After running the London Marathon in 2010 I continue my pursuit for sporting greatness without the aid of running shoes. I now run 'Barefoot' full time and aim to run the London Marathon 2012 'bare'
My blog is an account of training for running, triathlon, staying fit for life and pushing my body to it's limits to become 'superfit'. I hope it will inspire others to go out and get fit for life and see how enjoyable and rewarding it can be
Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Monday, 21 December 2009
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Since updating the blog last Monday I had 3 trips to the gym for weight training, 2 further 3 milers and a long run on Sunday. I am still playing around with clothing to find the right balance and have read that you should dress as though the temperature is 10 degrees Celsius warmer when dressing for a run. This made the average ‘run’ temperature about 14 degrees Celsius last week. Unfortunately it’s the initial blast of cold air before your body warms that means I am running with 3 layers including a long sleeved top, but I find that once I hit about 2km I’m almost too warm and having to roll up the sleeves. I’m getting there though and this week has snow, sleet, rain and ice forecast so it could be interesting.
Another thing I am working on is when I run, I had a busy weekend so I had to do my Friday run in the morning, whilst initially it was hard work (as my body was tight) I actually felt great afterwards and it was nice to have it ‘out the way’. The weekly long runs fall on a Sunday and at the moment I am trying to decide when I want to run these, Sundays are always tough because if you want to run in the mornings it is goodbye lie in but if you run in the evening there is no lunchtime drinks/steak etc (a luxury). This weekend I ran at around 6.30pm which was ok but at this stage the long runs will be less than an hour, at the peak of training I will be running for 4 hours…. Again this is something I need to focus on
My long run was relatively pain free but I need to remember to take it slow. Having felt good at mile 4 of 5 I sped up significantly and had a great finish…… unfortunately my body paid for it the next day, thankfully it was rest day and only had to undergo a gym review. Next week is 6 miles so I’ll see how that goes.
Following my gym review I now have a very focussed weights programme which I tried out this morning (ouch). It’s a tough regime but I’ll have a lot more things to mix up! It involves lunges of which always bear comical value to me, lord knows why but I cant help sniggering as I’m lunging! In the next few weeks the trainer will be adding free weights into the programme (clear the decks people, clumsy Gemma is waving weights around)! I am a firm believer in a precise weights programme as part of training for a race so to me this is just as important as going out for a run 4 times a week and thankfully my trainer agrees! All in all I have a very clean bill of health. Body fat percentage has dropped 10 % since March (when I got back to the gym and started running again) and I rate at 2 on the Visceral fat scale which is exceptional. On top of that I have lost around 2 stone and am now carrying 7 odd stone of muscle on my 10 Stone frame.
Hopefully this will all help with training and slowly will improve further. Focussing a lot on the core muscles too so I can get that ‘Runners World front cover model’ stomach…. I plan on running the marathon in as little as possible (crop top, shorts and token tutu) and I want to look like I’ve worked hard because so far…. I have!
Monday, 7 December 2009
Hopefully now they are out i can get back to normal and whilst i'm not quite 100% the 20 week marathon training plan started today. Whilst I have been poorly I have made sure i have everything i need for training and am now sporting a Nike + ipod thing which basically turns your i pod into a garmin. I'm quite impressed so far and all my runs will now be recorded on the Nike + which is also linked to my FB page
So I haven't just been shopping.... promise! I have also been in discussion with Malaria No More UK (who I will be running the London Marathon for) to put an article on their website along with links to my justgiving page (a work in progress) and this blog. This is great news in terms of fundraising, especially considering the popularity of the charity since 'I'm a Celebrity...'. This should mean I raise loads of money and save a lot of lives by providing mosquito nets for children and families in malarial zones. This charity means a lot to me and is one that I truly believe in. It's simple, I raise money, it buys nets and in turn one net could save a family from the potentially fatal disease. The preventative way of fighting this disease make it a truly great way to save lives!
