Running in the Rain

So I said I’d update you about how my fitness journey is going and we’re almost a month in so I thought now would be a perfect time. Especially if your own motivation is starting to slip. If you need a sign to keep going, it’s this. This post. Go do what you need to do.

Week 4, Run 1. A Tuesday evening. The dreariest of days. Dark clouds and persistent rain that seeps into your very soul. Danny picks me up from work, we’re already in our workout clothes (a great little cheat tip if you think when you get home you’ll just get into bed). We debate the entire way home about the run. We’re both on both sides. No we’ve gotta do it, we’re doing really well. If we stop we’ll lose momentum. We’d have to do two in two days later. Wouldn’t be able to recover. Oh but this rain is horrendous. Christ, those puddles are covering the entire road! Watch that pedestrian! You’re gonna soak someone. Well we could do some yoga instead. Oh look the rain has gone way lighter now, let’s just see what Formby is like. Fuck it, let’s just go.

And we did. We just put our trainers on, started our Nike running apps and got outside. The warm-up walk was, I’m not gonna lie, a bit hideous. Very cold and just huge raindrops dripping down into your eyes. But then all of a sudden we’d reached the park, our favoured location for running and we were told to start our first running interval. And what happened after was magic.

We don’t tend to run next to each other because my pace is much slower so we’ve just been bringing our own headphones and pressing play at the same time. Since the rain was so heavy we decided to leave my AirPods at home, worried about water damage. (Are they waterproof, anyone?) The result of this is that I just had to run until Danny found me and told me to stop.

It was kind of amazing and kind of terrifying. It felt like you would be running for all of existence yet you could be cut off at any second. My conclusion? It was fucking freeing. I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other. I drank any drops that reached my mouth, actually perfect for hydration. And I quietly muttered words of encouragement to myself. Sounds corny but it really worked for me. I got to appreciate the sound of the rain, the uber greenness of the trees, the intoxicating fresh air. I smiled numerous times on this run, something I didn’t think humanly possible for me. The high fives from Danny each time our paths crossed really helped too!

By the end of the run I’d ran the furthest yet and achieved my quickest pace per kilometre. I got straight home to more water in the form of a massive gulped drink and a hot shower! Isn’t water incredible?

I had an hour or so of sneezes but all evening we said how happy we were that we’d gone and I think that’s all we need to keep pushing ourselves. Each run we’re getting slightly stronger and building a little more stamina. We’re in it for the long haul. If you are too then I hope that story could be a little push for you somehow.

The meal planning has been going okay but could definitely improve. The yoga is virtual nonexistent right now so that’s something I need to work on, for sure. But the running is our success story this month. Let’s see if I can keep it up for another five weeks!

Side note: Laura’s (your lovely Couch to 5k trainer) playlists are giving me life, don’t get my wrong. But I cannot wait til I can run to my own music!

See you in the next update, make good choices til then!

You Get What You Give – New Radicals

My Fitness Journey

This week’s self-care post is gonna get real. Be gentle with me. So I’ve had this shift in my mindset. An epiphany, if you will. I went the doctors a couple of days ago and she told me I was too overweight. Like this is not something I don’t already know. And like, she wasn’t being rude, just harsh. I guess to like shock me into change. And I got to work after and I was like do you know what? Fuck it. I’m literally the only son of a bitch standing in my own way. The power to change is 100% in my hands. So why have I been settling for so long? Why don’t I love myself? Why don’t I care about my body and show it the kindness and gentleness and ass-kicking it deserves? Cos seriously, when is this tomorrow? I’m not sure it exists. And that’s no way to live. I know I put on a lot of weight when my mum died but I need to stop seeing food as a comfort. I need to see it as the fuel it is. Even before then I wasn’t massively healthy though. So I need to stop making excuses. And I need to actually hold myself accountable instead of constantly letting myself off. There’s only so many times you can give yourself a break before you actually admit that you’re being a hinderance to your own health. So that’s going to change. I’ve said this to myself privately so many times that it’s not even funny. My hope in sharing this personal blog post is that I keep myself accountable. But also that my words can maybe give you the push or encouragement you’ve been needing to develop your own healthy lifestyle. Physical appearance is definitely not everything and it’s not what I want this journey to be for myself. But it is part of it. I also want to strengthen my mental health, my confidence, my relationship with food and just my general happiness. I want to nurture some good habits. And I wanna be able to do a legit goddamn push up, sue me. So who’s gonna use the next few beautiful, (hopefully) warm months to start or progress their fitness journey? I believe in you. You are so strong, so beautiful and so fucking cool. Whatever your goal or intention, work hard. It might not be easy but hopefully it’ll be worth it. I’ll check in soon. I’m gonna be working on some healthy meal planning, Yoga With Adriene on Youtube and the NHS’s Couch to 5k podcast. Until then, look after yourselves. Don’t look back.

Homecoming: The Live Album – Beyoncé (Because if this album doesn’t make you want to move your body then nothing will!)

The Green Juice Hype

Today we’re gonna do my little tactic of writing a quick one cos I don’t have a lot of time/I’m lazy. First off, how fucking beautiful is the weather today? I mean, like where I am. I don’t know where you are. But here in Liverpool it is excellent. Endless blue skies, sun so bright I can barely open my eyes. Oh yeah, that’s a welcome change after all the cold and dreary weather we’ve had the last few months. Is this the start of summer? I totally hope so.

