Women Wednesdays #2 Run Eat Repeat

I’m writing this one about a woman and blogger I have adored for a long time now. (I think I might actually be a little bit in love with her 😉 but that’s another post!). I’m sort of in shock as I write this because I’ve just read a very personal post by her about her private life, something which I, obviously, had no clue about. It just reminded me of how everyone can shock you with what they’re going through, you just never know till you ask – or on the internet of course until someone lets you know.

I was originally going to write this post without knowing anything about that sphere of Monica’s life though – just because she is damn fabulous. She is, of course, the wonderful, hilarious and motivational Run Eat Repeat, otherwise known as Monica.

meet-monica-about

This woman is insanely motivational, incredibly funny, and she promotes one of the best traits you can ever exhibit as a person: she doesn’t take herself or life too seriously. Or in fact seriously at all in the case of herself, which is wonderfully refreshing and real. I have learnt a lot about running from Monica (mainly – just get off your butt and do it, then come back and eat a pizza) and a lot about not taking myself to seriously too. That’s something I find very hard by the way, I find it so difficult to laugh at my short-comings and my failures. She is also a great balancer in a blogosphere full of health obsession. I’m not saying being healthy or eating healthy is bad, but it can become such a heavy focus these days that we lose sight of other things – like our lives! Monica on the other hand, doesn’t really care. As long as she’s happy, full and replenished after her run that counts as a high-five-moment. Winner! I love that attitude – she reminds me never to become afraid of chips and never to lose my love of pizza.

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I also love her fearless attitude to races. I don’t believe any race would be too tough of too long for this woman, she never seems phased; she seems anti-phased. That, and the honest way she talks about running and her eating habits (which are glorious), make her my ultimate fitness and life role model. I am still stubbornly too scared to enter a running race, I’m not sure if it’s because of fear of failure, or being slow or fear of people watching me pull my running face but I am determined to overcome that this year! Even just an incy-wincy 5km; I have to do it. But reading Run Eat Repeat, I definitely feel like I am going to enter something … one day.

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Monica, I only have one thing to say to you – WHAT A BABE! Please keep posting your delightfully inspiring blog posts.

Follow Run Eat Repeat right here!

Don’t forget to search for Pile On The Miles on her site:

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All images from runeatrepeat.com

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I'm Piling on the Miles with Run Eat Repeat

Pile on the Miles

So it’s basically November and I’ve just seen a really cool idea posted by one of my favourite fitness/running/really amusing bloggers. She is the lovely Run Eat Repeat, aka Monica (follow her here!)

I'm Piling on the Miles with Run Eat Repeat

So the aim is to cram in as many miles as possible/realistic/healthy in November, rather than piling on the pounds. Okay it’s not such an issue in November if you’re British because – well, maybe Halloween – but Guy Fawkes Night doesn’t really involve a heavy amount of food. But apparently in America November is a good month to eat a lot – that is because of Thanks Giving, right? This is really just an online community motivating each other and staying ‘accountable’, which is such a popular word in the online fitness community these days; and there are some cheeky little prizes to pile on the motivation too.

I set myself two goals: 2 gym sessions a week & 25 miles total in November (that doesn’t include walking because I walk EVERYWHERE-ish).

What are your November goals? Do you have any November goals? Do you have any non-November goals? Come along and do this with me, and Monica and the tonnes of girls/women that follow her!

Gravity Paragliding Experience

Runner’s Resolutions 2015

So I didn’t exactly fulfil all of my resolutions last year – but that’s fine! This year, top of my list, is to enter a race of some kind, hopefully more than one but definitely one because I still didn’t manage it last year! Then I also owe myself some new trainers – big time! The ones I have, have no tread on the inner side by my toes, they are wearing down at the back too, the mesh has ripped at the top meaning the leak terribly, the laces are fading and the holes which hold the laces (what do you call those?), well, they’re going too. Time for an upgrade. Last year I did manage to try out a bunch of new sports I tried Cycling, Surfing and Paragliding – damn cool! This year I want to try at least 2 more new ones again! There are two resolutions I’m starting my holding onto just for January but they may last longer: in solidarity with my boyfriend, who picked these resolutions for himself, I’m going veggie with him – I mean, we did both eat a whole cow each this Christmas, at least – and also giving up alcohol with him. Now, I’m allowing myself an occasional glass of wine and maybe a cocktail (although I may as well make it mocktail), but no more than one at a time, and no more than 2 a week. Gonna be tough people…gonna be tough!

Oh and my final one is to actually use this blog – nuff said! To help me do this I am following my favourite fitness bloggers, Tone It Up, in doing a Vlog for Vday (#vlogforvday) and seeing how that goes.

Into the sunset

Things I Thought I’d Never Do…6000ft to Floor

On the list of things I’d never have imagined doing, throwing myself of high objects is pretty high up. Near the top. A paralysing fear of heights pretty much has me kicking and screaming up average sized mountains so as I was perched on a seat in a warm, careering mini-bus being pelted towards the 6000ft (1600-and-something metres) high Badabag Paragliding Station I was pretty surprised at myself for having even handed over the dosh and got in the vehicle.

I talked to a few people sat around me and was pretty impressed that a bunch of them also considered themselves scared of heights – question is, why are we all doing this to ourselves? I had been assured, however, that there was no jumping involved.

At the 'start line'

At the ‘start line’

Badabag Take-Off 6000ft

Badabag Take-Off 6000ft

The top of Badabag was teeming, it’s the Piccadilly Circus of paragliding at this time – the sunset slot, although the sun seemed stubbornly far away from setting – and I was simultaneously reassured and terrified by the hordes of people drifting up into the distance as we disembarked. The instructors are fabulous at not giving you time to think (I only saw one person wimping out, he kept sitting down on the floor every time they tried to get him to take off, I do hope he made it eventually); they just chuck you in a harness and helmet, keep you talking, demand a quick selfie and then make for the steepest bit of concrete that is free.

It’s been paved up here for take-off but there is something quite alarming about the concrete just falling away  into nothing; it may not be a sheer cliff face but it’s damn steep. Before you know it a spot has become free as some other helpless dangling body sails off screaming into the orangey sky. They clip you in – ‘when I say walk, we walk forward, maybe I say run, then we run yes?’. Erm… yes?! It was this point I could feel my stomach plunging and twirling in anticipation and I thought I might just say no and stop but you can feel the adrenaline kicking in too and mine was enough to hold down the fear.

First shot, way up there

First shot, way up there

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It’s a weird feeling as the wind takes the slack in the large brightly coloured wind sock behind you and attached to you; you get tugged and you’re walking forward  whether you like it or not. There may also be a blokey helping with take-offs who will grab the front of your harness and begin to drag you – it helps the general feeling of, ‘whether I like it or not’. Then you’re running and you’re gone. It’s so simple I laughed much more than I screamed (although one or two profanities may have slipped past my lips), there’s no jumping or plummeting sensation or moment of agonizing fear, there’s just sailing up like a balloon. Gentle as you like. You can rearrange yourself to sitting now and it becomes obvious why this is a tourist attraction; it’s pretty comfy up there, you have nothing to do except get an adrenaline rush and the view is phenomenal. The beach is tiny. The hotels are almost invisible. The sea is so blue, turquoise in the shallows and rich, almost-navy a little further out.  Then sun is spreading a warm haze over everything and my tandem partner explains a little about the thermals that are to thank for carrying us around up here. From and living in the nearby town of Fethiye, he has been doing tandem flights for 12 years, and begun gliding at the age of 14, which I consider an impressive resume, when this route becomes unusable in the winter the paraglide from a venue further west. Non-stop flying, seven days a week, all year.

Into the sunset

Into the sunset

Side shot

It might make you feel sick, even if you have a strong stomach; my partner asks me to warm him as he has a bag for this very scenario. ‘Sometimes people don’t warn me, then they spewy in my face’ – an exact quote I kid you not. When you’re not feeling slightly motion sick, as you might in a simulator, it’s very relaxing and just immensely peaceful up there, riding the thermals, the envy of all below (probably). Then sometimes it’s not. He asks me if I want to spin and my brother did so I can hardly refuse and be one-upped. I get video footage to prove it. Spinning is optional but it’s one hell of a rush. No roller coaster can match up; you drop rapidly, sometimes angled so the fabric of your trusty ‘chute is actually below you and you’re hammering round and round. There is no way you can feel sick doing this, there’s too much else to feel: the wind, the G-Force, the sheer adrenaline, I could even feel my flailing feet going numb it was incredible.

Views of the bay

Up in the sky

Landing is also not unexciting. You sway quite dramatically into a steep drop towards the street below, where tourists may or may not get out of your way. You are aiming for a patch of grass on the open sea front but if you over shot you’d only hit the beach. The instructor’s feet hit the floor first then you stand up too, usually staggering a bit with the plain shock of dropping to the pavement at such an alarming rate, even with rather handsome young men running alongside to grab your strings and make sure you’re properly grounded. I was certainly not grounded. Not for a while after doing that. What a buzz! I would certainly repeat it – and 100% recommend it.

Over the hotels

You can see my hotel from here

Finished!

Finished!

P.s. I’m counting this as another new sport I’ve tried, although I cannot afford to take it up full time!

Gravity Paragliding Experience

If you’re interested I flew with Gravity, one of many fairly equally priced companies you can find on the high street of ölüdeniz. They are all rated pretty well, I wouldn’t be in a position to recommend one over the other and besides, they’re all sharing facilities and being pretty friendly, there’s no hard sell or company-bashing here. It cost 370 TL to fly plus 140 TL to have my photos and DVD – so no, it’s not cheap, but it was definitely worth it, and well worth weighing up.

I Remember Why I Bought All That Fancy Clothing

Ready to Run

So, I’m always wondering what pace I should start my run on. It’s a tough one and it depends a lot on distance and current energy levels. If I’m running further then I definitely want to settle down into my ‘forever pace’ as quickly as possible and not race off at the start wasting all my energy. If I’m trying to push my time then I want to economize on the good vibes I have at the start of a run, rather than those other vibes that appear just before half way (yes, you know the ones I mean). However, exactly how fast to start off depends on, at least for me, how high I’m feeling at the beginning.

I mean that in two ways; I can be on a good emotional high, feeling fresh and ready to go, and therefore should definitely use the spring in my step to get going. Use that feeling- the more you use it, the more your body will crack it out for you to use! And I also mean you should use the anger-high. I don’t think anyone should ever use exercise as a way to punish their body but most people who love to exercise would be lying if they told you it wasn’t a great release for stress, frustration and anger. Sometimes that ‘grrr’ is all you need to make your run successful.

Today I was so annoyed I forgot to even time myself! But I’m pretty sure I was fast; certainly felt it. I used the bubble of annoyance and pent up energy that had been growing all day and just spontaneously went for a run, half way on my walk home. It wasn’t until I stopped for a brief but intense nose-blowing session (I am mid-cold) that I realised how gross I felt. I was at least wearing some running trousers, albeit ones that don’t really fit me, but on top I was wearing one of my older, definitely-not-sports-bras, a cotton baby-doll tshirt and my big, fluffy Fat Face hoody. Oh dear. It was when I first stopped that I remembered why I bought all my light, breathable, wicking tops and base layers. I remembered why I have my waterproof jacket with air vents and an ultra-light hood. And I remembered why we shell out so much on a safe boob-containing-strategy for our running habits.

I love that equipment, I love using it and I’d certainly recommend much of it. One thing I did remember though, is that, that was exactly how I started running; angry at the world and fairly poorly dressed, with no stamina, poor form and a long way to go. Whatever equipment, or lack of, you have in your wardrobe, I still say just get out there and use that emotion-high to create something you’re proud of. The rest will come.

 

Signing out for the day 😉

Photo by AJF Stuart Photography

Rantathlon: My Pet Running Hates

So, they go something like this…

  1. Cars: I mean cars are fine when they are doing a car-like thing and driving along a road next to you, or preferably quite far away from you and I am actually aware that most of my car hating occurs when I impose my pedestrian presence on the Car Zone but even so. Firstly, when I come to cross a small road, no traffic lights, and the car is clearly already turning and Driver sees me running casually towards him and slams on his brakes for an emergency stop so I can continue coming at my moderate pace – dude, no need. You can go and then I will reach the road and I can go and then we’ve all gone and nobody had to brake, I know you’re just being friendly but come on, efficiency. Then in Germany (and other European countries?) it is normal for the little green man to be up and awake at the same time as the car turning right across your path is also on green – it’s normal here but I can’t get my head around it, it feels wrong. So yesterday a car sees me slowing in my run (I was going to take a breather while he turned down the road) he stops, in the middle of his turn and waves me frantically across the road; oi, I’ll decide when I speed up and when I slow down. The last one is horn beeping. I know, I know, thanks for the compliment I clearly look like a bombshell when I’m sweating and panting and occasionally have a drippy nose- mm attractive. But seriously, there is no need to beep me while I’m running; I’m exercising, I’m having me time, I’m in the zone and I’m trying to push myself, and you’re leering at me? I’m not walking down the road in my lingerie wiggling my hips and licking my lips, I am running – Leave me alone. Unfortunately I had the anti-social habit of casual swearing at the beeping-offenders – not vocally, I employ my finger – and I once did this at an anonymous beeping car. I now don’t do this, the car was my friend’s dad just giving a friendly beep to say that he’d seen me.

