Tag Archives: Motivation

Today: 13.1 Rules For My First Half Marathon

23 Feb

So i’ve reached that stage, the stage where I start questioning whether I’ve done enough to last long enough, or even to last the distance.

I know I can, I’ve been through this with myself. Intervalling your way to 13 miles isn’t the most efficient way to run your first half marathon, but after the not so great start to my year, and my foot still deciding to go numb at about 3 miles I’m left with little choice.

Over the past couple of months training, I have tried and tested different things to see if I can push further. Everything from the clothes I wear to the food I eat and even analysing which toe will blister first (right foot, toe next to the big one). I think I have come up with some (13.1) golden rules for your first race, or at least, rules for MY first race….

1. Talk to people who have done it before

This. You will hear everyone talking about their goals, and their sub 2 hour half marathons when you start your programme and you will feel so motivated! You shouldn’t kid yourself though, trying and extrapolate how long your 13.1 miles will take from the time your 10k run was will make you feel miserable.

My time prediction at best, if I run at my 5km pace, is 2 hours 40 mins. I’ve taken a step back from that and I know my running time will be around 3 hours, when intervalled.

I’ve accepted it, and haven’t thought too much on me being a failure or anything as I am going to do it.

Ask your friends what they did wrong. Giggle about it, you don’t even have to learn from it. It says a lot about making your own mistakes when your friends have done them too. You’re stubborn enough to go against the advice then you are stubborn enough to train for 13.1 miles

2. French lacy knickers are a no-no

I said I tried many different clothes, So I’m going to say one word: Velcro.

Go big, go small, don’t go wedgie.

3. If you’re a razor girl… don’t go crazy

Associated with the French knickers reason. It also itches with sweat, and ladies we do sweat. It doesn’t smell nice and when we’ve gone South American down South there is rubbing, and chaffing and itching and O DEAR GOD JUST DON’T.

4. Find a sports bra and stick with it

My Boobs jiggle, but if I wore a fully strapped-back-to-prepubescent-boy style bra I can’t breathe. I went through about 3 before I found my love… I jiggle during the first km because I’m full of beans but then they settle into a nice rhythm.

5. Get the best App for you

I’m a Nike Running Girl myself, I know those who use Strava, RunKeeper, Garmin stuff… I must admit I am using my phone for all my runs, but during training I’m getting annoyed at not knowing where I am, or how fast/slow I’m going. A Garmin/Nike sports watch may be my next best investment. I’m doing this AFTER my race… I know these things aren’t always accurate, but I don’t want to mess up all things inaccurate.

Consistent Inaccuracies please…

6. SOCKS

I never believed them when they said “get running socks”. Socks are socks, right? WRONG: running socks have taken my poor arches of my feet from trench-foot through to fine after a run. They will always be sore, but I don’t have an alien pod now growing on them! Best £6 investment ever.

7. Leave the Mascara at home

I’m guilty of this on so many occasions, I would even go as far to say that anything over an hour-long, wash your face off of makeup before starting. Even though you do just ‘sweat it off’ It can turn gunky and give you panda eyes and make them sting. Which will make you cry. Nobody like a runner crying for 25 mins on the treadmill (Trust me)

8. Hair length and style matter… But not to look good

I have boob length hair (most accurate description). Not massively long, not really short, and when I first started training I tied it in a ponytail. About 30 mins in the pony tail started getting glazed with sweat from my shoulders.. then started to get stuck under my armpits. So I was pulling on my own hair…

Next I tried a bun on top of my head, which was fine till my head got sweaty and the bun kinda fell off…

I stick with a plait now. Nice and easy and it doesn’t flick sweat everywhere either.

9. The Internal Runner Discussions

I’ve blogged about my arguments with myself before, even the ones when I’m running. When I was doing parkrun in Milton Keynes this past Saturday I was talking to someone who has the same discussions as me. We crave pizza, and talk to our knees, moan at our ankles and wonder if we’re entering a mild psychosis during our runs as we are almost 100% sure we are having both sides of the arguments out loud…

It’s normal (apparently) and helps pass the time, so if you see me having an ‘Andy Murray moment’, it’s self-motivation at its best!

