sophie didn't do anything at all.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

| fitness | Men's Health - Survival of the fittest

I bloody well did it.

I actually crossed the line

If you've read my previous posts - you'll know how nervous I have been.

My fitness
As with the Spartan Race I didn't go into this completely unprepared. Following the very physically demanding summer, I didn't really wind it down once I got to Uni. Obviously the training schedule needed reassessing (lectures need working around) and essays had to take the priority. 

I felt a lot more confident running, and setting my own pace. Spartan taught me that I can really only go as fast as my body will let me, so there is no point in trying to aim higher. My jog is still borderline walking, but hey ho.

We're essentially beginners in a somewhat unforgiving environment. And we're doing just fine.

Race tactics with my dad. Ross takes it seriously
The day itself.
Ross was running this one with me. Our team has shrunk a little since the summer due to commitments and injury, but we both felt we wanted to prove ourselves.
We woke up at 7.30 and had a light breakfast. The night before we had well and truly tested our stomach capacity and felt a bit groggy - but we both knew we'd be grateful later on.
Because our heat was at 2.45 we had the entire morning to mope and allow time to pass, so obviously  constructively posed for pictures...




We did some careful stretching in the garden (it was such a beautiful day) before heading into London. My dad drove us as far as Putney (where he was umpiring a rowing race) and we hopped on a train to Battersea Park. 

This was about 12.30, and already we were feeling sick with nerves.

Arriving in the arena I was struck by how many people there were but registration was really quick. One of my favourite parts of these races is getting another t-shirt (the medal too!) but who doesn't love new clothes.



It was still sunny at this point, so we weren't too worried about the cold.

That was until we saw some of the obstacles.




The ice pit looked the  best.

Fifteen minutes before our heat we got shepherded into an enclosure.

The race

I'm sorry I don't have any 'during race' photographs - we didn't have a support team so the camera got left firmly in my bag. Even the professional course pictures didn't turn out too good, so you'll just have to use your imagination.

The hay bales to start were huge. So was every single obstacle we came across. Ross was probably the only reason I got round, he was there guiding me through every challenge I came up against.

This was definitely a manly course - I struggled a lot towards the end because my upper body just couldn't handle the constant onslaught, and I guess, I had undertrained.
The worst section was a 2 mile run along the river, my jog dropped to a pathetic shuffle but Ross stayed directly behind me so I didn't stop.
Traffic cones are heavier than you think.
This course felt very manly - think a construction site, mud and a firehose. We had to carry beer kegs and scramble through cars, lorries and tyres.
The people who helped me over the final famous 'wall of shame' are probably the best people in the world.

Our time was 1.22.14.

I am so proud of us for finishing.



Post race
I'm going to be honest here. We massively misjudged how our body's would react to the race, and it was a bit of a disaster. Foolishly, we both ate only a biscuit and an apple for lunch pre-race - as our stomachs were so unsettled. This didn't affect our race progress too much, but we both had a huge sugar crash after completing. We were fine queuing for the official photographs, changing out of our clothes and jumping on the train, but it was here that things got a bit hazy.

My dad met us at Putney, and we both kind of collapsed into the car. I essentially passed out and dozed for the journey home (I imagine Ross did too) in a state of hunger and fatigue. We haven't yet adapted to a full day of exertion so it was a bit of a shock. 

Arriving home we forced down some very hot sweet tea and Ross kindly let me in the shower first to warm up.

The hair dryer definitely helped, but we still felt very shaky.

After food and getting warm we looked a lot better :).
Learning curve
If we are going to do longer distances we need to be far more careful about what we eat and when.

Even if you don't feel like food, if you know you'll need it - force it down.

We can only get better and learn from our mistakes - we now know we function best when we eat our biggest meal lunchtime the day before, rather than dinner (tip #124566)



love sophie

xox

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

/ beauty / Review / Nip and Fab / Bust Fix

Well this product is awkward to review. Should I upload pictures of my boobs to show nip and fab before and after?

No.

You're going to have to utilise the powers of your imagination and visualise the effects. Don't be cheeky.

So.


The claims (from their own site)
A light serum to visibly plump and firm the appearance of skin around the bust + decollete. Bust Fix is a revolutionary formula packed with fast acting mangosteen extract.

- cell active form - plumps and supports lipid deposition
- mangosteen - reshapes and sculpts
- cell booster - smoothes and firms

To be applied on clean skin twice daily.

£16.25 for 100ml.


The reality
Now I love a good moisturiser any day, and having one specially designed for my upper lady bits was exciting.

