Saturday, 20 September 2014

Moving to self-hosted!

I just wanted to let you all know I'm moving to a self-hosted blog! I'm working on getting Bloglovin up and running, but for now you can just take a look here at!

Friday, 12 September 2014

What I Ate ... Friday?

I even had all of these pictures taken on Tuesday and ready to go. This week and next week are insanely busy for me, but I still am amazed at how difficult I apparently found it just to stick the pictures into a blog post for What I Ate Wednesday. Next week will be better! Anyway, here are last Tuesday's eats.

Breakfast was my first ever green smoothie! Frozen mango, kiwi, banana, frozen spinach and natural yoghurt. And it tasted surprisingly good, too!

After breakfast I headed out for a run, and when I got back I made this awesome lunch...

 Scrambled eggs on half a bagel - trust me when I tell you using a bagel is so much better than regular bread! And a bowl of raspberry yoghurt and blueberries on the side. 

Midway through an afternoon of work (ugh) I had a little snack...

Tea and one of these Apple Pie flavour Nakd bars. By far the best flavour of Nakd bar known to man. Always, always get these ones.

For dinner I had this glorious heap of broccoli and carrots, along with some delicious yellowfin sole in a lemon crumb. These are divine and you can get them in Aldi for fairly cheap, and the best part is they cook from frozen. All the things I love most. <3

And my bedtime snack was an apple, which I ate on a late night walk and so it was too dark to photograph it. But still, I'm sure you know what apples look like :P


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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Choose Happy: Making Choices

Something I found when I tried to start dealing with my depression was that everything seemed so huge. Tasks seemed gigantic - eating healthy every day, working out regularly, always going to bed before eleven, getting up and out of bed each morning. Who wants to start something that's going to happen every single day from then on? It sounds huge and scary and difficult.

We hear about this a lot - that mentality of 'always starting your diet on Monday'? The reason we don't start right now is because we don't want to do the now and for the rest of time thing. Making a decision to start something that basically never ends is intimidating, and overwhelming, and makes us nervous. So we delay. And delay. And delay. 

So here's something I've been doing. Instead of making a sweeping statement - I'm going to get out of bed before seven every single day, I'm always going to be in bed by eleven, I'm going to eat healthy food all the time, I'm going to work out five times a week - start small. Just make one good choice. That's it.

Sometimes the choice I have to make is: will I get out of bed today? Or: will I order a huge pizza or go downstairs and make some healthy eggs and veggies instead? And it's a lot easier when you only have to summon enough common-sense and willpower for that one moment. Make that one choice, that's it. Choose a healthy home-cooked dinner over a pizza delivery, choose to exercise instead of pressing snooze, choose to shower and dress instead of spending the day in your PJs. Just one little decision. 

It's not always easy to choose the thing that will make you happier in the long run, but it's usually worth it. And this way, you don't have to choose to make a huge life change. Just make one little choice. One. And next time you have a decision to make, make another good choice. That's it. One choice at a time. Easier, right? :)

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Monday, 8 September 2014

Weekly Workout Recap: 1 - 7 September

 I've been working this week on getting the blog self-hosted - we are mere days away, my friends - and so I've been a total moron and forgotten to take any pictures. Hopefully my ridiculous annotations will be acceptable instead!

Monday: 5km + 1km, weights, core
(I did the five on my way to the gym, then ran half of the distance back just for a bit of extra mileage in my week.)

Tuesday: 6km easy, core
(This was absolutely killer. Major fueling mistakes, as in I'd barely eaten anything for about twelve hours. It was slower than slow but at least it got done!)

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 5km fast, Keiser resistance
(This was a beautiful treadmill day - I've been loving the treadmill recently for some reason. I alternated two minutes at 9km/h and one at 11km/h and loved it, this is a fantastic interval length for me - definitely going to incorporate this more!)

Friday: 15 min cross-trainer, 15 min recumbent bike, weights
(I love cross-training day so much. These were serious sweat sessions, not gentle slack-off time, let me tell you! I did intervals for both and fairly cranked the energy. So nice.)

Saturday: 11km long run
(I screwed up my timing majorly and so this got done on the treadmill. It was actually gorgeous - I threw in a bunch of different intervals and speed settings to make it interesting and spent it listening to every song I've liked for the past few months. Awesome. And surprisingly, not horrifically difficult either!)

Sunday: rest

So that's my week! Next week's recap will hopefully be  on a self hosted site! And will include my longest run ever, 12km. Scaryyyy....

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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Hello September!

September has arrived! I'm so excited for autumn to finally get here. I want cool crisp days and early evening sunsets and warm spicy scents and evenings by the fire and bundling up in jumpers and boots and thick tights. Winter is my favourite season but autumn comes a close second, especially since they often blur together around here. Oh, and here's a fun fact for you - traditionally Ireland counts autumn from 1st August and winter from 1st November. So it's not as far away as you might think! 

I thought I'd make two little lists for September, to kick off the month (and back-to-college!) right. Three September goals, and three things I'm really excited about. Here we go...

