The Year of OCR… My Next Tough Challenge

Paid partnership with Black Tower Wine


This year has seen the return of OCR for me… I did my first Obstacle Course Race, Men’s Health Survival, back in 2011 and again the following year and I loved both, even though I’d done them solo. I also took on a local OCR called WAR with some friends and had the BEST time. But then I didn’t do another one until this year where so far I’ve completed 6 Spartan races! I also plan to hit up Nuclear Races sometime, but OCR season just couldn’t be complete without taking on a Tough Mudder, right?

To be honest, I don’t know how I’ve gone so long without having done a Tough Mudder – it’s the first race people think of when you mention OCR, with its infamous electric shock therapy obstacle. But so far Tough Mudder has escaped me… until now!

Joining the Tribe… Cheers To Me!

Black Tower wine, the official wine sponsor of Tough Mudder, invited me to be a part of their Black Tower Tough Mudder Tribe, conquering the Tough Mudder race and, of course, celebrating with some wine afterwards… #cheerstome! I’m a big believer in “no food (or drink) barred” and wine is absolutely in my diet and something I enjoy to wind down after a long day, or celebrate with when I achieve something, so I was absolutely on board.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Ian and I have both signed up for the London South Half course on Saturday 29th September. With Ian still recovering from his ankle injury in March, and me currently suffering a double whammy of plantar fasciitis and peroneal tendonitis, we will definitely be treading carefully while charging headfirst through the obstacles. I can’t wait!

The official Black Tower obstacle this year is the Kiss of Mud – this involves crawling under barbed wire, but actually we’ve found from previous OCRs that the quickest way to get through is to roll… a great excuse to roll around in mud with my boyfriend!

Tough Mudder Prep

OCRs may seem a little intimidating, but with our history of running and CrossFit, I’d like to think we’re pretty well prepared for whatever Tough Mudder can throw at us! CrossFit is such great training for OCR, with exercises like pull-ups and toes to bar transferring well to monkey bars (although will someone please tell my body that as I KEEP failing them!) and deadlifts/cleans transferring well to pulling tasks. I’ve definitely found I need less help at obstacles than I used to before starting CrossFit. Although OCR, and especially Tough Mudder, is also about teamwork so I’m looking forward to taking this on with Ian by my side and meeting other runners to tackle the obstacles together.

Not really knowing what to expect with Tough Mudder specifically, my main focus for getting prepared is to get my mud smile on and my teamwork helping hand ready. I’ve also heard I need to get ready for an ice bath dip… I wonder if I can bring a couple of bottles of Black Tower in there with me?! Tough Mudder – here we come!

Virgin London Marathon 2018 – Race Recap

When it comes down to it and your heart is punching its way out of your chest, your legs are heavy and you feel dizzy as fuck, the way I see it you have three choices:

  1. Drop out of the race, sacrificing your hard work fundraising for charity and that finish-line feeling, not to mention the medal.
  2. Push through, risking your health for the pride of a certain hour mark.
  3. Dial it back and make as much fun of the situation as possible, soaking up the atmosphere and the energy of the crowds.

Ian and I chose option 3.

About Our Targets

I’ve wanted to run the London Marathon for years – since about 6 months into taking up running. I’ve entered the ballot 6 or 7 times from 2009 and never got in, but when I decided to take on the 2018 London Marathon my focus was more on targets than on experiences. First of all the fundraising target, with £2,350 to raise for the Royal British Legion I knew I’d have my work cut out. But also the time target I’d set myself… I wanted those three little letters “GFA”.

In case you don’t know, Good For Age (GFA) for women between 18-39 is sub 3:45. Ian wanted sub 3:30, well within his reach. I’m sure we both have it in us, with the right training.

It’s all in the Preparation

I’m not going to quote the cliche, but you all know what saying I’m talking about. We had a far from ideal lead-up to the marathon. I can’t pretend I’d been entirely on plan… my mid-week sessions took a backseat to CrossFit, catching up with friends and nights in on the sofa. The weather was tough, with snow way later than it should have been coming.

But then, after tackling Roding Valley and getting an unplanned PB thanks to some awesome pacing from Ian, our long runs disappeared completely too. My house sale completed and I had three days to clear my things from the house before the new owners moved in. This meant missing the Big Half. The following weekend clearing the boxes that had cluttered my flat for a week took priority over a 7-8 hour round trip for Lydd 20. Then Reading Half was snowed off.

