Marathon Training – Week 1

So as most of you will be aware, I decided to take on a big challenge in 2017 and entered my first marathon! It is now 16 weeks away and I’m in my first week of structured training. Until now, I have been running regularly but intuitively. I am both nervous and excited for this venture and can’t wait to share it all with you! Does anyone else have a big race coming up this year or something you’re working towards?!

Day 1 – 1hr Body Pump

I was actually feeling really negative about my training and my body (everyone has those days, right?!) and I totally lacked the motivation to work out. However, if I’ve learned anything in this process, I know that the best way to shake the negative attitude is to go work out! Guess what? It worked and I felt 10000 times better after my class. I couldn’t cop out on day 1, especially as I slipped up and bought a bar of chocolate… Cravings took over, but hey, I knew it wouldn’t kill me.

Day 2 – 3 miles

I decided to run the 3 miles intended for day 3 and swap my rest day as I had plans for Wednesday evening and it worked better for my week. The weather was absolutely shocking (lots of rain and wind) so I took to the treadmill on the way home from work. I can’t afford to catch a cold in this training cycle! I haven’t run treadmill miles in forever – so it felt a little bit weird but I got it done nonetheless (and was glad that it was only 3 miles!)

Day 3 – Rest

I took my rest day and it was entirely welcomed! My legs were aching from Body Pump on Monday and I really needed a night to just chill after getting my nails done. Sometimes it just takes something small to make you feel a little better.

Day 4 – 4 miles

4 miles before breakfast! God I missed my morning workouts. It sets me up for the day and I generally feel a lot better and more productive at work. I’m going to try and get back into doing these, even though it means I do have to get up pre-6am to fit it in before work.

Day 5 – 3 miles + 45 minute spin class

I was going out for dinner with my friend after work and going to a spin class at 7am before working, meaning I’d have to have come home and run before going for dinner. I knew I wouldn’t feel like doing that so I got up half an hour earlier in the morning and got it all done before work. I felt great all day – but it did affect my hunger!! I’ll need to take more food to work next time I decide to do a longer session in the morning.

Day 6 – Rest 

Ah… what a lovely Saturday morning spent chilling out, eating good food and watching Peaky Blinders. Just because it’s the weekend and a rest day doesn’t mean I have to fall off track. I still made good choices in terms of nutrition and a sober night bowling with friends was the perfect way to socialise without throwing all my hard work out the window!

Day 7 – 5 miles

I finished the week off with a mid-afternoon run. It was really cold and trying to snow outside but it felt good nonetheless. I ran in a pretty good time and had a delicious treat afterwards – my 3 ingredient banana pancakes! A great end to a great week!

Total: 15 miles

I spend my Sunday evening preparing and planning my meals and workouts for next week. I am ready for week 2 of my training and actually looking forward to Monday! Hope you all have a good week!

L x

Eating Out In Amsterdam

I’m just home from an incredible 3-day city break in Amsterdam and I couldn’t be more upset about it. The minute we arrived in our hotel to leaving for the airport to fly home it was crazy busy but brilliant!

We stayed in a gorgeous hotel, The Hoxton, in an area called 9 streets. The hotel came highly recommended to us by a friend and it did not disappoint! We had an amazing room with a view out on to the canal so we couldn’t have asked for more.


However, I was apprehensive about having a weekend away from my normal routine, with the start of my marathon training cycle due to begin in just a weeks time. With no room in my hand luggage for my runners, I set about researching some healthy eateries to ensure that I at least stayed relatively on track with my nutrition. Upon arriving in Amsterdam, I quickly realised that it wasn’t going to be hard to eat well there. Being a pretty hip city, it was way ahead of the game in terms of health cafes and restaurants. This being said, I was also there to enjoy myself just before my training began so I didn’t want to be too strict with it.

On Friday, we were pretty hungry after travelling and arrived at our hotel just in time for lunch. We decided to dine at the hotels restaurant and use the time to get our bearings and figure out a plan of action for the coming days. The restaurant, Lotti’s, had quite a short menu but also offered good options for breakfast, lunch and dinner all within the one menu. I quite fancied a steak (one of my go-to choices when eating out as you can easily keep it relatively low-calorie by pairing with a salad or veg) but as it was lunchtime I opted for a salad instead. Chicken Caesar salad. Now this dish is a tricky one as once you add up the sauce, the Parmesan cheese and croutons, your lettuce based dish could end up clocking in at 1000+ calories. I’m a little fussy when it comes to ordering this. I always ask for dressing on the side – that way I can add the bare minimum or none at all. I also tend to request no croutons as I don’t really see the sense in ordering a salad if you’re going to eat half a loaf of crispy bread through it. However, in certain situations, I sometimes feel uncomfortable or feel it is not appropriate to be making such demands so I just leave them to the side. This time, Lotti’s were super accommodating and I got my dressing on the side! The salad itself; I’d give it a 6/10.

Friday night was a little bit of a disaster. We walked for miles across the city before we came to the restaurant where we eventually dined. We just hadn’t planned things properly and by the time we arrived and got a table it was well after 9pm and we were starving from the days exertions. We ate at an Argentinian restaurant in Jordaan called Salmuera. On walking through the door to our table we walked past a huge grill full of chicken, steak, pork and fish with the spicy aromas filling the air immediately…mmm!! At this point I knew we’d made a good choice and I was going to be able to eat well there. We both went for a 1/2 grilled chicken and shared a side of mixed vegetables and sweet potato. It was a high class Nandos – and that’s not a bad thing! 8/10.


I forgot to mention we drank quite a lot of red wine in the Argentinian place so I woke up on the Saturday morning feeling less than fresh – but still determined to stick to my plan of eating as well as possible. That went out the window when we ventured to The Pancake Bakery! It seemed like half of Amsterdam had the same idea.. but it’s always a good sign when you have to wait for a table. After Brandon convincing me I deserved it after all the walking we’d done (and it didn’t take a lot of convincing) I ordered a crepe style pancake with Nutella. It was everything that dreams are made of. I’m sure you can all imagine… but it beat me, I ended up feeling sick and couldn’t finish it. At that point I realised I’d made an error and should have gone for one of their savoury giant omelettes – which looked incredible! It still gets a solid 7/10 but be prepared for the laidback service!


Lunch on Saturday was on the go! We ended up getting a Braatwurst from a stall, Braat! on the rooftop terrace of the Heineken Experience. This was a solid 10/10. It was far from what I’d choose as a healthy lunch option back home but it tasted amazing and I really wanted to try it – so I decided not to deny myself a simple pleasure.

It was Italian (one of my favourite cuisines EVER!) on Saturday night at Casa Di David. It was just a short walk from our hotel which was also a bonus! We’d tried to get in on the Friday evening but they were fully booked – a good sign – so we had to wait! Make a reservation if you want to go at the weekend. I had Amatriciana bucatini (a kind of thick spaghetti-like pasta) and it was delicious. The carbs were most-welcomed after a long day of walking all over the ENTIRE city! I wish I’d worn my Fitbit to track how many miles we walked/steps we’d done.

Pancakes were on the menu again for Sunday morning. This time, we dined at a really cool restaurant, Mook, which was quite a walk from our hotel – but oh, so worth it! The simple, clean interior oozed style and it was clear we were in one of Amsterdam’s hip, well established brunch locations. Surrounded by loads of cool and quirky people, we couldn’t wait to get a look at the menu! Brandon was excited to see stacks of pancakes being served around us and we both opted for the Blue Magic Pancakes – organic pancakes served with blueberries, maple syrup and coconut. Brandon chose the deluxe version which included strawberries and banana too! They were absolutely delicious but again, I couldn’t finish them! It felt naughty but healthy at the same time! I highly rate this restaurant and would 100% return if I’m ever back in the city.


I realised I am a creature of habit when I ended up ordering another Caesar salad for lunch at a gorgeous restaurant we discovered, Herengracht, located in the Herengracht area. Either that or it’s just a popular salad that a lot of restaurants have on their menu. We dined outside in their terraced garden area with Brandon’s friends despite the sub-zero temperatures. That might be a bit of an exaggeration but it was close! I made my usual requests and to my surprise the waitress got it right without writing anything down. My salad arrived and it was delicious; a definite 9/10. Maybe it was the addition of the bacon but I wasn’t even jealous watching the boys eat club sandwiches and french onion soup!


