Bristol Half Maraton training week #4 and a long run catharsis

Here is my week #4 recap for the Bristol Half Marathon training!

What the plan said:
Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 10.14.23What I did:

Monday: REST! I had to recover from my intense week three of training

Tuesday: I met up with Audrey  for the second week in a row. We ran approximately 5K together along the river and made sure to take a selfie this time (although I could have probably done without it, ahem, not my best angle).



After that I did the “better butt” workout from the NTC app, which is basically 15min of lunges and deadlifts. I then did 1 min plank and some bicep curls before stretching and foam rolling. OH. MY. DAYs. I never expected to be in so much pain after this NTC workout, especially as I stretched AND foam rolled after it. I can tell you it is an effective one!

Wednesday:  graduation day :) and lots of foam rolling as I was suffering from massive DOMS.


Thursday: Sprint training. There is no secret. In order to run faster, you need to train your body to run faster.
I did this workout on the treadmill with an incline of 1% and kept my pace between 3.40min/K and 5.00min/K during the sprints, and 6.min/K for the recovery time. I then ran a bit longer to cool down and followed this by 1 min plank and a good stretch session. Total: 6K

Friday: The dreaded long run with speed intervals. Sometimes it’s weird but I manage to meditate while running. Or at least I think I am meditating. I don’t think about anything and I focus on my breathing. Friday was not one of these peaceful run. I had a lot on my mind and experienced various emotions, a real catharsis, especially during the speed intervals. During the 5 min of rest, I just reflected on time relativity and how unfair it was that 5 min of slow running passed by much faster than 5 min of sprint running…

   ** Interval 1: This interval started well, I was thinking that it was nice to be out there  as the weather was perfect. Then I started thinking that it was actually quite painful and there was no way I could do 5 more of these.

   ** Interval 2: This interval was all about convincing myself not to give up and fighting my bad excuses such as:  I would probably be late for work (OK that is perhaps not a bad excuse), I did not know where to run (I decided to just keep doing loops in the park), I had already done some speed work the day before, I didn’t have my watch and it’s hard to monitor speed work on the phone… bla bla bla. Basically I had to give myself a dose of tough love and remind myself that I will not get a sub 2h half unless I get out of my comfort zone during training.

   ** Interval 3: This interval was dedicated to research and how frustrating it can be. When I first started my PhD, I genuinely thought that I would solve the mystery around Huntington’s Disease and find a cure…I was SO naïve. Now, 5 years later, I have discovered that research is not down to hard work only. You need a lot of luck and be good at politics…I am leaving my postdoctoral position in 3 weeks, I will not have solved the mystery of my current project in that time but you know what, I am still bloody showing up at the weekends and try my very best. So I ran my frustration away.

  ** Interval 4: This one was dedicated to friendship. I am really lucky to have such good friends and this thought allowed me to push myself. I thought about how I would be meeting a very good friend that evening, one that I consider more like a big brother even, and how we could indulge in our tradition of having champagne when we meet up. Yep, you’ve read that right. It started  almost a year ago, we almost always had something to celebrate each time we were meeting up and now it’s just because life is too short to have cheap wine :P

   ** Interval 5: This one was dedicated to one of my good friend who is having a hard time. She would probably like to run away from her situation but can’t. In the mean time, here I was, literally running, so I ran, and ran, and ran, and pushed myself, and pumped my arms to run faster. And I started swearing at him who is making her life miserable. I was in pain, very upset and angry. This interval turned out to be my fastest.

   ** Intervals 6: I wondered to whom I would dedicate this interval and then I realised that I had to dedicate it to myself. I guess Jessica’s radical self-love preaching is rubbing on me.
I dedicated this interval to myself for being out there running, for giving it my all and not giving up. I repeated my favourite mantra “I’m a runner not a quitter” a couple of times. I kept pushing myself as I knew  this was my home run and that there was not long to go. Home… what a beautiful word. It’s so nice to have a place to call home…Running towards my home I realised that soon I will not be living there anymore as I’ll be heading to Bristol all alone. That made me cry (and still makes me cry 4 days later as I am typing this). It made me cry but I kept running. I reminded myself that I was strong, that I could do it and that in fact I had done it before…I picked up my pace…I can do this, I’ve got this…Then I thought about Lawrence, that he has my back, that he doesn’t think I am crazy to leave everything to become a student again. So I crossed my virtual finish line with a smile, thinking that he was probably having breakfast and that he will probably be happy to see me. I looked at my watch and my running OCD kicked in. I had to run a bit more. Come on, it’s way cooler to say you have just ran 11K rather than 10.97K….