Our next race in the diary was London Landmarks, but a drunken day of fun in London ended up with me throwing up in A&E while Ian waited to have his swollen ankle x-rayed. Yeah, we’re proper athletes!!

With just four weeks to go, we didn’t know what to do.

Four Weeks, Four Runs

I ran four times between Roding Valley Half and the London Marathon. One an evening 10k round my local area, two Spartan races in one weekend, and then a 2 mile test run the Tuesday before the marathon.

Spartan gave me a little bit of a confidence boost – I figured that having spent nearly 5 hours in one weekend on my feet and taking on obstacles and disgusting hills, the lack of specific marathon training might not have been such an issue. But then the 2 mile test run on Tuesday took me crashing right back down to earth. My legs felt so heavy and my chest tight. I couldn’t breath and wondered how I was going to make it round 24 more miles. But it was too late. No amount of worrying was going to help me – there was no undoing my lack of preparation, and no more time to train.

 

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Now was the time to focus on experiences over targets.

Marathon Day

Of course, after all that perfect preparation, 22nd April 2018 would be the hottest London Marathon on record! At 24.1 degrees c, with temperatures on the course likely to be even hotter because of the heat absorbed by the road and from other runners, this was not going to be a perfect race for anyone, let alone the severely undertrained.

Here’s a whistle-stop tour of my London 2018 experience:

Blackheath

After dropping our bags off we wandered over to the starting corrals, and over to the land of the porter loo – little tip, past the first set of toilets you see there’s a whole town of toilets with hardly any queues. Along the way we bumped into Nicki, who was pacing the 4:30 group. Ian and I had both put ambitious predicted finishes when we completed our race entries, so we were in the 3rd corral at the start. As we made our way towards the start line, the excitement really hit… we were running the London Marathon! We saw my brother and Leigh, who kindly let us stay at their flat the night before, and then as we neared the corner there was Claire waving us off with her daughter! Even before we started the support was there and it was so welcome.

Miles 0-8

Within the first half mile, my belt that I hadn’t actually trained in was already pissing me off! Ian offered to wear it for me and I was SO grateful – I genuinely think I would have chucked it if it wasn’t for him! We started off at a strong pace, on track for between 3:45 and 4 hours. I was feeling hot, but actually pretty good and as if the sub-4 dream might actually still be achievable. The crowds were already huge, and there was even a pony poking its head over a wall with its owners along the way! It’s funny what makes you smile when you’re running a marathon. What didn’t make me smile was all the marijuana we inhaled as we ran through some of the high street areas… seriously, take it away from the course please!

Miles 9-14

It was at this point I started to falter. My legs felt heavy, I was overheating and my chest was tight – my heart rate was ridiculously high. I said I needed to walk for a bit, so we did. I clock-watched for a little while, panicking that each time we walked it would ruin our chances of the race time we both wanted. Ian told me he didn’t think his ankle would hold up the whole way. We made little bargains with ourselves: “let’s run to the next mile marker, then we can walk a bit”. It worked, but it was hard. Neither of us are run/walkers in practice and getting started again once you’ve walked is hard (respect to anyone who does it!). We bumped into Tommy in the crowds and had a quick hug before pushing on. At mile 13 Tower Bridge was coming up and, as one of my favourite parts of London, I knew it would give me a boost. I also knew shortly after would be the first Royal British Legion cheer station. We ran the bridge and it started to feel ok again, until…

Miles 14-18

After seeing the Legion, we knew we were in the meat of the race. The section that leads out towards Canary Wharf is tough for many reasons – firstly you’re heading in the opposite direction to the finish line, secondly you know you’re halfway and have to do it all over again and, thirdly the support typically fades a little here. I was starting to feel really defeatist so when I spotted a dog with its owners I knew I HAD to stroke it… we stopped for about 10 minutes just chatting and stroking this dog! A little while later we noticed my friends Laura and Dave. Dave’s wife, Gemma, was running and they were looking out for her. We stopped and talked for a bit and when she appeared in the crowd Dave’s reaction was priceless! We ran with Gem for a bit, before stopping for a toilet break. We also saw Emma and Lucy along here, and then Nicki went past with her pacing group. We knew we were in for a long race.

