Music Monday #6 Laureen’s selection

My sister Alice is the music expert amongst the two of us and has been in charge of the Music Monday posts so far. However, I’ve been listening to these songs on repeat and I thought I’d share them with you.

The way you make me feel (Michael Jackson) cover by Kawehi

You HAVE to watch this video (number 12 on her playlist). Kawehi’s amazing and does this MJ cover using a loop station and the result is truly impressive. I have since discovered her own music, which is equally cool (listen more here under the sounds tab)

Habits by Tove Lo

Us by Regina Spector

Sirens call by Cats on trees

None of them are really new, Alice is the expert for new releases.

What are your current favourites songs?

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6 blog posts I’d like to share with you

Lately, I have come across some great blogposts that I wanted to share with you.

Are you tired all the time? by Jess from Twins in trainers. If you are feeling tired all the time, this article might point you out in the right direction to change some lifestyle aspects or seek some help.

yoga ♥ 6 yoga poses for tight shoulders  Published by Elle from Keep it simpELLE. Now that I have started lectures again and that I am sitting in lectures theatres everyday, I find my shoulders quiet tight. These are great exercises!

 Photo source

♥ Steph’s Bacchus marathon report I am so so proud of Steph for completely smashing her second marathon. I had run part of her 20 miler with her during my 7th week of training It definitely makes me want to attempt another one. Alas I did not get through the London marathon ballot so I need to think of another one to run. #DoItInADress Jessica has pledged to run 50K this month in order to support the One Girl charity, which focuses on providing education to women. As a girl studying her third degree (ahem), I couldn’t support this cause more. What will it take to run a sub 2h MARATHON? I still haven’t mastered the sub 2h HALF marathon so I really cannot imagine how someone could literally run twice as fast as me for 2h. The article mentions that you’d need to be confident, fearless and have fast friends to achieve this. I already have speedy friends (see above article) but I think I need to work a bit more on the mental aspect of running. Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 23.13.11

Have a good weekend!

Edit 18:09

♥ I also need to share with you Charlie’s completely honest blog post where she opens up on how life is not completely “sweat and roses as our blogs would sometimes have you believe”. I can relate to a lot of the things she mentions in it.

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Bristol Half Marathon recap part 2 – The naked race

As mentioned at the end of part 1 of my recap, I was really looking forward to racing the Bristol Half Marathon. One of the reasons is that racing = carb loading and LOOK AT THIS PIZZA! I highly recommend the White Lion pub at the Avon Gorge Hotel in Bristol for amazing pizzas and a great view of the suspension bridge. IMG_4314.JPG Fast forward to Saturday evening, I enthusiastically prepared my kit and was going to wear my usual race capris as pictured below. However, and after much debates,  I decided to go for the skort (skirt/short) in the end as it was supposed to be a very warm day. I also decided to wear the T-shirt I wore for my Paris Marathon as 1) If I ran a marathon in this T-shirt, I could totally run a 1/2 marathon and 2) having your name on a T-shirt during racing is the best thing ever. You get SO much support from the crowd and it really keeps you going.

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I could not find any safety pins so I STAPLED my bib to my top haha

On Sunday morning, I got up bright and early to get ready and have my race breakfast consisting of a massive bowl of porridge and a cup of tea. Hang on, this is my weekly breakfast… As soon as I finished said cup of tea, I remembered that this was a mistake and that I am supposed to stick to water on race days… After a last toilet break at home, we made our way to the town centre and it was a gorgeous day indeed. Sunny with a bit of wind so that you don’t overheat. Perfect race weather.

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probably looking at my phone…

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Pretending that I will look fresh like that at the finish line…

