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

Reflecting On My 100 Day Journey

I went into this challenge as a pretty weak individual – I don’t mean physically, but rather I had lost my way in life. All I cared about was losing weight and logging hours of cardio meaning I completely lost sight of all the things that really matter – like my friends, my family, my boyfriend, my job and just generally life outside of exercise and calorie counting. Ironically, I now pretty much live in the gym but things are completely different for me.

So what did I expect from this challenge?

Firstly, I thought I’d eat completely clean for the entire 100 days. I thought I’d have 0 cheat meals and eliminate all sweet treats/crisps etc from my diet.

I didn’t anticipate that I would skip any workouts. I went into this with a plan that I’d work out 5 days a week, every single week and I’d achieve my dream body.

I also thought I’d completely change as a person. I saw myself leaping out of bed, excited to take on the day and eating acai-bowls for breakfast.

What did I actually achieve/get out of completing this journey?

I found a healthy balance in my diet. I eat well 90% of the time but I do allow myself a little treat when I want it, knowing that if I’m working hard, I deserve it. A cheat meal keeps me on track – it satisfies cravings and reiterates to me that I much prefer eating well and my body feels a lot better for it.

I have come to love exercise and no longer use it as a form of punishment. In particular, I have found a passion for both running and lifting weights. I discovered a class at my gym that I love and now attend regularly. At just a mere 22 years of age, I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m  finally happy and confident with my body. I work out 4 or 5 times a week because I WANT to, not because I feel I HAVE to and that has been one of the biggest changes I have made.

I have completely changed as a person. My previous expectations were unrealistic and were formed in a very unhealthy mind. I have come to realise that noone is perfect and life does not always play out the way you want it to, no matter how meticulously you plan things. Life is not how you see on Instagram. No-one posts when they are ill, tired or just having an off day and we all have those days. I am now living my life, rather than just existing in a world of restricting myself. I listen to my body and I am learning every day what works for me in terms of my health.

Going forward, I am 100% committed to continue on this journey to improve my health and happiness. I am learning from my own mistakes, creating and overcoming new challenges all the time and I’m really growing up.

I know what I want from my life and I am determined enough to get there. I have realised that the things we want/dream of don’t just all fall into place but rather I am putting them in place. I can’t stress enough the impact that getting my health in order has had on the rest of my life. I am much happier in my job, I have a better relationship with my boyfriend and I enjoy time spent with my friends a lot more now. I put it down to the fact that I am more focused and I’m in a good head space.

I won’t be posting every day as before purely because I’m a lot busier now, both in work and my social life but I will be continuing to update this blog with my progress. I hope to post more about my workouts, nutrition tips and recipes!

Happy Reading!

L x

 

Day Ninety Seven – Steak Night

I was working so unfortunately that meant I couldn’t fit in my workout before work. I really must start going for outdoor runs when I am restricted by the gym opening hours but there is something in my head that goes ‘nope, it’s the weekend, NO workouts!’ I definitely tend to be a lot more relaxed at the weekend, with my diet as well. I also find that because Brandon is home and off work, I like to make the most of this time with him, often eating out. However, I’m hoping to get back into a workout routine on the weekends once I am settled in my new flat and find some new local running routes.

I was really craving a Chinese takeaway but I didn’t want the steaks we had planned to go to waste and Brandon managed to talk some sense into me. I had a really nice night in and even managed to stay awake through an entire movie which I haven’t done for a long time. We watched End of Watch for the second time (I fell asleep the first) and I’d highly recommend it! It was a lovely night in chilling with some red wine to accompany.

My intake for the day was:

  • Nutrigrain Raisin Bake
  • Graze Snack Pack
  • Steak, Asparagus and Tomatoes
  • 4 Ferrero Rochers (woops)

The chocolates were a gift from a colleague in work and they are really hard to say no to! I can’t believe how much of a sweet tooth I have developed.

Anyways, we’re up early to go for brunch tomorrow. Enjoy your Saturday nights!

L x

Day Sixty Two – Sleepy Saturday

I took a rest day from the gym today. I was in desperate need of a lie in and with being off work it was the perfect opportunity to give my body a chance to recover from this cold. I hate rest days – I get really restless and fed up and I never thought I’d be that kind of person. I used to dread the gym, go once every 6 months and never go back! It just shows how drastically you can change your lifestyle in such a short space of time with a little bit of commitment. I spent the morning in bed with Brandon having a cuddle and then after breakfast we had to get up and on with the day.

I was in the salon having my nails done so both my fingers and toes are now cute and matching; yay! Meanwhile, Brandon was off for a haircut and then we met up afterwards to go get our weekly food shop from Sainsbury’s. Brandon will be away down South this coming week and we’re away for the weekend on Friday so things are a little bit chaotic with my meal plan. I also had no shopping list as I was really unorganised with being unwell but I’m pretty good with remembering everything anyways so it all worked out fine. There’s a lot of chicken again on the menu and I’m cleaning things up massively to try cut fat in the next couple of weeks. I’m just praying I start to feel better as I want nothing more than to go on a really long run!

My intake for today was:

  • Omelette w/ Cheese, Tomato and Mushroom (I love weekend breakfasts!)
  • Small Brownie
  • Chicken w/ Sweet Potato and Asparagus
  • Small Bowl of Chocolate Ice-cream

There was some treats today as I didn’t have time to fit in lunch and the ice-cream was a nice little comfort and really soothing on my sore throat. Let’s hope that an evening in bed with a cup of tea, movies and good TV helps me recover quickly!

L x