Going for goals.

Well, that’s Christmas wrapped up for another year. Hoping you all enjoyed a very merry one.

This time of year sees many of us taking stock of the year just about to leave us and the new year ahead of us. 2013 was a fairly slow year for me in terms of my running. I kept race entries down to a minimum as life got busy! This coming year I am rectifying that as I found myself missing the goals that racing gives me and felt I was plateauing instead of achieving.

Saying that I enjoyed the events I did take part in and had great fun along the way. The first being the Commando Challenge 17K endurance event in June 2013 where a group of us took on the sheep dip, the black bog and dark tunnels to come in as the 4th female team in 1:59. Great fun and plenty of bruises!! In September 2013 I was again part of a team in the Bude Sea Pool Channel Challenge. I swam a mile of this gorgeous tidal pool in order to make up a proportion of the 21 miles our team was due to swim to complete the challenge. I am lucky enough to live just 5 miles away from the pool and have used it to train for my triathlon in 2012 as well as taking my eldest to train there for his Surf Life Saving Club trial swim. To find out more about how we are trying to save the pool, please see Save Bude Sea Pool. Finally in November 2013 I participated in the Drogo 10, an off-road race around the grounds of the National Trusts Castle Drogo, taking in 10 miles of undulating trails. A tough one but enjoyable as I traveled down with many other runners from our local running club – Bude Rats.

It feels like a clean slate. I don’t do New Years resolutions but I do set some clear goals for myself with regards to my running. I like to look back on what I enjoyed throughout last year, what inspires me to do better, the people who help me get there & how I can challenge myself a little more. No-one knows what the future holds but with a little bit of luck & a very real spoonful of motivation I can get myself to the goals I want to.

My run goals so far are the Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service Half Marathon on 23rd February 2014 swiftly followed by the Grizzly, a 20 mile off-road race which tests each & every participant which I am due to take part in on 9th March 2014. With a new bike as a Christmas present I am also looking forward to getting bike fit again. I have entered a triathlon in June and enjoy the cross training this will involve as well as mixing up the training plan, it gives me a chance to get all over fit again.

I love reading on my twitter timeline how all the running tweeps I follow are setting themselves up for their challenges in 2014. Some taking on Ironman events for the first time, some running their first 5K after years of believing they were not a runner. These people inspire me to get up that hour earlier to get a turbo training session done, to get out when it’s blowing a hoolie or to rest when I know my body needs it.

Whatever goals you are setting yourselves this New Year, I’m hoping you achieve each & every one of them and most importantly enjoy the end results it brings.

Wishing you all a great, fun filled 2014 x

The Commando Challenge - Black Bog

Getting down and dirty – Commando Challenge

Commando Challenge FINISH

The Commando Challenge – DONE!

Trails and Tinsel

Tomorrow will see much excitement in my household, with presents spilling open and Christmas cheer flowing. With my two boys being at an age where Christmas is still so magical, I am looking forward to capturing their faces as they see the “snowy” footprints on the floor around their sacks, spending time with family and friends over a prolonged meal and having a day when I very much overindulge.

After the day has drawn to a close, I will be going into a deep, alcohol induced sleep that night looking forward to a run the next morning to refresh my body & hopefully release that fuzzy head. Through the reading of my twitter timeline it seems I will not be the only one. With marathon training plans starting, I am looking forward to hearing how you all spend the festive season whether on trails, roads or otherwise.

It just leaves me to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Lara xx

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I didn’t recognize you….

Ooooh, I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on!

Sounds odd right? Especially when someone says that to you in a supermarket!

I’ve had this happen a couple of times now, the most recent one being yesterday. The connotations within this statement are obvious, the comment that always follows is; “I mean, I don’t recognise you without your running clothes on!”

Being clad head to toe in synthetic garments made to wick moisture away from my body obviously makes me look different to that of my day to day clothes. Maybe I should take a leaf out of the fashion forward bloggers books and continue the theme through into my daily wear. It would make quick changes from work to play even more simplified. With the compression technology that many active wear brands are using, it also creates a very flattering silhouette. Not to mention how much more comfortable my sports bras are than the under wired contraptions that I wear!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article from Lunges & Lycra about how fashion and fitness are fusing and I will happily admit to being partial to staying in my Pilates get up (Sweaty Betty) after a session just because it is so darn comfortable. I have also looked into how I can re-mortgage the house so that I can purchase Jennifer Lawrence’s training kit in the Hunger Games from Lucas Hugh!! Gorgeous pieces just slightly out of my price range and let’s face it, I would be dodging each muddy trail path if I ended up training in it!! Although I think I may need to add a pop of colour to my run wardrobe after seeing a photo of my festive run today!

Festive run

Can definitely see me taking some of that gym wear on to the dance floor though! Perfect for those killer disco moves that are so much part of my repertoire! You have been warned 😉

What are you running away from?

How many of us have been asked this question or invariably ask ourselves this question when we are out on the lonely roads/trails at all hours of the day/night?

I don’t ever think of it as running away from anything in particular but I do see it as a way of me gaining some quality time with me. I need me to be energised and content to help keep my family happy and healthy. I need me to be energised and focused to get on with my work and I need to feel that I am nurturing me. I also have a very real need to be out in the countryside. Some of my best running moments have been on an early morning run in the summer, with not a soul around, to witness the sun rising – yes sometimes I am THAT early!

I started running to get a little “me time” after my second son was born. It was a run around the block with two friends, that was back in 2008. A total of 3 miles at best to begin with, we encouraged each other to meet in the early hours to get our runs in before the rest of our households were awake. Even sleepness nights didn’t stop us, it was starting to become more than just the run! You learn a lot about a person when you run with them regularly, needless to say these two people are now some of my closest friends.

Now I run because it is what my body wants to do, it is what gets my endorphins sky high even when I can’t imagine they will. It’s the time I spend with like minded people, the conversations we have, the friendships that have been nurtured through running and ultimately the relationship I now have with myself. I value myself enough to know that I need to give myself time to be there, out on a run. I value the strength running as given me both physically and mentally and I value the challenges I come across.

Ultimately, it’s become part of what I do.

So, what makes you get out there? I would love to hear why all you lovely people are still out there running. If you feel inclined to tell me, please leave a comment or tweet me. Would love to hear why you run.

Happy Running x

Why I Run Viewpoint

Team Honk Needs YOU for the Blogger Relay Challenge 2014

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Fancy joining me in helping #TeamHonk in their non-motorised Blogger Relay Challenge from John O’Groats to Lands End?

So far I have hooked up with Hayley from Downs Side Up and Fiona from Coombe Mill Farm Holidays to do our bit within North Cornwall.

Take a look to see what part of the route you could run/cycle/skip/dance your way around and keep the baton moving, alternatively if you can offer help with making tea, baking cakes, offering accommodation then every part we all play will make a difference.

Please go over to Team Honk to register your interest & get involved via the Facebook pages for your area.

http://teamhonk.org/2014-blogger-relay/2014-sport-relief-bloggers-lands-end-to-john-ogroats-relay-route/

Why I’m blogging again.

Two weeks ago I was asked by a fellow running tweep, @iPlodded, to contribute a little something to be included in his 7 days 7 runners blog post. The brief was to document my favorite run. I don’t have a specific place that is my all time favorite (around here there really have been numerous wonderful run locations) but I do tend to have a favorite day that I run on.

Hello to Wednesday. Feel free to pop over to Paul’s blog and read the posts – 7 days 7 runners , it will enable you to run throughout the UK and beyond without even leaving your home. I had great fun writing the post, connecting with 6 other running tweeps & being inspired by some amazing challenges people have been through. Thank you Paul for getting us all together & for motivating me to write about my running again.

Lara x

Winter training = beauty treatments for FREE.

Winter running brings about its own challenges. There is an element of, do I really want to get out in this? as you leave your warm duvet. There is invariably the dark mornings & nights to consider. All in all, it gives us more reasons to not get out there.

Regardless, winter running has it’s advantages when it comes to my beauty regime, which is minimal at best. These little freebies that I get whilst out on a winter run help my skin look & feel alive & healthy with no cost whatsoever. Beauty “treatments” courtesy of the trails & coastlines of North Cornwall are as follows:

Indian Head Massage achieved when running in a hail storm, granted not as relaxing but certainly stimulates the hair follicles!

Reflexology achieved by trail running over stony tracks through woodland & coast paths. This has in fact helped me to achieve pain free running after suffering with plantar fasciitis.

Beauty facials can be achieved by stepping out of the door, heading for the coast & letting mother nature do it’s thing. Invariably I return with rosy cheeks, clear eyes & feel a million dollars

Mud packs for my feet achieved the minute I get into the surrounding fields & trails. There is rarely a run when my trainers do not need a good scrub or at least a good airing!

Facial exfoliation / Microdermabrasion achieved by running along the beach on a windy day. Top tip is to keep eyes semi closed or have glasses at the ready otherwise your eyeballs may receive an unwanted exfoliation as well.

To top it all off, if you catch the weather in North Cornwall just right, you even enjoy a free shower at the end!

Lara x

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