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READY to go

After a quick warm up, I went for another toilet break and ate 1/2 banana and two shot blocks. I also had two shot blocks before my 10Km PB and thought that this would be a good strategy for this race too. It worked, I was super high on sugar and caffeine before starting the race and was READY TO RUN…and ready for another toilet break. My bladder is quite sensitive to caffeine and despite going 5 min ago, I wanted to go again. I thought that this was perhaps in my mind and that I was over-thinking things, that it would probably go away once I started running… While in the starting pen, my Nike watch would not sync. I took it as a sign to run a “naked race” i.e. without looking at my pace. This was a huge step for me. I am not someone that lets go of things very easily. So to let go of my time goal despite working towards it and talking about it for 12 weeks and choose instead to run this race for the pure pleasure of running was quite a big step. It made me realise that in various aspects of my life I could just focus on the positive. My watch eventually synced but I just put it on “elapsed time mode”. 3…2…1 off we go. The legs started moving and the tears starting rolling down. I was just so happy to be running, the sun was shining on my face, the view was amazing and it just summarised all the accomplishments of this year. There I was, finally starting med school in Bristol. I just enjoyed the freedom of running. The route was not congested at all, we could just set in a pace and not worry about waving between runners. IMG_4342.JPG I finally spotted some portaloo around the 3.5K mark and thought that I better go so I could have a better race.  The queue was a bit longer than I would have liked but it was really worth it as I could then carry on my race without having to think about my bladder. I then reached the first water station which was much appreciated since I decided not to carry any. However, I must have drank too fast as I got a massive stitch from it, which lasted for about 2K. I remembered that this was my exact problem during the Paris marathon: hydrating/fuelling too fast and not being able to stomach it and that I should therefore be careful and pace myself on that front. We looped at the 6.5K mark and the race distributed some energy gels but I didn’t take any and carried on a bit longer. I then S.L.O.W.L.Y started having 1/2 of a GU salted caramel energy gel (this flavour is the bomb), timing it with having a bit before and during the next water station as these gels require water. Since we looped, I then focused on looking out for familiar faces running the races and what a distraction!!! By this point I had completely forgotten about my legs, I just focused on spotting my friends and I was delighted to see Harry and Claire!!

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Harry and I at the start line

IMG_4344.JPG I then saw another unexpected familiar face… Someone running on the opposite way on the sidewalk and cheering us, looking like such an elegant gazelle and looking vaguely like…Chrissie Wellington!!! I thought that this was not possible but that whoever this person was, she had AMAZING posture and that I better focus on mine for the remainder of the race. I then saw her once more, except that this time I could confirm that it was Chrissie, gave her a massive smile and she said “well done”. What a booster!! That definitely kept me going! We then headed towards the city centre and the public was just amazing, I got lots of cheers and I was feeling super good in general. I then had 1/4 of my GU gel, timing it with the water station again.I then realised that I was probably developing some chaffing on my thighs. Indeed, I had broken the most important rule of racing: nothing new on race day! I had changed my mind last minute for skort instead of my race capris!!! For sure I had run in them before, but never such a long distance. I didn’t even think of putting Vaseline in the morning. If you are anything like me, you might have heard about chaffing, you might have heard the “nothing new before race day” rule and yet, you might wonder if it can be that bad. Let me tell you, it is really, really painful and horrible, you don’t want this, stick to the rule. I then arrived in the city centre and WOW what an amazing atmosphere!! The public was so awesome! I was just smiling and smiling. I also hoped to see Lawrence and my sis so I was on the lookout for them, which once again was a perfect distraction! I spotted them and was so happy that I sprinted towards them to give them a kiss and a hug. I immediately regretted that as this sudden change of pace gave me a massive stitch which considerably caused me to slow down.

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I had just spotted Lawrence and Alice

I happily carried on around the town centre. When we reached the 10 miles mark, I had another quick look at my watch to see where I was standing and for a minute I thought that I could perhaps run it sub 2h but then I remembered that a 1/2 marathon was 21K and not 20K. I did some pace calculation and decided that there was no way I could Run the last 5K in 25min (or so I thought because looking at my splits now it seems like I had 29min to run 5K). At this point, I wanted to give up. I was perhaps hitting a mini wall. Then I realised that this whole race was about discovering my new city, celebrating my new career in medicine. Also my people were there to support me so I wasn’t allowed to give up. I repeated my favourite mantra “I’m a runner, not a quitter” and pushed past the pain. I gave it my all, picked up my pace, cursed loudly in French at the hill towards the end, tried to pick up my pace some more and finished with a massive sprint.

Giving it my all...

Giving it my all…

I stopped my watch and saw my time: 02:02:43…and I am fine with that. I had so much fun and I hope my recap shows that. It does describe some slightly negative points but that is because they are what made the race “eventful”. The rest of the time I was just on a pure runner high, absolutely enjoying running in this new scenery, loving the Bristol public, super happy of my life right now. Ok, I will admit that it stings just a little bit that my best time is from my first 1/2 where I had barely trained, definitely didn’t do any strength training and didn’t even fuel during the race. In think that the main difference is that I didn’t have a watch back then and I ran for pure fun. Remember how I said earlier that I decided that I couldn’t run the last 5K in 25min? The truth is, why did I decide that? I think that it will keep running “naked” a bit more often and let go of all the PB hunting in order to focus on my love for running. Other lessons from this race? Don’t have tea, don’t forget the Vaseline, keep letting go and having fun. IMG_4347.JPG

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Bristol Half-Marathon race recap part 1

Hello dear readers!