 

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Miles 19-22

It was somewhere along this point that we bumped into Ian’s cousin, Leanne. It was 100% NOT the best time to meet a family member for the first time, when you’re sweaty and probably a little stinky too… great first impression huh?! Shortly after this we saw Martin, quickly followed by the Cheer Dem Crew – probably one of the biggest and best organised cheer crews at the marathon! It was definitely a boost, despite not knowing any of the faces. We then bumped into Chris, who was volunteering at one of the water stations, and stopped for a chat. His surprise and joy at seeing Ian having made it so far with his ankle injury was clear and it was SO nice to stop and talk to him. Thanks for the Haribo too, Chris!

 

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Miles 23-26.2

This probably should have been the hardest part of the race, but actually it went pretty quickly. Running back past the Tower of London and then down towards Blackfriars, we knew we’d soon get to see the cheer squad we’d been looking forward to the most. We came out of the tunnel, after a long section of stop-start run/walking, but we couldn’t see them. We searched the crowds, looked out for the unicorn and rainbow balloons, but nothing. And then they were there! Nicole, Matt, AshLizzie, Mark, Becca, Hannah, Libby, Martina, Tash… I’m so sorry if I’ve missed anyone – it’s crazy how running can make you completely delirious! We stopped for lots of hugs (sorry for the sweaty cuddles guys!) and absorbed every ounce of motivation we could from those beaming faces. But we knew that the next face we’d see would be the most special of all…

 

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Ian’s mum had brought his daughter down to the race to cheer him on at the final bend and it was absolutely beautiful to see his interaction with her as she was handed over the railings and into his arms. That final 600m or so would be the easiest we’ve ever run now, despite the miles in our legs. As we charged down The Mall we knew we’d done it. My watch was approaching 5 and a half hours, but we genuinely didn’t care. We held hands as we crossed the finish line, smiling with pride. It may not have been the race we set out to do back in Jan/Feb, but it was 100% the most memorable race of my life, and for all the right reasons.

Thank You

I wanted to end this post by saying a HUGE thank you to everyone who supported me throughout my training – either through liking and commenting on my update posts, donating to my fundraising page, giving me words of encouragement and comfort, or even just listening when I complained about the snow or my achy legs. I also wanted to thank the Royal British Legion for not only giving me the place to run and fulfilling a dream of mine, but also for the support along the course and the amazing post-race reception – it really was the perfect way to regenerate after the race. And finally, perhaps obviously, I wanted to thank Ian for convincing me to run in the first place, and for making it the experience it was – I’m not sure I would have finished at all if you hadn’t been there.

 

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Marathon Prehab at the Ultra Sports Clinic

Training for a marathon can take its toll on your body. Pounding the pavements for mile after mile, often stepping up your distance quite considerably on a weekly basis from what you trained before – it all adds up. From personal experience, I’ve learned it’s far better to address any concerns you have about your running gait or any niggles you might be feeling before they progress to potential injuries. So I took advantage of an offer to go and visit the Ultra Sports Clinic a few weeks ago – call it Marathon Prehab!

The Ultra Sports Clinic

Proud supporters of Save The Rhino International’s 2018 London Marathon campaign, the Ultra Sports Clinic recognises how much of a strain marathon training can be. Working with professional sports teams, private health insurance companies and the general public, they really do have London’s sports fanatics covered across all bases.

I happen to work just a 10 minute stroll from the clinic so managed to fit in a lunchtime appointment with the clinical director and lead physiotherapist, Ashleigh Wienand, who took the time to understand my goals and current complaints. She then took me through various assessments before describing what was causing my niggles.

Assessment & Diagnosis

Ashleigh started by asking questions about my physical state and my current training. She assessed my movement patterns in various exercises – CrossFit has made me move a lot better, but doing pistol squats without a heel raise made me feel like a complete idiot… I’m sure physiotherapists do that on purpose sometimes for a giggle! But they seemed to give her the answers she was looking for, and she quickly came to the conclusion of what was holding me back and giving me my ITB and knee pain.

With the cause of my issues identified, Ashleigh described what was going on with my movements, detailing how and why they were leading to me repeatedly picking up minor injuries. Having seen physiotherapists multiple times, it wasn’t a shock to learn that it all boiled down to my extremely poor ankle mobility. But this time, Ashleigh had given me some new detail to complete the picture.

Treatment & Rehabilitation

Ashleigh ran through some manipulation and gave my back a good click before introducing me to Kate Hayes, the Ultra Sports Clinic’s biokineticist, who took me through some exercises. The focus was to build strength in my soleus and super weak glutes and to encourage balance and stability in my legs, as well as working on my soleus flexibility to push through my limited motion. The exercises she showed me included side lying glute exercises with a band, standing glute abduction, soleus isolation exercises, some single leg pick ups and aeroplanes.

