New blog name Running Happy

 

I’m now blogging at Running Happy (runninghappy.co.uk) so please pop on over and bookmark the new address.

If you follow me through Bloglovin’ or if you are subscribed through my newsletter you don’t have to do anything as I’ve done all the hard work for you.

Why the change of name?

Since taking part in the Blog Hop last month I discovered that a lot of people had trouble accessing my blog. Why? Because the name contains a word that some firewalls, spam filters etc block. Yes, the ‘P’ word.

So rather than contacting all the service providers in the world and getting them to see that actually my blog is just about running and doesn’t contain any naked ladies, it was easier to just change the name of my blog.

Hopefully, everyone will now be able to access my blog quickly and easily.

Why Running Happy?

I chose the name Running Happy simply because running makes me happy, and hopefully makes you happy too.

Although the name has changed the content will pretty much stay the same. Posts about running with some posts about vegan food.

See you over there!

Doughnuts and some running

weeklyroundup
This week was rather fun. I only managed two runs but I really enjoyed them, plus I got to the gym.

So Monday I went to my Pilates class. I do miss it when I can’t go, even though some of the moves are really hard and I ache afterwards. This week wasn’t so bad but it was surprisingly busy.

Tuesday was a nice 4k run lunchtime run with my work’s running group. We had a mixed ability group running with us so I stayed near the back and did a bit more walking than I usually do.

Wednesday was my club night and we had a very dark run along the canal. I joked about people not falling in but I do worry about that happening, especially in the dark, so I think I might avoid the canal until it gets lighter.

Friday I got to the gym and did a lot of strength work. I used the rowing machine for the first time which gave me a good workout and then did a set on the upper body resistance machines. I ended my session by doing some plank/downward dog combos which was quite exhausting. 

I’m including my visit to the Animal Aid Christmas Fayre in my round up this week. It didn’t involve any running or exercise (although the I did watch the press up competition!) but I did meet a lot of Vegan Runners members so we talked about running a lot! 

image
Doughnuts from Pomodoro E Basilico

I must admit that a lot of cake was eaten, both by me and fellow VRUK members. I mean who could say no to things like vegan Boston creme doughnuts, brownies or strawberry slices? I also sampled quite a lot of chocolate and can highly recommend the delicious salted peanut white chocolate bar from Solkiki.

So how was your week running? Did you do any Christmas related activities? Did you eat a lot of cake like I did?

This weekly wrap up is part of the link up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin.

  

End of November

weeklyroundup 
I’ve not done a weekly roundup since finishing my Trailffest training. To be honest I’ve not been that regular with my runs or workouts since the start of October. I’ve still managed at least two runs a week but these have been shorter ones with the Start to Run course and my lunchtime running group.

However, I feel that this week I’m more in the swing of things.

I had a short but fun run with the Bridging group at my club on Wednesday evening, followed by my club’s AGM. Quite a few of the participants in the Start to Run group have stayed on to run with the Bridging Group which is really nice. We’re running just over 3 miles at the moment and will be increasing this over the next few weeks.

On Thursday I ran with my lunchtime group at work. It was actually a horrible run for me as I had a stitch the whole time which only eased off once I stopped. But nevertheless I felt good afterwards and full of energy for the rest of the day.

Saturday saw me at my local parkrun which turned out to be rather social, there were a lot of people I knew who had decided to run it too. It was a very cold, frosty morning  and the race director warned of black ice on the course. Within minutes of starting one runner had quite a tumble so I spent the rest of the run eagerly looking for ice on the path. I had a really good run, I ran at a very comfortable pace and finished in 28:12. 

So in all I was pleased with my runs. I’m planning on running another three times next week plus get back to my Pilates class as I’ve missed a few recently.

How about you? Did you enjoy your runs this week? What are your running and fitness plans for next week?

This weekly wrap up is part of the link up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin.

  

Runner’s Gift List

tuesdaysontherun2

Today I’m participating in the Tuesdays on the Run linkup with Marcia’s Healthy Slice, My No-Guilt Life and MCM Mama Runs.

We are now only a week away from December and I feel it’s appropriate to mention the C word. Yes, that’s right, Christmas!

I thought it would be a good time to do a list of gifts for the runners in your life (or even give you suggestions to pass on to those who might be buying you gifts). For this runners gift list I’m thought I’d make some suggestions that aren’t clothing.

Music subscription

If you know a runner who likes to listen to music when they run then why not gift them music! Companies such as Spotify and Deezer offer subscription services for a monthly fee. They give you access to thousands of albums, artists and playlists across all genres of music. You can create playlists and with a subscription you can listen off line, perfect for runners who go off the beaten track.