 

  1. Cyclists: I mean cyclists are great when they’re doing a bikey thing and chilling in the bike lane, or on the bike path. I like that you’re doing exercise, we’re all doing exercise, aren’t we lucky, happy, cool people? So why in the name of all that is wonderful are you cycling on the running track/side of the path rather than cycling like a good cycler on the CYCLE track. Now I have to swing off the running track to make room for you and get in the way of other potential cyclists. Aside: nothing that’s the fault of the cyclist but they terrify me when they come up from behind me, I always tense up like it’s going to crash into me, I am, however, so far cycle-incident free.

 

  1. Dogs: I’m definitely not going to say dog walkers should keep their dogs on a lead- noo let your dog run free, free range doggies are the best! However, not that it’s their fault they don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, and not that it’s their owners fault but…I hate when dogs literally get under your feet, especially small dogs because it’s harder to predict where they’re going to go; you are suddenly balanced precariously, definitely not wanting to step on the dog and not wanting to fall on your face and you didn’t really want to stop either. And yet here you are and sometimes the dog has friends and now you’re surrounded by dogs, weaving in and out of your legs for giggles and your pace is destroyed. Yea, nobody’s fault but stressful still.

 

  1. People: yea, I am anti-social.

No I promise I’m not! But I really dislike people interfering with my run- I know you’re just playing but don’t lean across into my face and tell me to “run faster” “go for it sexy” or whatever else your brain comes up with, I am running, I wouldn’t walk past you with your friend sat on a bench and get in your face and say “yea go for it mate, great conversation you’re having”. I mean, why would I do that? So don’t do it to me. Also groups of people that span the entire pavement when you’re coming towards them (walking, running, cycling, cartwheeling, you still find them) that prefer you to go into the road that to split their group for a few seconds. Plus, you all know how much energy it takes to propel yourself all the way back up onto the curb when you’re exhausted, valuable ounces of will power are lost.

 

 

Now all that’s said and done it may seem like I am a vicious, world-hating runner with no love for anything, but all of the categories above can be amazing and helpful (dogs) and wonderful while you’re running, just felt like I’d have a little rant! We know these things annoy us – they do!

Jess Christmas by the tree

A Runner’s Resolutions

There are lots of things I always want to improve about my running and fitness, January feels like a good place to start- mostly because if I don’t come up with some form of ‘resolution’ I always feel like a let down in every January conversation I become embroiled in.

So this year I plan to improve my 10km time, at the moment it stands between 50 and 60 minutes, which is still an improvement on last year but I’d like to have it resting between 40 and 45minutes. Leading on from that I am also promising myself to enter at least one competition, only for fun, but I am really craving the sight of a finish line and it’ll definitely help motivate me. The next thing would be, post race, I need to take care of my feet. Seriously! I rely on my feet to walk me literally everywhere I need to go, I ask them to wear, sometimes ridiculous heels, and sprint and run long distance; the least I can do in return will be to take a little better care of them, I mean the toenails, the hard skin, the sore bits, the bruised bits, the blisters and of course that pesky tendon which would really like me to listen to it every now and again. On the note of recovery I am promising myself right now that I will do some sort of stretching every day (as far as possible) even if I haven’t done any major exercise, because I owe my muscles a little more consideration and conditioning. And a nice bonus would be to improve my truly shocking flexibility.

Onwards and newwards, I am also determined to try at least 2 new sports or forms of exercise, even if only once. I have in mind some form of dance and maybe a water sport (money providing) or if not maybe something down the Yoga/Pilates kind of route (that being said, that can also be expensive), we shall see what 2014 brings…The final one which everyone says with regards to some part of their life, or all of their life, every January and never commits to- get a routine and make myself stick to it, weather regardless and mood regardless.

It’s the 2nd of January 2014…Game On!