For the first few days of this week, it was impossible to run - first with the ten inches of snow, then with the aftermath of it - ice and slush that made the possibility of breaking my neck a very real one! I found myself getting very cranky without my runs - going from home to tube to office to tube and home again meant a scant half hour outdoors if that! My running not only keeps my body in shape, but it is essential for my mental wellbeing. As Elle Woods said, "exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy"!
After a bit of effort put into negotiating the least icy/slippery route in my neighbourhood (I think all the salt and grit has been used in Central London, the rest of us in the nether regions just have to wait until it all melts!) I've managed a 35 minute run every day since Thursday! Whoo hoo!
My sister and I have been exchanging our "happy playlists" via email this week, and this has inspired me to share my running playlist here. A lot of songs in my happy playlist are in my running playlist too, I have to say! If you want a bunch of songs to get you really pumped, check this out:
- Jump - Madonna 3:46
- I Want Everything - Sneaky Sound System 3:50
- I Wish U Would - Martijn Ten Velden 5:02
- Exceeder - Mason 3:23
- Yeah Yeah - Bodyrox 2:52
- All Things (Just Keep Getting Better) - Widelife 2:46
- I Love It - Sneaky Sound System 3:47
- Get Together - Madonna 5:31
- O Saya - A.J Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack) 3:36
- Only (Richard X Mix) - Nine Inch Nails 7:26
- Ray of Light - Madonna 5:21
- We Built This City - Jefferson Airplane 4:56
- In Your Eyes - Kylie Minogue (cool down) 3:21
Lately I have been thinking about distance more than time when I run - because I'm going to be running a 13.1 mile race!! It's all very well to say "I can run for 40 minutes" but how much distance does that actually cover? Thanks to Map My Run I've figured out my usual route is about 4.5 miles. That's going to have to be UPPED big time over the next month, but seeing that I've only just got over very bad flu as well, I'm trying to be gentle with myself and be happy with managing my usual route in good time.
Today I finally bought a proper running bra, and I really noticed the difference when I whipped it on when I went running this evening after my marathon Oxford Street expedition this afternoon :) This is the first sports bra I've ever owned, I'm ashamed to say! Even when I was training for tris, I just wore sports tops with built in support. My "girls" aren't very large, and never have been - I've only been a C cup at my biggest - so I thought I could get away with it. But lately with the longer distances I've been aiming for, I have found myself feeling very sore! So I bit the bullet, got measured and fitted by a lovely lady at M&S, and got this sexy thing! Ideal for long distance running, and used by Olympic pentathletes, so I'm in good company ;)
I also need to get some new trainers. I think I might go to a shop where you can have your footprint analysed, or whatever it is, to get maximum support for your feet. But I've been looking at these. Does anyone have them? Is there any brand I should avoid, or definitely go for? Any advice and tips on buying trainers much appreciated, particularly from anyone who's done long distance races!
And finally, I've been ending my runs with a lovely big bowl of this:
It's definitely porridge weather over here! (and I was surprised to hear my sister is still having it for breakfast in sweltering Perth! Crazy girl!)
The bowl above is actually porridge made from my homemade muesli. Seeing that it's based on five-grain porridge mix, I was curious to see what sort of porridge it would actually make - and it was delicious. Imagine porridge, but crammed with dried fruit and nuts and seeds! I put some frozen mango in as well, and that heated to a rather yummy buttery puree that swirled all through the oats. Finally, I mixed in some coconut yoghurt and sliced strawberries. So good!
Hope this has inspired you to go for a run! (or at least think about it, if it's too hot!)