For the end of the story, as I got home, Lawrence was waiting for me on top of the stairs, gave me a little wave and said “Hi, I am happy to see you”…at which point I started crying again. So Lawrence my love, this home run was to me, to you, to us.

“The cure for anything is salt water- tears, sweat or the sea.” -Isak Dinesen

Saturday: Lots of walking around Bristol for flat hunting.

Sunday: We came back from Bristol quite late and had a 5.15am start the following day so I really didn’t want to do the 45 min min of cross training left on the training schedule. I compromised and did 30 min. Still using my beloved NTC app I did 15 min of squats with the “Wild Alive” workout followed by 15 min “Alpha abs”.

20140729-063026-23426271.jpgAnd that, my friends, wraps up week 4 of my Bristol Half Marathon training.

Previous recaps:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3



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Music Monday #4: Where shall we party?

Hey there!

Here’s a selection of 3 events that should not be missed this week:


The scots are back in town and will be performing this tuesday 29th at KOKO.  This night will be rather special with lots of emotions as benefits will go for charity in remembrance of their dear friend Julia Brightly who lost her struggle after sudden illness.


Image source

Mogwai, tuesday 29th KOKO, 7pm



Still don’t exactly know how to pronounce his name, but what I know is that he makes great records and it’s all that matters!

XXYYXX will be playing for Visions Festival’s pre-party along with DAM-FUNK and YOUNG MAGIC

XXYYXX, DāM-FunK and Young Magic friday 1st aug, The Laundry, Hackney

More info about the night here



Summer, sun and South Of France! For their August night, Flamingo Pier in Hackney in bringing a little Côte d’Azur feeling into London’s buzzing atmosphere. Expect tropical cocktails and a great party under the sun and stars on a floating pontoon amongst the palm trees and neon.

Sounds great hah?

CHAOS IN THE CBDFlamingo Pier Vol IV, Friday 1st aug, The Counter Café, 7 Roach Rd Hackney Wick E3 2PA.

Alice @Alice_Jacquet

Check out Alice’s previous Music Monday here


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{Sunday pamper} Dove Summer Glow Nourishing Lotion

If you are in London, you certainly have been enjoying the awesome sunshine of the past few weeks. Like me, you have probably been wearing shorts, skirts and dresses and have been exhibiting your legs. Speaking of which, what colour are your legs? Mine are usually fluorescent.

I don’t use fake tan as I am too scared to end up 50 shades of orange. However I do use the Dove Summer Glow moisturising lotion.


Put it simple it’s a moisturiser, and a very good one, that contains a bit of fake tan. I usually take the fair to medium skin one to really ensure a natural look. The good news is that it retails at a mere £2.49 in boots at the moment!


What moisturiser do you use in the summer?

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WIAW #9, RUNger and why you shouldn’t eat before going food shopping

A bit late in the day but here is my WIAW of this week, focusing on Monday.

Soooo, you might have heard me talking about RUNger before (run-induced hunger) and monday was definitely one of these day where it was impossible to stop eating. At first I didn’t know why and then realised that I had a tough week of training behind me, and especially a long hilly run the day before. Now I don’t really predict which day is going to be a WIAW day. I just wake up and decide that it is going to be the day and that I will present it to you, “perfect” eating or not.

For breakfast I had a cup of tea, a power smoothie (strawberries, frozen tropical fruits, fromage blanc, orange juice and some turmeric and cinnamon for their anti-inflammatory properties) and some rye bread with almond butter and prune jam made by my lovely friend Claire <3


Not photographed but mid-morning I had a coffee and 4 biscuits. Ahem. My colleague came back from China and brought back tons of cookies and I had to try one of each.