I will let you all know when something is up on their website, I'm still writing up something and trying to choose a pic. In the meantime why not check out the website and get a real feel of what this amazing charity does http://www.malarianomore.org.uk/home
Anyway onto some running, having done a few short runs last week to gauge my fitness levels, I have to say it felt great. Today I did a 3 miler, whilst the time I clocked up was a little slow for my average run a few things slowed me down (i had to figure out how to start the workout even though the clock was ticking), traffic was pretty bad on the route and generally i'm a little out of practice. The main thing is I finished the run comfortably and I am now well underway with the training. The run was a little cold and wet to say the least and I'm having to play around with layering etc in the clothing department to ensure I am sufficiently clothed. The big thumbs up goes to running tights, having always finding them mortifingly ugly I took the plunge and bought a pair and actually ran in public wearing them. They are fantastic and whilst they are not the most flattering thing on the planet they really do the job and now looking for a decent top to also keep me warm yet dry.
The Playlist is working ok, I need to work on the order and tweak it a little, a few songs are not working but I have found a power song, Final Countdown by Europe. This is probably one of my favorite songs ever and a truly great track to run to. Another potential, although it works well as a starting up song is Boom Boom Pow by Black Eyed peas...... I'm still on the hunt for more tracks so watch this space. I will update you all after my first week of training and probably talk about my aches and pains but for now, I FEEL GREAT!!
Saturday, 14 November 2009
It's quite a large playlist so it's going to have to be a brutal process of ellimination, if I run and a song comes on that I feel the need to skip, it will be removed. I hope after a few weeks I'll have a playlist big enough that the same songs dont get repeated but of a quality that passes Gemma control :0).
Whilst music is not vital for some runners, music is a critical part of my training. Running gives me the time really enjoy my music (which I will admit, mainly consists of camp rock, cheesy electronic 80's and Bowie). Music also sets a rhythm for you to run to and when choosing a song it is vital I get it right...... as I say there is nothing worse than having to root around in your running belt to dig out the Ipod and start skipping song. Power songs are also vital to pick you up when you are wilting or closing in on 'the wall'. I haven't found my power song yet but I predict it'll be a Queen number or the Noisettes- Dont upset the rhythm. Once I invest in my Nike+ pod for my shoes i'll be on the hunt for a power song..... suggestions welcome :)
Anyway in general the training is just on an easy level still until I get my op over and done with. By the time true training starts I know i'll be pretty prepared with the right kit, right music and a pretty good standard of fitness!
And so we have the list, feel free to give me any suggestions, strictly a no Lady Gaga, Alexandra Burke or Girls Aloud please! Manufactured pop acts are not condusive to making Gemma a happy runner :) (apart from a few I guess)
|Alive and Kicking - Simple Minds||Various Artists|
|Another One Bites The Dust||Queen|
|Another One Bites The Dust||Queen|
|beat it||Michael Jackson|
|Because of You - Kelly Clarkson||Various Artists|
|Big Girl [You Are Beautiful]||Mika|
|billie jean||Michael Jackson|
|blame it on the boogie||Michael Jackson|
|Blondie One Way Or Another||Various Artists|
|blue monday||new order|
|Boom Boom Pow||The Black Eyed Peas|
|Chilly Down||David Bowie|
|China Girl||David Bowie|
|Life On Mars?||David Bowie|
|The Jean Genie||David Bowie|
|Don't Speak||No Doubt|
|Don't Stop Me Now||Queen|
|dont stop til you get enough||Michael Jackson|
|Dude (Looks Like A Lady)||Aerosmith|
|Eye of the Tiger|
|Fat Bottomed Girls||Queen|
|The Rockafeller Skank||Various Artists|
|The Fear||Lily Allen|
|Gleaming Auction||Snow Patrol|
|Holding out for a Hero||Bonnie Tyler|
|Hound Dog||Elvis Presley|
|I Gotta Feeling||The Black Eyed Peas|
|In For The Kill||La Roux|
|Jailhouse Rock||Elvis Presley|
|Just A Girl||No Doubt|
|La Roux - Bulletproof||La Roux|
|Let Me Entertain You||Robbie Williams|
|A Little Less Conversation||Elvis Presley|
|love etc.||Pet Shop Boys|
|Love In An Elevator||Aerosmith|
|Magic Dance||David Bowie|
|Not Fair||Lily Allen|
|pandemonium||Pet Shop Boys|
|Pencil Full of Lead||Paolo Nutini|
|Don't Stop Me Now||Queen|
|Radio Ga Ga||Queen|
|I Like To Move It||Reel 2 Real|
|Relax [Take It Easy]||Mika|
|Rock DJ||Robbie Williams|
|smooth crimanal||Michael Jackson|
|Space Oddity||David Bowie|
|Spitting Games||Snow Patrol|
|tainted love__12 mix||soft cell|
|That's Not My Name||The Tings Tings|
|Total Eclipse of the Heart -||Bonnie Tyler|
|Walk This Way||Aerosmith|
|We Are Golden||Mika|
|We Are The Champions||Queen|
|We Will Rock You||Queen|
|(You're The) Devil In Disguise||Elvis Presley|
Quite eclectic and retro YAY! Feel free to ridicule but remember this is music to run to!
