Run Hackney 2015

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There have been a lot of race highlights for me this year, but one of my favourites has to be the Hackney half marathon weekend. I ran the relaxed 5k on the Saturday and the half on the Sunday and absolutely loved the whole event. Getting to run the race for the first time was fantastic, and it was just a great all round day, well organised, good route, great support and atmosphere, other than the heat, it was fab! My only criticisms were that it was too late in the summer for the race as the heat was unbearable and the final 3 mile section in the Olympic park of out and backs was brutal. Thankfully the organisers have taken everyone’s feedback on-board and made changes to make next years race even better!

The event registration has just opened for next year’s event on Sunday 10th May 2015- a little earlier in the summer, and hopefully a little cooler! The run is an enjoyable, relatively flat and speedy course through the heart of East London, starting and finishing at Hackney Marshes. The event is run on closed roads, and this year will have a much improved route through the Olympic Park- one of my only gripes from last time around!

I think it’s a really great event for those looking to step up to half marathon distance for the first time, or more seasoned PB chasers, or even those just doing it for a bit of fun! It’s a big event, but other than the start pens I never felt thr route was overly crowded or congested. There was a really good buzz around Hackney all weekend, and I loved running round some of my regular training places in a race setting.

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The event is expected to sell out quickly, with thousands already pre-registered, you can enter now for £44 unaffiliated (42 affiliated) and currently £5 off that for a limited time only. This is similar to what I paid last year, it might seem pricey for a half, but I thought it was worth it last year, especially as it had the best goody bag I’ve ever had at a race, mostly Vegan which meant I could use almost everything!  Entry includes a mens/ladies fit tech t-shirt, which is also an improvement from last year, live entertainment on course and race village, lots of water stations, and of course a sparkly medal!

I’ve been kindly gifted a race entry for next year and am already looking forward to the race, and hope to see you there!

Favourite Reads of the Week #4

Some of my favourite things I’ve come across this week:

Recipe for delicious looking paleo, vegan and grain-free gingerbread from Laura.

A load of great running tips for anyone just starting out, or those with more experience too!

This bloody brilliant lululemon video.

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This sensible article of debunking sugar myths. It really annoys me when people  lump fruit in the same category as processed refined sugar, rather than seeing it as a whole food. Fruit rocks!

Great list of dietary sources to help you manage stress.

Matt Frazier’s steps to simplify your life. Some good, easy to incorporate tips here.

This hilarious video of a Golden retriever failing an obedience competition, but winning in my book!

Anything awesome you’ve seen, read or listened to this week?

Fire up your run this winter

We are long past the point where run commuting takes place in daylight, I’ve stopped doing my full run home now as some parts are too isolated and I don’t feel safe to run them alone, although I am still doing a shorter run commute to and from the station. I’ve just been heading out in my regular running gear but I was kidding myself in thinking I could be seen on my commute, and so it was ideal timing for a load of products to help me light up my run landed on my doorstep.

My run commute route is often very busy, so at times I find myself running in the cycle path or on the road, to avoid the masses of commuters/tourists. The Nathan run longer light series products have been ensuring I am seen over the last few weeks.

The guys at 9point9 who distribute for lots of awesome sports brands kindly sent me several products to try including:

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Speedshift Gloves : I love running gloves in winter for keeping my hands toasty, and these have the added benefit of improving your visibility too. They have LED lights providing a decent 1300ft of visibility, they also come with a USB to recharge them which I think is a great idea, and you get 2.5 hours of charge out of them each time.  They’re not too heavy, or thick, with a stretchy outer layer and an inner fleecy lining. They also have a nifty “texting” finger feature, so you can keep them on should you need to fiddle with your phone during a run.

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Photon LED Vest: This has come in handy, as my old hi-vis vest is in one of our many unpacked house boxes still! As well as being hi-visibility, it also has LED strips, offering 1200ft of visibility and 150 hours of illumination. The vest provides 360 degree visibility, ensuring you can be seen from all directions. It’s lightweight so you barely know you are wearing it, but is a really simple addition you can make to ensure you are seen this winter.