10. Music choices

DON’T MAKE A PLAYLIST THAT LASTS THE TIME YOU WANT TO RUN IN.

Make one that’s significantly shorter. That way you know your songs will have to repeat at some point, and you won’t be disheartened when you’re at mile 12 and your playlist finishes “I’ve still got 15 mins and I haven’t done it! O THE SHAME” Or other Drama Queen personality traits you obtain whilst running like a badass.

11. Training sucks… The goal doesn’t

Every training run, without fail, during km 1 and the final km. I’ve accepted it to the point that it drives me on!

12. The right shoes

I know I said in point one that you can stubborn yourself out of certain advice that is given.. Not this. Get proper shoes, trust me it saved my knees!

13. Be nervous

It’s a big thing, even if you are so calm until you start walking towards the start line. Nerves can carry you through that horrendous first km and push you past the final marker. Embrace the excitement!

13.1 You will finish.

Believe it. Say it to yourself. I’ve got it on my motivation board and I say it with every walking part of my intervals. I’ll finish, I may finish last, but I finished a half marathon.

Now I’m off to hydrate hydrate hydrate and eat a manageable amount of carbs!

You can follow me on Twitter @harriparf and Pinterest @harrietestyman

Today: Semi-marathon de Paris

11 Jan

Last year in November I signed up to the half marathon in Paris.

Not one for taking and easy option, really!

Why Paris? Well I’ve been there twice for work, I’ve admired document stir and pictures of the city, I’ve seen horrible stories about Paris and the way that it’s extremely dirty and segregated. So I thought I would see for myself!

Why a half marathon? Once my beginners group ended I’ve been a bit lost for motivation, I didn’t know what to do, and I’ve been really enjoying running and the community, that I thought why not go further?

I did a 10k at the end of November – Movember, in Milton Keynes, and it truly was horrible. Wet, cold, windy, hill swamped two lap course. I was 5th from last and genuinely hated every second of it. Then I finished. I had a friend surprise me as I crossed the rain soaked miserably grey finish line and I could have cried. Crying due a mixture of pain, cold, and joy that I had finished.

My hatred of running was soon over, and I just couldn’t wait to do another. It was like I had identified everything that had gone wrong and I wanted to fix it for the next thing. Thankfully I’d signed up for Paris!

13.1 miles isn’t much further than 6, is it?

Flash forward to the new year and I got struck with the crappy coughing headache, fatigued virus that’s been making the rounds. 3 weeks I’ve been out with it, no running had been done till today!

Only 8/9 weeks till the half marathon.. No biggie?

I know that if I can train up to 10 miles I will finish the race. I mean, the final 3 is just a park run right? And if I can do that final push in 40 mins I will be happy!

Today I managed to run in the gym, 6km running to songs. Two songs running and one song walking, just to ease back in, that took an hour. The advantage to running in the gym is that I got to watch the news whilst running, which just so happened to be on the March through Paris in remembrance and solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, and it was a big motivation.

I have the freedom to run where I want, what would I do if someone tried to take that away? Someone tried to scare me away from it? Much like Boston and the reaction to that terrible attack I would run. I would show defiance and strength in that I was born with the strength to run, the strength to enter these races, to run for a charity, to run for myself.

It was motivating. It kept me going from my ” 20mins little intervals” to a full hour seeing how far I could go.

Now I feel I can say: #JeSuisCharlie

I’m still nervous about running this half, especially as I will probably not have a trailing couple of weeks of distance, and I will have to run at the peak. But I will run, I will go. Why should I let a cough stop me? Why I should I let my worry stand in the way of a truly AWESOME feeling?

I will be spending 4 days in Paris, exploring and taking everything in. And I will not be frightened or intimidated.

I will be a runner.
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Today: Begin Again

14 Oct

Well I finally admitted that I needed help with my running.

So I got it!

About 8 weeks ago I completed a beginners running course (like a couch to 5k) with a 5k graduating time of 36:05 (according to the Nike running app!).

I’ve been hooked since!