Carryover to Running

Set with my diagnosis and a plan of action, I now know what to add in to my accessory work to help improve my movement and mobility. Kate and Ashleigh have given me the top advice of doing glute activation exercises before every run to make sure they kick in where they’re needed and, alongside my previous experiences, I feel as though I have all the knowledge I need to really work on this issue that’s been plaguing my fitness life for so long.

Thanks to the Ultra Sports Clinic for giving me the opportunity to really learn about my body, and for the kick-start I need to (hopefully!) get through this marathon injury free!

Disclaimer: I was given a free appointment and treatment plan at the Ultra Sports Clinic to understand their services. As always, my opinion is my own and not affected by payment, or items/services gifted to me. To find out more about my policy on this and other matters, see my Disclosure page.

Clinic photos courtesy of the Ultra Sports Clinic.

My Thoughts on Re-doing CrossFit Open Workouts

The CrossFit Open means different things to different people. For the top 0.5-1%, it means the chance to progress to Regional competition. For even fewer, it’s the fun first brick in the road to the games. But for most, it’s a chance to put your training (no matter how far into CrossFit you are) to the test, help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and – perhaps most importantly – participate in a worldwide community event.

Depending on your reason for competing, the leader board can become an obsession. After all, the difference between 120 and 121 reps could mean a huge amount in placings, and quite often you’ll see a number of top level athletes re-do workouts to get a better score. But for those of us with zero chance of qualifying for Regionals, what real reason is there for re-doing a workout? Do a few extra reps matter that much that you would potentially take time away from your other training and true progression, or even push your body to the brink of injury?

The Ego Trip

One reason I don’t like re-dos is actually one of the most well-known of the CrossFit box rules of conduct: “leave your ego at the door”. In my opinion, 9/10 re-dos are borne almost entirely out of ego. “So and so got X more reps than me and I know I can beat him/her”, or “I didn’t do as well as I think I could have”. Focus on your own game, or why you didn’t perform to the standard you think you should have, and make actionable plans for progression instead of trying to perfect a workout that ultimately doesn’t matter.

Developing Bad Habits

Another reason I don’t like re-dos is that I genuinely believe it can lead to poor behavioural traits and a potential sense of entitlement. My nutrition coach and friend, Lee from Monday Muscle, once said “good intentions can lead to bad habits”. The action he was referring to? Devouring an entire tub of low calorie ice-cream. But I think the same can be applied to redoing workouts. How will you ever learn to give your 100% in the first attempt if you get in the habit of redoing? After all, if you go to live competitions there are no re-dos! Second chances are rare, so I’m all for learning to leave it all on the table the first time around.

 

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Cost Vs Benefit Analysis

The deadlifts in 18.4 were heavy, especially for the men. I know a number of people who struggled with back pain and started to sacrifice technique during their first attempt, so why bother risking back injury for potentially just a handful of extra reps? By the same token, if your hands are already calloused up, why have another stab at toes to bar or pull-ups just to risk tearing the fuck out of your hands for the next workout? Sometimes you need to about the risk versus potential benefit and decide is it really worth it?

Looking Forward Not Back

What matters more to me than a few extra reps and moving higher up the leader board just to satisfy my own ego, is learning from my potential disappointment and training to become better. It all boils down to something Ben Bergeron often talks about – sacrificing short term gains (“instant gratification”), in favour of longer term growth/satisfaction. Assessing my performance, identifying what needs to be worked on to improve, and learning to be happy with what I have is something I think will make me a stronger character and better person all round. Instead of dwelling on past performances, I’d rather address the issues that caused me to not do as well as I’d hoped.

 

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When To Re-do

Having said all of that, there may be some entirely valid and justifiable reasons to re-do; like making it to the next level of competition, or achieving a PB or skill that’s within reach. So think about it before you decide to redo:

  1. Are you so close to achieving a certain movement (e.g. muscle-ups) that re-doing could mean the difference between nailing it or not?
  2. Do you feel like there was a fundamental issue in your strategy or technique that you know you can address and will mean a much better score?
  3. Are you just points away from qualifying for Regional level competition, and a few reps could mean moving from outside to inside the threshold?
  4. Was there a substantial issue with your equipment, judging criteria, or strategy that would mean performing significantly better?
  5. Were you well/recovered enough to perform the workout the first time around, and are you honestly well/recovered enough to repeat it?