I had a subscription to Deezer over the summer whilst I was training for my half marathon and made lots of different playlists. I had one for my tempo runs, one which went from slower to faster songs for my progression runs, and one with over 2 hours of music for my long runs. It was very easy to use and I was pleasantly surprised at how varied the songs and artists they had. My play lists had music form Frank Wilson, Powersolo, Rose Maddox, Scott Walker and the Detroit Cobras. I also made a list of my favourite tunes from the crooners form the 1930s.

Race entry

If you are a runner how about entering a race for you and your friend? There are lots of fun winter ones in January and February or you could look for a spring race to give you time to train.

If you and your friend are regular runners then a winter 5k or 10k race would be doable. Just keep in mind what your friend would like. If they’ve never run a half marathon or marathon and they’ve never mentioned wanting to run one then it might not be a good idea to enter them into one. That is if you value your friendship!

However, if they’ve mentioned wanting to run one and you quite fancy one too then entering together would be a great present, as long as you leave enough time to train for it. There is also the bonus of having a guaranteed training partner!

And don’t forget, whatever race you enter, make sure you can follow it with a celebratory lunch.

Massage or spa day

Do you know a runner who has a spring marathon place? How about booking them a spa day or massage for the day after their big race?

Of course, if their race is on a Sunday they may have to book time off work for the Monday but as long as you give them enough notice I can’t think of anything nicer than to have a day of relaxation after a big race. Throw in a massage to ease achey and tired muscles and you have the ultimate post-race luxury.

Nutri Ninja

Last year I gave my parents a Nutri Ninja blender for Christmas and then promptly went out and bought one for myself. It is fantastic and I would highly recommend one. The high power motor means it makes very smooth smoothies, no lumpy bits like when I used my old blender, and since getting it I’ve used it almost every day.

Why do I recommend these as a gift for a runner? For me having a smoothie before or after a run is fantastic. It’s filling enough so I don’t spend morning runs feeling hungry but not too heavy to give me a stitch. After a run I can pack it full of nuts and seeds for extra protein to help recovery. (see my smoothie recipes)

The Nutri Ninja is powerful enough to grind up nuts and it’s what I use to make cashew alfredo sauce and almond milk. I’ve not tried making my own nut butter in it but I can imagine it would work very well.

What’s on your Christmas wish list? What would you add to my suggestions?

Why I Run

I’m in the spotlight today as part of Kristy from Runaway Bridal Planner‘s Blog Hop. So hello to all my new readers! My blog is about running, with occasional forays into recipes and reviews. I like to write about my training for events as it keeps me focussed and hopefully will help other people who are training for similar events. I like to write race reviews in case anyone else is thinking about entering the races and I do love reading reviews myself. They often give you a heads up on things to watch out for in a race that the official description might not mention. If I share recipes, food or review products they are always vegan as I have been vegan for over 20 years.

Today I thought I’d write about why I run and see if any of you share my reasons.

Running keeps me fit

The whole reason I started running was because of fitness. I’ve never been into sports, I never ran at school, but I have always been active. I was in a 1960s dance troupe called The Actionettes for over 10 years and I used to go to regular swing and R&B nights (the proper sort of swing and R&B from the 1940s and 50s) before I moved to the countryside. Unfortunately in my little village there aren’t many opportunities to go dancing.

Dancing with the Actionettes
Dancing with the Actionettes

And then I learnt to drive. As I was born and raised in London I never needed to drive, there was plenty of public transport to get you from A to B, and most of it ran through the night. When I moved to my little village my public transport options were drastically cut, so I thought I better learn to drive. Once I passed my test I was driving everywhere and walking less and less. Which meant I was getting unfit and putting on an inch or two.

So I started running. At first I wasn’t sure if I would like it and I never imagined I’d still be running almost 2 years later, but here I am. Fitter than I was and really enjoying running!

Being social

Running can be a solitary activity but for me it’s a very social one. About 5 months after starting to run I joined not one but two running clubs. Joining the clubs has not only made me a better runner but I have made some good friends along the way. This summer I’ve had some fantastic runs with friends and with my mum. We’ve been to new places, we’ve run in the sunshine and got soaked in the pouring rain.

Yes, that is a man playing a ukulele helping us warm up
Yes, the man in the middle is playing a ukulele to help us warm up

There is a fantastic community of runners. Whether it is at a club, during weekly parkruns, for meetups, in online chats (#ukrunchat on Twitter is fun), Facebook groups or just chatting to people during races, there is always a friendly face, a warm welcome and sometimes cake.

Running is infectious

A few weeks after I started to run so did my mum. She thought if I could run maybe she should give it a go. I’ve since run 7 races with her, including her first 10 mile race back in October. My dad has also joined us running, I ran my first 10k with him in July 2014 and he joined me and my mum for another 3 races.

Come back mum, honestly it won't be that bad!
Come back mum, honestly it won’t be that bad!