Sadly, after all that our weekend in Amsterdam came to and end and it was off to the airport to catch our flight home! There was so much we didn’t see or do and I would love to return to experience it again and check out more of the places we discovered to eat!

I hope this is of some use to you all if you ever find yourselves in the Netherlands wondering where to eat out!

L x

Day Seventeen – Satisfying Cravings

I’m not sure what’s going on with my body at the moment but the last couple of mornings, I have woken up absolutely shattered and have thought to myself – do I really need a good body? However, I do pride myself on my ability to ignore these thoughts and just get up and get on with it – and so I did, trekking to the gym in the snow.

When I got there, slightly more awake, I felt much better and decided just to go for it! I actually saw another girl I see regularly in the mornings giving it everything on the treadmill and that spurred me on. I ended up running 5.5k and hammering out the final kilometre at 10.5-11.5km/ph. I was dripping with sweat and it felt amazing! I then continued on my mission for a tight, toned bum with some medicine ball squats – still just 6kg.

Many women are afraid to go near weights for fear of adding size and appearing ‘manly’. Admittedly, I was exactly the same until I started training properly around 2 years ago and realised this was not the case. The sooner you lose that mindset; the better. I’ve always been a cardio bunny but since I’ve started weight training on a regular basis, I’ve seen my body get firmer, stronger and change shape entirely. It’s really nice when things no longer wobble. At the moment, I’m going to keep the cardio in my daily workouts as I love the fatburn but over time I may begin to limit this to once or twice a week as apposed to every day. I’ll need to do my research on strength training first!

I have had really bad cravings all day for junk food; but naturally I was never going to cave and get the takeaway. I had to think of another way to satisfy the cravings without having a cheat meal as such – I’m saving my cheat meal for Sunday! My belly was super happy after today’s intake, particularly dinner:

  • Grapes
  • Orzo Salad
  • Sweet Chilli Lentil Curls
  • Chicken Salad (Lunch)
  • Banana Pancakes w/ Bacon (and a couple with jam for something sweet!)

I have a day off tomorrow and plan to clean my flat and go see the flat we love again! I am unsure if I will work out or take a rest day but I’ll judge that based on how my body feels in the morning. I really could do with the long lie though! It’s been a long week and it’s only Wednesday!

Goodnight,

L x

 

Day Nine – Pancake Day

All I’ve seen plastered across social media today (TORTURE) is pictures of everyone’s pancake stacks, dripping in syrup or Nutella but Pancake Day does not have to be avoided – there are healthy options out there! The recipes for Protein Pancakes are all over the internet; but these are not always easy and often unsuccessful from what I have read!

Tonight Brandon found an easy two-ingredient recipe, tried it and it worked! Here it is;

  • 1 Medium Banana
  • 2 Whole Eggs

Blend the ingredients and then fry using a small amount of butter or oil. It really is that simple! Make them small in order to get a good thickness. They don’t win any awards for beauty but they taste amazing and make for the perfect healthy indulgence!

image

Today was my first day back in the gym after 3 days off and I loved it! I’m hooked on working out – there’s definitely worse things to be addicted to. I felt refreshed, had loads of energy and I worked my body HARD!

My workout was;

  • 5k Run (350kcals burned)
  • Bicep Curls – 4 sets/12 reps (3kg)
  • Skull Crushers – 3 sets/10 reps (3kg)
  • Deltoid Raises – 3 sets/10 reps (2kg)
  • Tricep Dips – 3 sets/10 reps

I’m using low weights when I work my arms as I’m not aiming to gain size but rather retain definition! I’m quite lucky as I already have naturally muscular arms and shoulders, meaning this does not require heavy lifting or 1000 reps of each excercise!

As I was back in the gym my intake increased:

  • Black Grapes
  • Graze BBQ Smokehouse Crunch Pack
  • Chicken and Couscous
  • Chicken w/ Fajita seasoning, Peppers and Onions
  • 2 Banana Pancakes

And it’s off to bed before I do it all again!

L x