If the answer to all the above is no, then suck up your “failures” and focus on what you can do in training to improve for your next competition.

My Lessons Learned

Here are my actionable lessons learned from my CrossFit Open 2018 performance:

  • Work on skills… specifically double unders. 18.3 was my only scaled performance, and pretty much only because of my inability to string together enough double unders to give me a score I would have been happy with claiming as RX.
  • Practice better technique. 18.5 was my second lowest percentile ranking – not through a lack of strength for the deadlifts (I could have made a dent in the second weight) but because my HSPUs aren’t up to scratch according to the movement standards.
  • Develop my ability to cope with high intensity workouts. 18.2 was my third lowest performance, and I should be able to cope with the pain of faster burpees. I need to move more efficiently and push my lactate threshold with high intensity interval work.
  • Train gymnastics progressions. Generally speaking, most of the areas I performed worst in involved gymnastics movements – not being able to string together TTB, being inefficient with HSPUs, lacking strength and efficiency for C2B… notice the common theme? And even if I did have double unders for 18.3, I would have been stuck staring at the rings for my lack of muscle ups.

Did you re-do any of the CrossFit Open workouts? If so, why? And did you learn anything from re-doing them? I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts!

 

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Spartan Women – Are You One of the 40%?

I’m doing something exciting this year. I’m doing every single UK and Ireland Spartan Race! As in, every location, every distance. I’m going to do them all. Well, assuming I don’t get absolutely annihilated and have to skip some! Now I’ve done OCR races before – I’ve crawled through mud pits, waded through skips of ice-cold water, leaped off of 2 storey high scaffolding onto huge inflatable rafts… but somehow in all my years of running, OCR and CrossFit I’ve never done a Spartan Race. But now, with 50% more races in the 2018 Spartan calendar, there are so many more opportunities to take part. Not only this, but with Spartan Women now making up 40% of runners I just HAD to join in and earn my patch! Read until the end of this post and you could join in too with a cheeky 20% discount!

Spartan Women, ASSEMBLE!

If you search the #spartanwomen hashtag on Instagram, you’ll find thousands of posts from inspirational female Spartan runners from across the world sharing posts from their training outside of the races, to the infamous fire leaps! I have to wonder if part of this increase in involvement is because of things like CrossFit, where women regularly lift weights, flip tyres and climb ropes. Over the last 5 years or so, functional training has really bedded down in the female fitness world, and what could be a better test of functional fitness than an OCR race? The CrossFit Games even featured its very own obstacle course for the first time ever in 2017!

 

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So what can I expect from Spartan racing?

Lucky for me, I happen to know an absolute Spartan regular in Ian. His Spartan medal collection is ridiculous and he’s sure to be able to help offer me some tips for getting round the Sprint, Super and Beast distances with my Spartan Woman pride still in tact! Here are Ian’s top tips:

Pace Yourself

It may be called a Spartan “race” but the obstacles will take it out of you.

Take Gloves

Gripping on to the carry obstacles (sandbags, tyres, logs, etc.) is tough with muddy hands!

Be Confident

Attack the obstacles with confidence – hesitation can mean the difference between not making an obstacle or nailing it.

 

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Accept Help

When you’re faced with a huge wall or a slippery slope and a stranger offers you a foot-up take it! This is what Spartan is all about. And on that note…

Embrace the Community

There are some familiar faces who go to almost every single Spartan Race and people are likely to stop to talk to you – join in the vibe, grab a selfie and say “AROO!”

Check Your Technique

The rope climb always catches a lot of people out but Spartan have loads of videos on their YouTube channel of how to tackle some of the obstacles so check them out.

Barrel Roll

When you reach a barbed wire obstacle it’s MUCH easier and faster to roll than crawl… thank me later. Just make sure you check the height first!

NAIL the Fire Jump

You have one chance to get an awesome fire jump photo so you’ve got to commit!

 

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Fancy Joining In?

If all this talk of Spartan racing has whet your appetite, why not sign up? Ian has set up a team, meaning we can all start in the same wave, and I even have a nice little discount code for you… simply enter FITCETERASPARTAN to get a fantastic 20% off Sprint, Super and Beast Open Heats! The code is valid for the whole of the Spartan season, until 7th October so get signing up for those races and get in touch via email, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter if you want to join our team to start in the same waves as us – we’ll share the team name with you! Below are the races I’m signed up to:

Choose from a Sprint (5km+), a Super (12km+) and a Beast (22km+), each with an increasing amount of obstacles. For beginners, the Sprint on Sunday, 8th April is best, and to give you an idea of what the distance means compared to a normal running race, an average OCR runner takes around 1 hour 30 minutes to complete a Spartan Sprint. And you can even get your kids involved with Spartan Race events open to children aged 4 and up tackling a 1.5km course.