For lunch I had some leftover butternut squash and broccoli, this salad from M&S and the nectarine. Apologies for the messy desk, I took the pictures before going to the lunch room.


I didn’t eat the yogurt nor the rice cakes in the end.

In the afternoon I had the Alpro yogurt I didn’t eat at lunch time, 1/2 a Quest bar and a few almonds.


Afterwork I went to the supermarket to pick up some diner and here is a reminder on why you shouldn’t go food shopping when hungry: you might go mental and buy stuff you absolutely don’t need. I picked up these crisps and some kinder chocolate, which I would never ever usually do. I ate the whole pack of crisps on my way home…


For diner we had an omelette, spelt and green beans.


For dessert we had a sort of Eton mess: fromage frais, strawberries and meringue.


Here was my day of RUNger eating, which I tried to keep balanced despite the massive cookies/crisps cravings.

Do you also “suffer” from RUNger during race training?

Previous WIAW reports


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Bristol Half-Marathon training week 3

Already 3 weeks of Half Marathon training done! WHERE does the time go? I’m glad to report that compared to week 2, I smashed week 3 of my training! Here’s what was on the program:

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 20.22.59

And here is what I did:

Monday: Rest day to recover from my weekend…ahem

Tuesday: Just over 30min run (6.4km) along the river followed by a 15min abs NTC class and lots of stretching and foam rolling. I met up with Audrey for that run and she helped me to get out of the rut in which I was stuck during week 2. The funny thing is that it was the first Audrey and I met. We have been reading each others blog for a while and had conversations via twitter and it’s very naturally that we decided to meet up for a run. Gotta love social media! However as I am a bad blogger I didn’t take a selfie of us. Next time!

Wednesday: 1h pilates class

Thursday: BRICK workout in partnership with the London Duathlon and BOOM Cycle. The London Duathlon is a run-bike-run event which is taking place on 14th September 2014 in Richmond Park. Unfortunately I cannot take part as I will be moving to Bristol that weekend. It’s a shame as it sounds like a lot of fun, especially if you sign up as a team.  Places for the London Duathlon are now sold out but you can still enter for a charity place:

london duathlon

During a BRICK training session, the aim is to practice multisports (bike-run in this instance) one after the other with minimal or no interruption in between. I considered this being my hill training for the week as the 30 minute spin class mimicked the hills on the Richmond Park where the London Duathlon will take place. After that, we then went for a 4K ish run.

It was tough! I really really pushed myself. Never a class had me stripping before. I couldn’t even hold my phone still after. Apologies for the blurry pictures.



Transition from spin shoes to running shoes




Even though I cannot take part into the London Duathlon, I will incorporate BRICK workouts in the future as they really, in my opinion, enable you to train for the second part of the race, the one where your legs are tired and like jelly.

Friday: REST DAY

Saturday: Thanks to Sweaty Betty and Glöanna I was lucky enough to win tickets via twitter for Run Glöanna , a fun event were you have a shot of prosecco (at 8.30am), set off for a 5K run in Battersea park, and then enjoy a 45min yoga session. Post-yoga we had a brunch consisting of sushi, more prosecco and fresh fruit and listened to the awesome DJ’s playlist.

Even though it was a rainy start, I loved the day. I had never been to Battersea Park before and it was a great discovery! It’s so cute! I liked the fact that this wasn’t a race but a casual 5K where I could catch up with my running buddies and make even more running friends! We all had a good giggle from the start. The yoga class was AMAZING. Even though it was a bit challenging (as you can see, I just relaxed and took pictures instead of attempting head stand…ahem), the 45min passed by too rapidly.



With Leah, Kiera, Lucy and Jen


Photo courtesy of Leah. By the way, I LOVE my Fabletics capri.


Picture by Jen

Right, you do that while I take some pictures…



Sushi and Prosecco brunch


The best portaloo ever



blogger-image-869329486Picture by Jen

Sunday: 60min run (10K) with lots of hills and lots of swearing and a sense of pride for smashing my week of workout and reaching the 1,000K milestone on my Nike+ app.

Check out my other training recaps:

Week 1

Week 2



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