So I’m toying with the idea of readjusting my posting schedule. Self-care Fridays have been a thing on my blog for a surprising amount of time now. Yes, they’re not every week, sometimes months apart, but just calm yourself, we all know the situation. However, I often find myself doing things on Friday nights recently so all that means is my post is sacrificed. But I really enjoy the self-care posts because I think they’re super important. So I don’t want to lose them. My experiment for the next few weeks is to transform Self-care Fridays into Self-care Thursdays! Subtle difference, I know. But it means you can still do these activities or tasks during your relaxing weekends but now you have a day to prepare in case there’s needed supplies.

Funnily enough, today’s self-care activity does require supplies! Green Juice. Now I know a lot of people are weirdly intimidated my green juice and I’m here to address that. With the sun coming back out and the nights getting lighter, I’ve been whipping out my blender to get my daily fix. Green juice is so fucking tasty, and super simple to make. And also, you can put like whatever the heck you want in it. So there’s literally no wrong way to do it. Make it your own. I hear a lot of people saying ‘urgh spinach though? I don’t wanna drink that’. YOU CANNOT TASTE THE SPINACH. I’m not sure how many more people I can say that too without flipping the fuck out. The spinach gives the stunning bright green colour and all the good nutrients but what it does not give is taste. My main issue with this is that spinach actually tastes delicious anyway so I never know what people are even talking about. But for anyone hesitating about trying green juice because they don’t like spinach, or kale, or celery, or whatever then don’t worry. You can make a very vegetable-heavy green juice but most are going to focus on the fruit. They’re sweet and refreshing. That’s why they’re so perfect for summertime.

I also hear people saying it’s expensive. If you’re gonna buy ready-made green juice, then Christ yeah, that’s shit is gonna set you back a lot of pennies. But to make your own? Couldn’t be cheaper. There’s a misconception about what needs to go into a green juice. You do not need spirulina and flax seed and hemp seed and matcha powder and mulberries and goji berries and the elixir of the mythical mermaid plant Magenta. (I made that last one up.) Personally, I like to keep mine super simple. Frozen fruit, kids. That’s where the gold is. Frozen fruit is so cheap. I also use Tesco value orange juice and tap water as the liquids. I use the occasional banana. You’re more than welcome to use the luxury items but they’re definitely not necessary.

Price also comes into the tools used. I fully appreciate people don’t have a Vitamix just lying around. Neither do I, but I wouldn’t say no if anyone wanted to buy me one. I got myself a mid-range blender a few years ago because I knew I wanted to make juice regularly but also start making the thousands of vegan pasta sauce recipes I see online. So I’m all set there. But before that I had a thirty quid blender from Tesco or Argos or something. Before that I had a £5 emersion blender. But if none of that is in your price range just get a bowl and a potato masher and get that arm workout going. My top tip to anyone without a juicer (which I’m assuming is going to be most of us!) is to strain your juice! I often love just drinking it out the blender but when you start throwing in berries I find it a bit too seedy. So to stop that you simply have to strain the juice from the blender, ie. the step the juicer would also do for you. I’ve used nut milk bags in the past, they’re great but I found my hands get EXTREMELY cold because I tend to use a lot of frozen ingredients. So right now I’m using a fine mesh sieve. It works well enough. I find it also helps keep the juice fresh in the fridge for a couple of days. Unstrained, be prepared for the liquid to separate and look gross. Nothing a good shake can’t fix though!

Anyway, I said this would be a short post and now I’m still talking about green juice. So I’ll shut up now and leave you with my favourite recipe right now. I usually just eyeball the amounts, depends on the quantity of juice you want. I tend to just do relatively equal parts of my fruits and a giant amount of spinach pressed down at the bottom.

Sarah’s Green Juice

Spinach

Frozen Banana

Frozen Pineapple

Frozen Mango

Orange Juice

Water

And it’s literally that easy! That juice creates a beautiful green juice. Fair warning: if you start adding berries, it’ll taste amazing but it will turn a weird brown colour. So maybe don’t Instagram that one. Happy juicing!

I Wanna Know – Best Coast

self-care for the new year

So we’re gonna start these self-care Fridays up again slowly. Baby steps, kids. For your self-care journey. And for me actually writing posts.

I find in my own life, but also when I look at the people around me, that we don’t give ourselves a break. Like ever. And I can’t work out why. Do we not think we deserve it? Do we really think we can’t find even ten minutes of time a day for ourselves? Or do we just not love ourselves? I’m not sure but I imagine it’s different for everyone.

However, I’d like to try and show you some ways that you could treat yourself better. Some activities that will help you reset, but also help you to connect to yourself and maybe discover something new. I want to convince you that self-care is one of the most vital acts in life and will hopefully lead to you feeling more balanced and content. We just need to give ourselves the chance to change.

So this week’s self-care task is simple: open your journal, or a word doc, or the notes on your phone, or a fucking scrap of paper you’ve found on the floor (no excuses) and write down your intention. Your intention for self-care. Why you personally want to incorporate more of it into your life, whatever form it may take.

Keep it just for you. And then any time on this journey that you feel you’ve lost your way or just need some renewed encouragement, breathe. Take a second. Then come back to this intention you’ve written and you’ll remember why you began. What you want from life. And how you’d like to evolve.

Simple, right?

Now get going, kids!

Almost (Sweet Music) – Hozier