I’ve now become a regular at the Redway Runners in Milton Keynes, whacking out a 5k every Monday and up to 8 every Thursday. I now also regularly take part in park runs as well. It’s a great feeling.

I really do enjoy it a lot, so much so that I’ve even signed up to do a 10k in November, and a longer event in March next year! Very exciting times for me, as it means I have something that I can work towards again.

I completed my first solo training run for it this Sunday just gone, and it was a killer. I’d only planned to do about 7k, but I needed up getting lost and then a bridge was closed and it was all a bit of a mess. So I ended up running 8.77k… No I wasn’t running my 5k split times but I was maintaining it, I averaged under 8min a km and If I didn’t have to stop to keep trying to figure out where to go, it would have been done quicker as well.

I know Nike does it pause run when you stop, but it adds about 15 seconds onto your time… And I got very lost….

Brilliant way to explore the new area though, and it’s a good excuse to get me out the house. Fighting all the mental knock backs and all that. It really is a brilliant medicine, exercise, personal development and the outdoors!

I have to get over running in the rain… I’ve sweated hair dye down my face so I must be able to cope with a bit of drizzle. It is England, after all.

So this week? We’ll long run Thursday again, I’m getting up early to push I out a morning exercise routine. Gently waking up a bit earlier everyday to get to the gym and do it… Imaging a morning swim and an evening run! Glorious!!!!

Night time now though, glass of water to sleep on and an early alarm….. *yawn*

Today: The First Time

21 Jul

No this isn’t going to be some crude and rude post about opening any poetic legs and losing the blossom of ones cherry (she says) but it is about the first time I had any significant time alone in my flat!

Charlie is currently at home alot, which is great for getting things done, but not so great when I want to watch rubbish TV programs and sit playing computer games on the laptop, or do embarrassing new random positions from my Pilates DVD. Or even the hip hop DVD! which Is lots of fun, however it is SO SO patronising!!

I do hurt after the DVDs though, in a good way, which means I hope they are helping, the star chart is certainly helping me get along!! I’m determined to earn at least one star a day, which means I should be on 14 now.. *runs off to count

FIFTEEN that’s right, more than one a day! WOOP! AND I get an extra one for blogging this 🙂 – So 16.

The only one with no stars on at the moment is the “Run for 10 mins straight”, I’ve been out the running game for too long to start this one, but according to the running plan Charlie and I are on, we should be doing that by Week 6. Week 1 starting again this Monday… (We’ve both been ill or not here to start it).

But the point of this blog post? Today! I was alone in the flat, Charlie went off to see The Dark Knight Rises and I had 4 hours all to myself!! So I spent some of it getting my hair cut, playing the Sims 3 and watching 16 and Pregnant.

I loved my day to myself, I managed to tidy up as well, which felt good because Charlie does all the tidying during the week!

He’s really good doing everything I ask, and really good at either going into our room or cooking and not making fun of me when I do the DVD things, “10 minute solutions” Which may seem like a cheat, but for someone who gets bored easily they are awesome! And when I want to try something new and do it for longer, I can just do another routine 🙂

I’m feeling alot more motivated than I was, and I hope to keep going as well as I have done – to feel good about myself, but mainly to have a curry at the end of it!

Today: Early Departure

9 Jul

Don’t worry this isn’t anything morbid. Infact only one point in this post is going to be remotely sad. A point which I will get out the way early.

Man flu. A condition once only suffered by the male providers of the world is now a condition that can cross to more evolved species. Whether its a genetic mutation of the illness or a slow down in the development of the female immune system we will never know. All that can be known is that you will feel like crap with a nose that looks fine till a massive liquid drop of funny snot falls out just as your team meeting starts.

So I went home early today. I thought I could soldier on, but I only made it to midday. Balls. So I’ve slept and drunk water today and eaten when I can, because any chewing or swallowing is rough.

I’m in bed already and its 9pm. At least I should get a long good nights sleep. If I can breathe!

Good points to this week though, I’ve just weighed in at 2lbs lighter to be 166lbs, which is about 69.72kg. I’m surprised as I haven’t done any real exercise and just had the diet to depend on!

