scratch. My first session back with Chasing Lights this year, was tough and it wasn't helped by carrying all the extra pounds from the slow mo xmas show. 
It's time to get real and sort my shit out.
So this week I've been going back to basics and measuring my food, cutting back on …

Tunnel Vision - Pressures Imposed and Discarded

For the first time in ages, I entered the New Year in a good place and managed to crank out a few long training runs and walks before turning into 2018. Over the last two years I have used the Christmas holiday to plan out my year of events, to give myself a plan to focus on, to keep me on the right path, throughout the winter season. 
Initially I booked Paris Marathon last April, to force me to keep running all winter and to keep my head in the right place. In order to make my path more sustainable I kept adding events and each year  since I started running, I quickly made a long list of multiple 10k, Half Marathons, bike rides and Marathons. But with sponsorship also came the pressure to keep running, pushing beyond the injuries and often surpassing all plans for sensible mileage. This year I am aiming to try a different tactic, off-loading the pressure to see how well I cope with just running for myself.
As a MIND fundraiser, last January I tried to undertake the R.E.D January cha…