Three Goals for September

  1. Move the blog to self-hosted. I'm beyond excited about this! You might already know that professionally I'm a web designer/developer, and so having a Blogger blog irks me no end. I didn't want to spend money initially before making sure I'd keep up the blog, but now that I know it's sticking around I definitely want a real domain name and a real design and layout exactly how I like it. I'll keep you posted!
  2. Make smoothies. I've wanted to start making green smoothies for breakfast for ages, but kept on putting off buying a blender. This week I got sick of waiting, so in my groceries this week I bought heaps of (perishable!) smoothie ingredients, to force myself to get a blender before they expire. I'm planning on getting one this afternoon, and hopefully making a smoothie in the morning.  
  3. Stay organised. A big ask, no? With college starting back, I have a lot of things to keep on track with. On top of my actual college work, I do PR for three student societies, plus a bit of web development spec work - and I have half marathon training. I know a lot more about saying no than I used to, so I know that as long as I keep relatively organised I can get everything done. I'm usually super good at this, since I'm a bit obsessive about keeping a planner - the promised post about that is coming! - but I want to make sure to stay on top of things so I can continue doing everything I love.

Three Exciting Things

  1. Freshers Week. The first week of college isn't actually a week of classes, but an orientation week for new students. I'm far from a new student at this stage, but student societies use the week to attract new members by doing tons of promotion and running events. Since I'm heavily involved with not one but three societies, my Freshers Week will be insanely busy, but really fun!
  2. Camping with my boyfriend. We wanted to go camping all summer, but time just got away from us. So we decided to do it this weekend, with a twist - we're camping in my parents' back garden. It's big enough to not feel like we're just beside the house (and there's a big hedge separating the house from most of the garden) but if it's freezing or it lashes rain we have the option to go inside for tea/blankets/fireplace. Win-win!
  3. Upping my long run mileage. I keep mentioning how scary this is, but it's also going to be fun! I love love love doing long slow distance runs, so I'm really excited to start properly upping my mileage. Hopefully it goes well!

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My Half Marathon Training Plan

Hey there!

So today was meant to be What I Ate Wednesday. But of course, I managed to schedule breakfast and lunch out with friends today, and forgot to take pictures any other day, so it looks like we'll be skipping this one. Next week, honestly!

Instead, I thought I'd share the training plan I'm using for my upcoming half marathon - I'm running the Clonakilty Waterfront Half on the 6th of December. This is my first half, so I wanted to stick fairly closely with a well-established training plan, so I'm using a slightly modified version of the Hal Higdon Novice 2 half marathon plan. Why did I modify, you may ask?

  • I hate taking Monday as a rest day - it feels like I spend the rest of the week playing catch-up.
  • I wanted one of my rest days to fall at the weekend so I could plan for literally laying in bed all day if necessary. If they happened during the week, I'd still be up and about going to college and things, so if I was actually completely wrecked at some point I still wouldn't be able to take a full day of properly totally resting. 
  • I wanted a couple of weeks where my long run distance was the same as the previous week, so I could feel stable and secure at that distance.
  • I know that mentally I need to have run the whole distance in training, or I just won't feel like it's possible.

So without further ado, here is my plan:

I hope you guys can read it properly! Those two 10k races are the Dublin Night Run in Park West and the Lifestyle Sports Run in the Dark, two city night races. (Seriously, if you ever wanted a good touristy race, Run in the Dark is it. Up and down the river at night in November. It's going to be stunning.)

Overall so far I'm really happy with how things are going. Keeping my rest days on Wednesday and Sunday, like they've been all summer, is working out really well - I do give myself the leeway to switch Wednesday with Tuesday/Thursday or swap the weekend days if I feel like I need my rest at a different time or have other things to do. I've loved the return to cross-training, and I'm also getting a good bit of strength in. This week the mileage starts to build on my long runs though, so we'll see how it goes from here - fingers crossed!

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Monday, 1 September 2014

Weekly Workout Recap: 25 - 31 August

Week two of my half marathon training plan done and dusted. Apart from switching my rest day from Wednesday to Tuesday, which is something my plan allows anyway (I can wiggle my rest days a bit if I need to as long as all the runs still get done), I've checked every run off the plan this week too, and I'm delighted! This is my last easy week before my long run distance starts kicking it up a level though - next week will be 11km, almost my longest ever run. (My longest ever was 11.5km sometime last year, just for fun.) 

Monday: 5km speedwork
 (I did this in the gym and managed to sneak a quick picture in the gym mirrors - look how cute my tank top was!)

 Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 5km easy

 Thursday: 5km easy, core

Friday: 20 min cross-trainer, 10 min stair climber, weights
(look at the creepily empty changing room! I was the only one in my room)

Saturday: 10km long run
Sunday: rest

Next week I've got an 11km long run. I'm also thinking about bumping up my midweek mileage a teeny bit - I have a midweek 6km run that I might extend to 7km if it feels good on the day. We'll see! I just feel weird running such short midweek runs when my weekends are so long.

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