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

Saturday, 14 November 2009

So the running playlist

After a massive organise of my music collection (and getting rid of the 'Oh my god, I owned that?' CDs) I thought it was high time I put a proper running playlist together. There is nothing worse than running and having a song come on that will completely destroy your rhythm or generally have a song you feel the need to skip through (not in the literal sense). So after hours of sifting through hours and hours of music I have finally come up with a playlist!

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)

Name Artist
Alive and Kicking - Simple Minds Various Artists
Another One Bites The Dust Queen
Another One Bites The Dust Queen
bad Michael Jackson
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 Eyes Mika
blue monday new order
Bohemian Rhapsody Queen
Boom Boom Pow The Black Eyed Peas
Toxic Britney Spears
Chilly Down David Bowie
Changes 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
Insomnia Faithless
Fat Bottomed Girls Queen
The Rockafeller Skank Various Artists
The Fear Lily Allen
Flash Queen
Gleaming Auction Snow Patrol
Gold Spandau Ballet
Grace Kelly Mika
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
Canned Heat Jamiroquai
Just A Girl No Doubt
Milkshake Kelis
Killer Queen Queen
La Roux - Bulletproof La Roux
Let Me Entertain You Robbie Williams
A Little Less Conversation Elvis Presley
Lollipop Mika
love etc. Pet Shop Boys
Love In An Elevator Aerosmith
Magic Dance David Bowie
Millennium Robbie Williams
Doctor Pressure Mylo
Not Fair Lily Allen
pandemonium Pet Shop Boys
Pencil Full of Lead Paolo Nutini
pop muzik m
Don't Stop Me Now Queen
Radio Ga Ga Queen
I Like To Move It Reel 2 Real
Relax [Take It Easy] Mika
Resistance Muse
Rock DJ Robbie Williams
Run Snow Patrol
smooth crimanal Michael Jackson
Space Oddity David Bowie
Spiderwebs No Doubt
Spitting Games Snow Patrol
tainted love__12 mix soft cell
temptation heaven 17
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
Valerie The Zutons

Quite eclectic and retro YAY! Feel free to ridicule but remember this is music to run to!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Running bug

Having finally been accepted to run the London Marathon I am both nervous and scared but also very excited to be finally persuing my childhood dream. Maybe that's a little sad, most kids dream of being doctors or becoming astronauts (fair enough I want to do those too) but from the moment it became apparent that I was a half decent runner, probably at the age of nine and being particularly lanky probably helped. As I grew a little older and took it a little more seriously (actually running cross country and not stopping around the corner and waiting like every other sane child did)and by the age of about 11 I really grew to enjoy running and was one of the better runners in my year and it was about this age that I decided I wanted to run the London Marathon. Looking back this probably makes me a weird 11 year old.

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 :)