Monday, 9 November 2009
As my school years progressed me and my best friend would talk about how she would train me to to run the marathon but wont be doing any of the running herself, she'd do it from her car because by the time i could run the marathon she'd be a really cool 18 year old with a car.... of course!! Having spent many years fighting with PE teachers who insisted running was not a proper sport to be graded as a GCSE I walked away with average PE grades and a big chip on my shoulder..... just because I couldn't play netball I wasn't a sportswoman!
At the age of 17 I left the school I grew to hate and resent as they never developed my potential. So off my own back I continued to run a little with cadets but eventually stopped altogether until the age of 21. Having spent years partying, smoking and letting myself go I decided to change things a little . I spent a few weeks jogging around Wimbledon Park with Kirsty who decided she didn't want to do it anymore so I stopped again!
A Year later I was desperate to get that feeling back that I only temporarily experienced in Wimbledon Park and after yet another drunken family do I agreed with my step grandfather that i would one day run Comrades Ultra Marathon in the Drakensberg mountains..... That was it, I joined a gym and before venturing out onto the streets I took to the treadmill.... within moments that feeling was back..... and I'm not talking about the burning (being a 20 a day smoker and binge drinker at the time). I almost instantly signed up for a 10km race which was 5 weeks ahead, it'd be tight but with the promise of £100 if i came in under an hour I trained hard.... I got my sub 1 Hour that time around!!!
Amongst the celebrations on a drunken night out I somehow agreed to work in Botswana and within 2 and a half months I was on a plane to Africa, I nearly left my running shoes behind thinking I would not run out there! How wrong i was, this was the place I truly fell in love with running, being cheered by the kids on the streets as you run a measly 3km (a scorching one at that), being chased by warthogs, run ins with Ele's and frequently running home towards an African Sunset. That's the beauty with running, you can run anywhere anytime, no opening hours, no fancy equipment, just you and the road and scenery of your choice!
After Botswana I headed to Capetown in the shape of my life so far and I raced a 10km, the African spirit and comraderie in running out there was truly amazing! Then I returned to the UK with a bump. Without a gym membership I had to take to the streets of Medway (very hilly) most days were lovely runs but some days I'd have gangs of 'hilarious' kids finding it funny to throw stones at me.... the love affair between me and running was well and truly off.
I then met my amazing husband Craig who was always driving me to get back out and run (I think he wanted some time with his computer games) but I never did it, the area we lived in was rough and totally uninspiring, especially compared to what I was used to. Then we Moved to Crystal Palace and the love affair was well and truly 'on' again. Running around Crystal Palace park was amazing, the undulating hills, the greenery, the lake...... then whislt I was verging on a breakthrough and being ready for a 1/2 marathon I got a bad ear infection which lasted long enough to throw me off my training.
Then came the hard times, the country was heading for recession, my husband couldn't find work and we had to leave London. We moved to Newark in Nottinghamshire and it was the best move I ever made.
My on off relationship with running has been well and truly on since March and have lost a stone and a half as a result. Even through tough times with my wisdom teeth running has been my drug to temporarily ease my pain. Now I get to train for the London Marathon, a long term dream of mine that I will fufil. I'm taking things easy right now whilst I await surgery on my teeth but come December I'll be training full throttle and I'm going to keep you with me every step of the way.......
Gemma well and truly has the running bug and it is here to stay :)