I have also earned stars! 3 now for blogging (I’ve written another post on my science blog that isn’t published yet) and one for under 1500 calories in a day. Super proud!!

I would have more but I’m to ill to work out today.

Charlie and I will be starting a 5km beginners training program from tomorrow. Tuesday is a walking day and he has promised to do the whole lot with me, a fact I assure you all I will keep him to!

Today: The let down

6 Jul

I say let down, not because I have let people around me down, but I have let myself down. Or at least that’s what it feels like.

I have been sticking well to the eating part of my diet, cutting down and having things on moderation has meant that I’m used to not eating much now, and its only a week and a half in.

Exercise is another matter unfortunately. As soon as I get home from work its like I just need to stop. Which means I dont do anything but housework or maybe popping to the shops for dinner. Which makes me feel quite disappointed with myself, because I was doing so well with my running, and I’ve only been out once since we moved in and it was so demoralising that I just don’t want to go again.

I also miss science, I really miss being in an environment where I learn new things everyday, or when I put my knowledge into practice.

Charlie and I have been planning starting a new website, aimed at gcse revision that uses current news stories to relate to topics. I get really excited and motivated to do it when I’m at work, but then I get home and I just want to crash out!!!

The blog site is set up, its just not live and has no content as of yet. I need to motivate myself to do about an hour a day when I get home, of the website that is, then half an hour of exercise in the home. Maybe I should get a workout dvd, or a kinect for the xbox.

Thing is, It’s all well and good me saying this when I am at work, its carrying it on when I’m home. That’s also a reason I haven’t blogged on here much!! Maybe I should get a star chart or something…

Has anybody else suffered through this type of lacking motivation? It just seems the more goals I miss the less motivated I become.

Today: Why won’t work’s willpower work

2 May
Nike+ iPod Modification Tutorial

Nike+ iPod Modification Tutorial (Photo credit: Mixmaster)

I have come to recently discover that having a bad day at work reflects on what happens at home. It’s all well and good “leaving work at the door” but it can be hard to let some things go.

We’ve recently hit a lull in work at work, which for me unfortunately means I have little to nothing to do, as I’ve yet to train up to do anything else.

I have a C# book now, and a C++ book to keep my thirst for knowledge up and running. But even today I was struggling to find any motivation (Motivation part 1) to even open the books.

I was awaiting confirmation of some work from another department (which took a week longer than they said) which finally got done at 2pm today, my motivation (Motivation part 2) to try was dead in the water.

I enjoy working hard, I enjoy doing my best, and when I can’t do that it’s like i’ve failed somehow.

So when the time ticked over to 4pm, I could leave. So I did. It was only when I left that i realised i had no motivation to got to the gym. I wanted to go home and eat crisps. LOTS. It’s only because people would see the blue bar on my Nike+ coach that I went for my run.

Far away from my goal of 33 mins for 3miles (just under 5km) I ran/walked it in 38mins 12seconds. Here is my Nike+ graph thingy..

3 miles

no points for seeing where i had to start walking.

I honestly feel like i’ve failed. And I think it stems from the lack of motivation I get from work. I get that I’m new but at some point I need to beable to find work for myself.

It’s a step in the right direction. I have another 8 or 9 3 mile runs to complete and hopefully I will get it down to the 33 mins. It also means my 2 mile time will improve as well… So I guess that’s a light at the end of the tunnel!

You all on twitter have helped alot, giving me advice and support, namely @kimifan @charliestyman and @_saki_chan! Thank you all so much.

Also… my friend @pooja_gohel signed up to twitter today. give her a follow, not sure if she has managed to turn e-mail notifications off yet so it would give me a good giggle at work to hear of the influx of followers

Next run is supposedly tomorrow, and is another 3 miler. However i have pretty intense arch pain in my right foot, so if that’s not good by tomorrow then the whole distance from mile 1 will be intervalled. Instead of running a full mile before intervalling.

Or if it hurts too much then I will walk. Then book an appointment with the doctor I think…. stupid Oversupination.