A mum of 2 trying to stay sane in an overly airbrushed world.

Monday, 15 October 2018

7 Days into Marathon Life...7 Items I Need!

The perils of social media - follow a shed load of super inspiring people and you’ll also be inspired to want some of the fabulous specialist products they use!

7 days into life as a marathon runner and of course I have already encountered the joys of shopping for the big day. Some items necessary, some items not so necessary - more items of pure fantasy (who doesn't want a £300 smart watch?!), here's what has taken my fancy in just the 1st week of marathon prep, but what do I really need to buy?

1. Garmin Vivoactive 3
RRP: £299.99
The Garmin equivalent to the Apple watch a GPS Smartwatch with built-in Sports Apps and wrist-based heart rate. It’s a pretty expensive does a lot for its money though and the look of it doubles as a ‘normal’ watch so it’s allure is justified!
RRP: £120

Possibly the most important piece of kit I'll need; these offer the support & cushioning required for my gait and flat feet!

3. Caterpy Laces
RRP: £6.99 or 3 for £15

To prevent any time lost in lace tieing or from fretting about laces being done right these are the bestselling 'no-tie' shoe lace, allows adjustable tension for comfort and ease.

4. FlipBelt

Carries everything you might need while exercising. Easily slide in your essentials through any of the three access points, secure your keys on the sewn-in clip and place valuables inside the zipper pocket. FlipBelt Zipper stays securely in place without bouncing or shifting. Available in 5 sizes.

5. Torq Fuelling Gels
RRP: £22.80 for a box of 15

TORQ Gel represents the fastest possible method of consuming 30 grams of carbohydrate (1 TORQ Unit), so is suitable for use at all exercise intensities and is especially favoured during high intensity racing or training when heavy breathing makes consuming a TORQ Bar or TORQ Chew more difficult. 2-3 are recommended per hour of activity - so for a 5 hour marathon a maximum of 15 would be needed.         

6. Kalennji Headband and LED Nightlight
RRP: £6.99 (headband), £2.99 (LED nightlight)

Winter training essentials (I think) a headband to keep my ears warm and a nightlight so I can be seen in the dark!

RRP: £13.00
100% vegan organic anti-chafing (friction) stick that protects your skin against rubbing. Our advanced anti-friction formula prevents chafing, saddle sores, rashes, blisters, dry and cracking skin. 

TOTAL: £504.76

A marathon runner can dream...or at least save her pennies to make some exciting purchases! Anything I buy I will of course report back on and let you know how it helps me in my training and race.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Marathon Task

I used to love playing ‘game of life’ as a child; spin the rainbow spinner, take a card, manoeuvre your car round the track collecting money, husbands, kids etc. As hard as it was to win that game - it was never full of the real bumps in the road that happen. 

In 2017 biggest ‘bump’ I thought I’d have was preparing to go back to work after my second child; dilemmas of childcare, finance and fulfilment whilst in a part time position. Then I got cancer...(we all know what happened next and if you don’t I’ve written loads about it on here). 

The ‘bump’ of 2018 was preparing to return to work following the cancer; facing dilemmas of what I want to do going forward with the renewed lease of life I now have. 

Is my job right for me? 
Am I happy? 
Do I need to be pushing the glass ceiling more? 

Equally I also worry that I’m in a cancer panic which makes everything before cancer seem wrong, evoking knee jerk reactions and a will to change everything just to stick two fingers up at the world and make a point. 

Part of my way of curbing all these heavy thoughts and not jumping into a load of new situations and changing everything (all the cancer books tell you to avoid this at all costs) was to write The Bucket Fuckit List - all my pipe dreams (both long and short term) in one place to work through and give myself purpose. One of the tasks was to run the London Marathon, something I watch most years with a lot admiration to all those willing to commit so much to one day, one massive achievement. This year whilst watching I voiced my hope to do it out loud I was probably 2 weeks into couch to 5k at that point and running for 5 minutes seemed like an achievement let alone 5 hours! 

But that’s where it stared, a week later I’d entered the ballot and a few weeks after that I’d contacted the hospital charity where I’d had my treatment to see if they had places...obviously the odds of getting the ballot place were slim and I don’t like to be beaten! 5 months later I got the email from the charity to say I’d be considered if I could justify my story to wanting to run it for them - I literally nearly  cried with fear as I knew that this marathon thing might actually happen. I nearly didn’t respond - but that little stubborn girl that lives in my mind was repeatedly telling me not to pass up something that could be amazing. 

One week ago I got accepted...two weeks ago I had reconstructive surgery to make me ‘normal’ again so unable to run, but I’m in and committed with about 290 days to get myself ready to earn the first rock on the bucket list, something to talk about more than having cancer and a medal so many could only wish for. 

In my chemo diary I always used to say I’d rather have chemo than run, I don’t really agree with that anymore - April 28th 2019 will be the day I can bury that statement for good and 2019’s bump in the road is actually a marathon. 

The journey starts now...

As does this...
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