It definitely firms and tones the 'area', fills out you out a little. This has been a lovely reminder that my whole body needs attention, not just the more exposed areas like legs and face.

The smell and texture were by far one of the nicest I've come across. It's very fresh, and as it's on your chest it's like wearing another perfume. However, you will look weird sniffing your tits. Like most creams the bust fix doesn't absorb immediately so you have to stand half naked for a while. I've never really minded.

As far as it goes, if I had endless funds, I would purchase this. However, my beauty list is currently so long that it's quite far down, and I can't afford to spend £16 on an area specific serum. If you are looking for something to 'perk' you up, trust me, this is the one for you!


x

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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

/ you can't say that (pt 1)

A lot of people think it's acceptable to make fun of people. Sure, it happens all the time. 

But, I mean, there are some examples where it's just more than moronic - it's really stupid. 

Like. 

People making fun of the more rotund individuals in society exercising. 

This includes the gym, running and any kind of exertive activities. 

What exactly are you going to say? 'Run fast fatty, chase those pies?' These people are clearly trying to offset some poor decisions made in the past and they are running. It makes my head hurt with the incredulity of it all - you can't knock a guy for trying huh?

Since I started properly running around 4 months ago, I now have a silent appreciation for my fellow comrades. The majority of us up at 6 o'clock aren't athletes - we're just ordinary people attempting to squeeze some feeling of health into our tired and sluggish selves. I feel like we're a gang. There are unwritten rules when out running, there's a respect for space and a need to quietly encourage one another. 

Every morning I run past the same three people. One, looks very fast. She's built like a runner and is light on her feet. Every day she smiles at me like she couldn't be happier to see me and often accompanies this with an encouraging word or two. The second guy I bump into on a hill. Me running down and him struggling up - trust me that hill is a personal challenge too and I don't envy him but every time he's gunning for it. Top chap.

The third, is an old lady walking her dog. She normally stops me to ask how I am and to give me a high five. 

I cannot emphasise enough how much a small nod, or acknowledgement of effort goes such a long way - if someone is out there doing it they are doing it!!

Just don't knock a guy for trying.

And to the guy who kicked me in the head at my latest race, thank you. The encouragement was endearing. That applies to anyone who shouts at people for going 'too slow'. If they are doing their best, then they bloody well can't go faster - so I will block your way until the women has cleared the obstacle. She was a dear. Just not the fastest.

x



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Thursday, 14 November 2013

/ i like boys.

[drunk post 5?]

[or was i=sober?]

I crush easy.

I guess I'm too loving. 

Infatuation. 

Not infatuation, just fascination.

People fascinate me and I get frustrated when I can't ask them questions about things. 

This is why I'm in love with boys brains - they LOVE telling you random facts.

Dropping some serious stereotyping here, but boys who are nerdy and know how to be clever are incredible human beings. I would like a gang of nerds to be educated by - one to keep my computer and I in check, another with a keen interest in history and sport, maybe one who likes obscure music and another who loves accounting. Someone who knows all there is about art and design - oh and someone with an intense sense of direction.

Then I would be complete.

I will find you all.  like pokemon. I don't think one human being can fill all those shoes.

Snippet of things that make me smile brought to you by the boy:

a bit is a 1 or 0
a byte is 8 1s or 0s
a word is any amount of 1s or 0s
a nibble is 4 bits
...
because it's half a bite.

Thats me done.
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Monday, 11 November 2013

/ fitness / running gear / sports bras*

So, I'm pretty well kitted out. 

My training is going well(ish) and I have been keeping the injuries on the low.

One thing I have been struggling with is how to dress myself adequately for the run. I either wear too many layers, too few or just get cross and come home early. Then there's socks, shoes and the age old conundrum of the sports bra - thankfully Shock Absorber got in touch and will be sending me my very own personalised support. I have always worn one during exercise - but I was shocked to hear the statistics surrounding those that don't.


Shock Absorber found that 37% of women 'find the battle with their breasts too much to bear, citing breast bounce and discomfort as the primary reason they avoid exercise', and that 22% find it inhibits their enjoyment as they won't work out as hard as they could.

Even more shockingly, a third of women don't even think they need to wear one because they don't have large breasts, and those that don't just stick with their usual day to day bra. Ouch.

Can you believe it?

Well, yes, unfortunately, I guess I can.

However, exercising without proper support can cause premature breast sagging. Irreversible. You might have the body to shout about but if your boobs are hanging to your knees then you need to reconsider.

Below, you will see a screen shot of the Bounce-o-Meter. It's a 3D representation of breast movement during exercise, and it allows women to adjust the breast size and level of activity for a clear representation of the impact their chosen exercise may have on their breasts. Basically, it can help you find the right bra without trying them all on.

Handy huh?

Shock Absorber

The Shock Absorber range is easy to navigate, and you will find the bra for your personal level of exercise and size. If you're thinking of fighting that winter tyre, please make sure you look after your lady parts.



x

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Thursday, 7 November 2013

/ fitness / my update

This weekend has really been a milestone. I ran 6.7 miles yesterday and 4 miles today - and almost cried.

If you read my post about injuries, you'll know my journey has been a long one, with people telling me again and again how my body just would never be able to do it and that I would forever be in pain. It was through those years that I fell out of love with ibuprofen, painkillers, my insoles, not being allowed to sit on soft furnishings (seriously) and in general my physiotherapists. 

But for the moment, all is well (fingers crossed, touch wood and so on).

The next
Yeah. So stupidly I'm still entered in the Men's Health Survival of the Fittest race. 10km+ of pure fun, interspersed with lifting, jumping, crawling and climbing all in the freezing mid-November inevitable rain. Yay!
That is now less than two weeks away and I'm genuinely terrified. It's a huge step up from the Spartan Race we completed over summer but hopefully achievable. I really want to finish.

The now
My legs are a little bit tired. Right now. I'm sitting in a lecture feeling very guilty (third day of not running!!) with my limbs burning.

Berocca, strong coffee and Tiger Balm feature regularly in my daily routine, each playing an important role in keeping me functioning (especially the coffee, can't get enough coffee). 
Those new trainers I recently bought are fabulous and have corrected some posture issues I was having.
I spent a lot of time researching them - never before had I realised the difference a pair of shoes can make - and am so in love.

NEW BALANCE 890V3, trainers
if they take your fancy - grab them whilst stocks last!!
I've also started pole fitness. It is nowhere near the stereotype - I have never seen a group of women so body confident and in control, regardless of shapes and sizes. The classes themselves are intense and very physically demanding - something I hadn't even considered.
If you are looking for a low impact sport, you need to give it a go. I've only been 'dancing' for a few weeks so can't give you a proper run down - but for now I am it's number one fan!

The future
Ho hum. I'd love to say that I'm gunning for a marathon and will continue to train and train forever, but that just isn't true. The winter months are drawing in and already my motivation is slipping. To run every day is now too much, something which I'm being very honest about.
There are some 10k races in February that I'd like to take a shot at, but after Men's Health I might be taking a loooong holiday.

I'm never going to completely stop working out, but I'd love to try running just for pleasure rather than an impending race deadline that terrifies me to the core.

Let me know if you're also doing anything silly :).

x


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Monday, 4 November 2013

/ why I don't drink

No.

Don't say it. Don't think it.

I am not boring. I am not a wet flannel. I just refuse to put my body through the strain of dealing with what is essentially a poison unnecessarily. The hardest thing about being a student and not drinking is that no one respects it. They tell me how one won't hurt, everyone does it and that I'm young and should enjoy myself. To be honest, I'm genuinely having a great time and if you really need a drink to have fun then you'll need to reassess your situation.

Jus' sayin'. 

Yes, in moderation, alcohol can be fun and games. But as with all things that are bad for you, it's easy to get carried away. Did you know, it can take as long as a week for your body to fully recover from a big night out? Also, why spend all that money on a night out if you can't even remember it! I don't mind clubbing sober, but when your friends are so drunk they can't speak english then it stops being so much fun.

Also.

Hospitals have seen a 117% rise in the under 30's for alcohol liver disease.

That is no joke. 

The liver becomes clogged with fat from the alcohol, and scar tissue forms when the body attempts to repair itself. Known as cirrhosis, if left untreated this can be fatal.

Alcohol can also raise blood pressure.

It can increase the risk of cancer.

Pancreatitis. 

It can cause impotence in young men.

Not to mention - it causes weight gain! Beer belly. 

Now I'm not here to nag, but this isn't something to joke about. So when I say I don't drink, it's not whimsical or half hearted, I want to have a fulfilled life. Chances of getting problems later in life are small for each individual thing, but there are so many that there's a chance you'll get one. 

I also can't  be bothered to explain this to everyone, so I just tell them I have no money. 

Isn't it sad that in this day and age I get labelled as the weirdo for being good to my body?

Just look after yourselves kids.



x

ps. I did get rather sloshed at my 21st. I haven't drunk since, and didn't drink the 8 months before. I think that's okay. There. I'm not a hypocrite - I just plan for it.




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