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The Light Bender was my favourite product of the bunch. It’s a really comfortable arm band which is easy to slip on, and provides 2 options for steady stream or blinking lights with an easy to press button to change modes. It provides 2400ft of visibility, is really bright, and I’ve been wearing it on every late run, on my arm closest to the road. It’s such an easy to use product and it’s my absolute favourite one for ensuring I can be seen on the run! It is also water resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it, should you get a drenching!

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I was also sent some fabulously bright Feetures! socks to try out. I tried the Elite Light cushion socks, which are trainer socks so unfortunately only the inside of my trainers get to appreciate the prettiness of them!  They are L/R labelled, to ensure the supportive compression and cushioning is in the right places. I’ve used them a few times and they are super comfy, and are designed to ensure they don’t slip down at all. I need to test them on a longer run to see if they are blister proof, but so far, so good!

I will definitely be ensuring I use some, or all of these products during my early morning, or late night runs. Nathan also have a brilliant range of other products which can help you to fire up your run this winter.

How do you ensure you stay seen over the dark winter months?

 

 

Disclaimer: I was kindly sent the products featured for review, all opinions are my own.

Om Yoga Magazine November

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Detox. It’s a word that throws up a lot of opinions, and people seem to sit on one side of the fence, pro or anti. Personally I am all for detoxing, yes I agree that our bodies are very capable of detoxing (yes liver!) themselves, however our bodies are completely not designed and have not yet adapted to the toxic conditions we currently experience daily. Modern developments and changes mean that our body is often overloaded and needs a little help with detox from time to time.green juice

I’m looking at stress, pollution, diet- including lack of vitamins/minerals in soil- pesticides, technology, and loads more. Practically everything affects us, and this constant and ongoing build up is overwhelming for our bodies, this is why I fully agree with detoxing a couple of times a year or so.

IMG_3692Whether that is juice fasting, smoothies, liquids only, or just high quality whole foods, I think it’s important to give our bodies a chance to rest, and recover, and lightening up the digestive load is a good way to do that. Personally I think I eat a pretty decent whole foods plant based diet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t suffer from digestive issues, skin rashes and feeling lethargic from time to time. I have noticed a lot more of this since moving to London, my body generally doesn’t like the environment, water, or pollution, hence why I am happy to detox. Whether that’s for one day, or a full week, I feel it’s important to nourish our bodies and almost flood them with nutrition, particularly if you are juicing.

Om Yoga November, has a little guide to different kinds of detoxes. I’m not sure when I will next attempt one, I did a 3 day juice cleanse in May, and nothing much since then, so perhaps pre or post Christmas would be a good time to give my body a super boost.

Thoughts on “detox”?

Favourite Reads of the week #3

This article on the best 50 running books of all time. Some great books in there, many I’ve read, many to get through!

This post from Veggie Runners on why women’s sport matters and the equal pay gap, it’s frankly ridiculous how much Marianne Vos earnt in comparison to the top male riders.

This Kinetic Rev post on the art of running slowly with good form. I know whene my physio got me to focus on my running form I ran much faster, but I enjoy running slowly too so I will have to use these tips to ensure I can keep my form and try to stay injury free while plodding!

This is an old post on the Guardian on Why I love running, but one I absolutely love.

This article on Indianapolis Colt’s player Griff Whalen who is showing the NFL that you can be strong on a plant based diet. It’s awesome that more and more people in the limelight are turning to veganism, and showing that it is possible to achieve awesome things as a Vegan!

Tips for improving your sleep naturally from Organic Burst. I have no trouble getting or staying asleep, but there are some really good tips here if you find it a struggle.

This article on sources of Omega 3 in a Vegan diet. I used to take Nordic Natural’s algae omega 3, and I think I will start taking it again soon, as I noticed a big difference when I was on it.