I’ve got my friends running and people at work running, I’ve even started a lunchtime running club at work. I’ve also lead a Start to Run course which finished last week. I was so proud to run with the participants as they completed their first 5k. 

I’m a nature lover

I love running off road or on trails. I’m lucky enough to run in some beautiful and varied countryside. Woods, fields, canals, lakes and hills. Being outdoors surrounded by nature is just wonderful. I’ve seen hares, red kites, voles and weasels when I’ve been running and I live in hope of seeing a badger. I even get to do some foraging and have come home from runs with bags of peas, apples and blackberries.

A bleak and frost morning. Perfect for a run!
A bleak and frosty morning. Perfect for a run!

I run throughout the year so I get to see the changes of the season, from frost on trees and spider webs, to summer fields full of hay. The changes mean it’s never boring running the same route, there is always something new to see.

I get to explore

Whether it is new streets and alleyways in towns or new footpaths and trails in the fields running makes me an explorer. Some runs I’ll just go where I fancy, I’ll spot a gap in the hedge and see where it takes me. Even getting hopelessly lost over the summer when I couldn’t find the footpath was fun, eventually.

A arch and style in the hedge
I wonder where this leads…

I love signing up to races in new areas. If I hadn’t ran Trailffest this year I would never have seen the stunning mountains, lakes, waterfalls and slate paths that I did. And if I hadn’t ran the Ricky Road Run I would never have known how close the town is to some rather splendid commons.

I get to win

I’ll admit it, I do love running for pleasure but I also like the challenge of setting myself a target and winning. Of course, when I say I get to win I don’t mean I come first, I’m not sure I would ever be fast enough to be the first to cross the finish line. What I mean is I win for me.

What I like about running is that I am never competing against anyone but myself. I can set myself a goal and I can work really hard to get there, and sometimes I might just make it.

Medals from my first year of running
Medals from my first year of running

In the spring I set myself the target of getting my 5k time down to 26 minutes. I worked really hard for 8 weeks with lots of speed work, hill sessions and tempo runs. When it came to my target race I ran it hard and crossed the line in 26 minutes 37 seconds, a whole 2 minutes off my time from the same race last year. That was definitely a win for me.

Do you have similar reasons for running as me? If you don’t run, what do you love about your favourite workout or exercise?

Doughnuts and some running

Doughnuts and some running

This week was rather fun. I only managed two runs but I really enjoyed them, plus I got to the gym. So Monday I went to my Pilates class. I do miss it when I can’t go, even though some of the moves are really hard and I ache afterwards. This week wasn’t so bad…

End of November

End of November

  I’ve not done a weekly roundup since finishing my Trailffest training. To be honest I’ve not been that regular with my runs or workouts since the start of October. I’ve still managed at least two runs a week but these have been shorter ones with the Start to Run course and my lunchtime running…

Runner’s Gift List

Runner’s Gift List

Today I’m participating in the Tuesdays on the Run linkup with Marcia’s Healthy Slice, My No-Guilt Life and MCM Mama Runs. We are now only a week away from December and I feel it’s appropriate to mention the C word. Yes, that’s right, Christmas! I thought it would be a good time to do a…

Why I Run

Why I Run

I’m in the spotlight today as part of Kristy from Runaway Bridal Planner‘s Blog Hop. So hello to all my new readers! My blog is about running, with occasional forays into recipes and reviews. I like to write about my training for events as it keeps me focussed and hopefully will help other people who are…

Running at Work

Running at Work

Since May this year I’ve been leading a running group at my work. We run once a week at lunchtime for about 30 minutes. It’s a great opportunity to be social with people from different departments, as well as the benefits of a mid-day run. So I thought I’d write a few tips about running…

Vegan Runners Virtual Race

Vegan Runners Virtual Race

On Sunday 1 November I ran my first ever virtual race, the VR2 organised by my club Vegan Runners UK. You may ask what is a virtual race? It is a race that can be run in any place and anywhere in the world. You can run it on your own or in a group…

Ricky Road Run

Ricky Road Run

The Ricky Road Run is a 10 mile race around Rickmansworth and Choreleywood, organised by Affinity Water to raise money for charity, and is the second race in a month that I have done with my mum. Since she did her first 10k last September my mum has been thinking about whether she could run…

5 Tips for Running at Night

5 Tips for Running at Night

The nights are drawing in, there’s a little chill in the air and before the month is out the clocks (at least in the UK) will be going back. Welcome to autumn and running at night! If you want to continue to run during the darker months it seems to me you have a few options. …

Pure Lime Moulded Sports Bra

Pure Lime Moulded Sports Bra

Way back in June the sports bra specialist Less Bounce emailed their customers to ask if anyone wanted to review the new Pure Lime Moulded Sports Bra. I jumped at the chance, entered my name and was one of the lucky customers picked for the job. The review was for their website but I thought I…