After following my Bristol Half Marathon training journey, I bet that you wonder how I got on with the race. First, lets go back to the last 3 weeks of training.

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Week 10

I was still on holiday for training week 10. Although it is absolutely possible to stay fit while on holiday, it was a bit more difficult that week. On the Monday of week 10, I managed a 16.4K run accompanied by my awesome sister who cycled next to me to pace me. It was a challenging route and despite leaving relatively early, the Provencal heat got to me a little. Despite giving it my all and having a pacer, I also realised that with an average pace of 6’17 km/min, I was not fast enough to hit my sub 2h target.

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Alice looking like a tourist. What an awesome coach!

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That’s the village where I come from on top of the mountain

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A lettuce field in sunny Provence

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Hill training, ahem

At that moment, I remembered Steph’s wise words to be kind with myself because “life” was quiet busy at the moment. Indeed, in the last 3 weeks prior to the race I quit my job, went back to France, did a lot of wedding planning, had to move to another city and started med school. I originally signed up for the 1/2 marathon as a distraction from all of this and it really worked! Looking back, I cannot believe I had so much going on all at once.

Anyway, I digress, back to the training. I took tuesday week 10 off to recover from the long run and then on the wednesday I realised I did not have any more clean workout clothes… Half of my suitcase contained gym kit and I trained a lot in week 9 and forgot to do a wash. I did not complain, it was an extra rest day…which lasted one week in the end. Indeed, at that point, my future in-laws arrived in France and with that came a lot of sight-seeing and late evenings. There are not 50,000 solutions when you want to train in the heat. As I mentioned before you have to train early in the day. Well I found that impossible. I just felt so tired and couldn’t face waking up early.

Week 11

I arrived back in London and the reality of the lifestyle change I was undertaking really hit me. I had one week left  to pack my belongings and move to Bristol. I still managed a few training sessions, notably with a speed training session with PT Mollie, a Yin yoga class at Yotopia and my favourite, a sweaty BOOM Cycle spin class session hosted by the amazing Muireann from Bangs and a Bun.

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Mollie preparing our session

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Yep, she got me bear crawling in a very public place. No shame to gain?

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Post BOOM selfie

Now I don’t know when it happened, but I think I slightly sprained my ankle during my session with Mollie. Indeed, even though I could walk normally, I realised that I couldn’t sit on my heels, my left Achille’s was hurting and upon greater inspection, my ankle was actually quite swollen. G-r-e-a-t. After my back failing me, my ankle started playing tricks on me too. What the hell?! I have never crossed-trained or strength-trained in my previous 1/2 marathon training cycles and never suffered an injury and for once that I follow a training plan my body fails me.

Week 12

Week 12 marked the first week of medical school as well as tapering. I thus took it easy and went on a casual 4km run near the suspension bridge!  What a view! My ankle felt OK when running but was definitely not 100% normal. The rest of my training consisted of walking to uni and around the many hills of Bristol. I knew that it was hilly but I didn’t realise it was THAT hilly!

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View from the suspension bridge

By sunday 21/9, I was feeling quite excited and couldn’t wait to run that race I had been talking about for so long!

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But that will be for another time! Full recap of the race itself in the next article :).

 

 

 

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MusicMonday#5 – Take Me Back

Hey guys I’m back with a new #MusicMonday !

Here are my latest likes:

Don’t know if you’ve heard about BOB MOSES but I’ve just discovered them and it’s exactly the kind of music I’m into. It’s chill, relaxed a bit electro and yet with still a great melody. This one sounds a bit like what Nicolas Jaar could do (<3 him too)

Check it out !

BOB MOSES“I Ain’t Gonna Be The First To Cry”

 

ELLIPHANT – “One More”

The band appeared on my Soundcloud feed this morning and I added the track to my favs immediately! No need to say more!

 

PAPERWHITE - “Take Me Back”

Discovered this band this summer, it’s sweet well put together and this dream pop duo from Brooklyn are in fact brother and sister (how cool hah)

 

LILY & MADELEINE – “The Wolf Is Free”

Lily & Madeleine are a folk pop duo, and … are also sisters!

I like the melancholy is the voice and tracks, perfect for a night home with a book and a cat purring next to you!

They will be playing in London on November 26

Alice

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