For full details of all UK Spartan Race events in 2018, visit www.spartanrace.uk 

Follow Spartan Race UK on social media:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

London Marathon Training Diary – Week 3

Week three of training kicked off with a day and a half sick leave from work meaning ZERO training until Wednesday and a fair amount of making up to do. But, the decision to ditch the National Running Show so I could go along to other social events meant I could make a last-minute entry to the Finsbury Park RunThrough event at the weekend meaning… another medal added to the collection! And we all know I love a medal! 

VLM Minus 14 Weeks

Monday

Rest day.

Tuesday

Rest day.

Wednesday

Finally feeling a bit more human I headed to Lee Valley Athletics Track after work to make up for the fact that I’d missed a track session earlier in the week. Kerry told me to smash out 7 x 400m at around 90 second pace, with 90 second recoveries in between. I managed to drag IanRunsLDN along with me and thank god I did as without his company the reps would have been unbearable. A strong headwind on the final 150m of each lap was disgusting and, despite being told to “keep moving” between reps by Kerry, I found myself collapsed on the floor for the last 4-5.

 

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Thursday

On Thursday I was lucky to have an invite to go along to the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 launch at Whatever It Takes One New Change. Putting the trainers to the test was a workout programmed and announced by none other than CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro, and to demo the workout before we all gave it our shot were 2017 CrossFit Games Champion Tia Clair Toomey, Scott Panchik and Lukas Esslinger, also joined by Dan Bailey who was coaching from the sides.

The workout was 21-15-9 dumbbell snatches and burpees over the dumbbell and it was a sprint like no other!! I struggled with the burpees, like I knew I would, but was super happy to finish under 5 minutes.

The new Nanos are almost certainly my favourite yet – the right balance of supportive yet comfortable. I’m even considering simplifying my collection by cutting down some of the older styles and getting a couple of colour ways of the Nano 8 – something I’ve never considered until this shoe… which has to be saying something, right?! You can shop the Nano 8, and other Reebok CrossFit shoes, here.

 

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Friday

Rest day.

Saturday

Rest day.

Sunday

Running is SO much better with friends! Ian, Derrick and I headed out for a 7 mile loop to Finsbury Park before the RunThrough race. The route was awesome, taking in Alexandra Palace (and THAT hill), Highgate and the awesome Parkland Walk – a walkway that follows the old railway line that used to run that way. We arrived at Finsbury Park in time to collect our race bibs and choose whether we were going for the 5k or 10k race. Ian and I chose the 10k, four laps of the park, while Derrick went with the 5k route running with Martin. We managed to cross the line in just over 50 minutes – not bad going for the end of a 13 mile run!

When I got home I messaged Kerry to tell him about the morning and that I’d accidentally run 2 miles more than planned… little did I realise that the peanut butter cup penalty system would apply to mileage too – 10 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups added to the total!!

 

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After the run it was time to re-fuel because this afternoon I had to take on the second Battle of Britain qualifier… “Dropping Bombs”. This workout was well and truly up my street – split into two parts, part one was a 3 minute max row for metres and part two was a clean and jerk ladder with one clean and jerk performed every minute at increasing weights. The weight started at 45kg and increased by 5kg every minute until you reach 65kg, then increasing by 2.5kg.

I had set my sights on reaching a certain minimum weight for the clean and jerk and sadly I failed to get it overhead, despite cleaning it relatively comfortably. But, what more could I expect after having run a half marathon in the morning?!

I finished 96th in the row, with 782 metres, and 90th in the clean and jerk, maxing out at 67.5kg. This was SO much better than my placing of 117th in the previous workout so I was still pretty proud of myself.

Training by Numbers

Miles run: 16.5 miles

Medals earned: 3 (including two virtual medals!)

Times nearly pissed myself: 0

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Count: 15

Fundraising total so far: £405 – I managed to break the £400 barrier! Only £950 to go…

Follow me on Strava to see my training progress in more detail, and check out my Instagram for more training updates – including my stories where I document even more of my training, diet and general life!