This week's We Do Run Runner is Zoe! She works in advertising and is keeping up with her 2013 new year's resolution of writing a blog. Warning: she visits some tasty looking restaurants. Don't go reading on an empty stomach. The cottage cheese and cucumber in my fridge are feeling very inadequate.
1. I started running two years ago. Before that I could barely run for 5 minutes - I was so unfit! I remember attempting to do a lap of the park whilst at uni and having to give up, not my finest moment. So when I moved to Battersea I wanted to make the most of having a beautiful park on my doorstep, get fit and lose a bit of weight. I admit my first 5 runs involved running round the block, increasing my laps each time. That way I wasn't too far from home! Now I've run in Berlin, Leeds and on of course in London.
2. My main motivation for running now is to keep fit and healthy. After completing a marathon in September I got really lazy in the run up to Christmas - I put on weight and more noticeably felt tired all the time. The horrible weather in January and February was another excuse to stay indoors, so I forced myself to sign up to a few races and put the old trainers back on! My trainers of choice are Ascics as I massively overpronate. I wear the structured shoe with extra insoles I got from a podiatrist.
3. The last run I did was Nike's We Own the Night, a 10km on Saturday night. It was a really fun event and I knocked 4 minutes off my last race time. The event was in Victoria Park so it was on quite narrow paths which slowed everyone down a little. I did get a stitch after a few kms, but I think that's the problem with night runs - I think I must digest my food quite slowly, so much prefer morning runs.
4. I couldn't run without my nike + app. It helps me to feel more in control of my speed and distances. When it comes to clothing, technical running gear is a must for me. I find cotton t-shirts really heavy and unbreathable.
5. I try and sign up to a variety of events as it keeps me motivated. In the next couple of months I've got the Bupa 10,000, Zest 10km Challenge, The British 10km and the Colour Run. Training hard for these events means I can satisfy my sweet tooth without feeling too guilty!
6. Running has given me a great sense of pride and achievement. Nothing compares to when I crossed the finish line at the Berlin Marathon a year and a half after I started running, with a heavily strapped up knee. It wasn't a particularly fast time (4hr50), but I did it!
7. My running playlist is mostly made up of top 40 hits - yes I like chart music, I said it, Taylor Swift is on my playlist! I look out for running compilation albums as they tend to have a good variety of fast paced tracks. I remember getting to the 40km mark at the marathon and Eye of the Tiger came on, it just gave me the energy for the last push. A good song can really lift my spirits, whether it's at a race or on a training run.
8. I have developed a couple of running rituals of the last two years. I have learnt, most importantly that I can only stomach a flapjack two hours before a race (although I learnt that this isn't enough to run a marathon on). Also, gels are a saviour. My favourite are Lucozade. I didn't really understand the importance of gels until I started training for longer distances, but they really do help boost your energy levels.
9. My favourite running toy, which was recommended to me by my boyfriend, who swears by it, is 'the stick.' It allows you to self massage any area of your body. It hurts, but boy is it worth it the next day when you can walk without looking like you have something stuck up your...
10. I've recently been to a few Nike Training Clubs and realised that it can really push and motivate you, as well as helping to make you faster when you train with others. I'd love to join a cheap running club, or start a weekend running group if anyone is interested?
To end this post, I'll finish with the words that get me through the long training runs and races: