30 April 2015


The 19th April was my anniversary of my first ever half marathon. I knew I wanted to run the course again because I really enjoyed it and also wanted to half a Spring half marathon to train for. 

I loved the run. The crowds were great. The weather was incredible and it was a great feeling running in a race again. It was the furthest I'd run since October the previous year (the Eden Project Half Marathon) and it was a fantastic feeling to break past the distance I'd been running in my training. 

The course is mainly road based with a small section through the Saltram House grounds. It's somewhat undulating in places as there's definitely a flat portion but it also ends with a lovely little hill to the finish... 

I went out with the aim of hitting 9 minute miles average which would mean that I'd PB and also potentially secure a sub 2 half marathon. I am INCREDIBLY happy that I beat my PB by 15 minutes minutes with a time of 1:54:36. It also means I beat my course time from last year by just over 30 minutes. I was VERY happy and the weather just made it even more amazing. 

My next half marathon is in October. I'll be running the Royal Parks Half Marathon after being lucky enough to secure a spot through the ballot! I'm incredibly excited to run a longer London race. In terms of PB'ing at Royal Parks? Who knows. It'll be exactly a month after Ironman and the week I move to London for a month. Even if I don't I'm slowly learning that the experience is just as important as the result and that having a blast and then PB'ing is an incredible feeling. 

I don't know how many people would be interested in a more detailed race recap about the course and price etc. but if you are let me know @afloralcrown on Twitter. 

27 April 2015


As some people completed their first ever marathon in London yesterday, I ended my runstreak. After 374 days and over 800 miles, I didn't go for a run yesterday. The runstreak has ended. Even after feeling incredibly inspired by every runner that headed out to run, I just couldn't muster myself to get out and head out even though it would have only been for 10 minutes. I've run two 10ks and three half marathons over the course of my runstreak plus hundreds of training miles. I'm incredibly happy I did it for so long but it's time for the next challenge and yesterday saw me take another step (although still small) in the right direction with my training. 

Before (many) runners were even waking up for those 26.2 miles, I was already out on my bike. I had 60 miles to do and I was determined to get them finished so I could be back home in time to cheer on the people who I knew were running. It was the toughest ride I've had so far. Some points I quite enjoyed it but at others it hurt. I never once thought about giving up and knowing that people were soon to begin running kept me going. At the turn around point I could not have been happier to know I would be finishing earlier than I thought. 

I managed to get home just before 11 and swiftly turned on the TV. I set up the tracker online and watched as I saw the tiny men move round the map of London. I was gutted not to have been in the city at the time but loved every minute of tracking from my home. 

One moment that really made me smile, even after a not so great ride, was knowing I hadn't missed Paula finish. In primary school I remember writing down that when I was 18 I wanted to run the London Marathon with Paula Radcliffe. At the time I didn't have a clue how the whole marathon thing worked so it seemed completely realistic. She was always an inspiration (and still is!) and seeing her finish her last marathon yesterday brought a tear to my eye. She is an absolute legend. Simply incredible.

So although I was hugely inspired and motivated to run I just couldn't muster the energy. All I wanted to do was watched as thousands of people reached their goals and completed something they'd worked so hard towards. I'm very happy that I stayed and watched. And now it makes me want to run London even more. Now I know about race entries and how it all works etc I've got my alarm set for next Monday when the ballot opens for 2015. 

As much as I'd love to run a marathon I'm trying not to get swept away by the opportunities and focus on my goal for 2015. 
2015 is the year of the Ironman. 
Hopefully 2016 with be the year of the marathon and potentially another runstreak...

My running hasn't completely stopped as I'm back out tomorrow for a long training run and many more over the coming weeks! 20 weeks to go...

21 April 2015


Last Thursday I hit 365 days on my runstreak. That means for a whole year I've ran at least a mile. Every. single. day. In that year I've ran two half marathons and two 10ks, covered over 750 miles and ran in both my hometownLondon & in the Midlands. I've run through rain, beautiful sunshine, very heavy winds and even a spot of snow. I had a whole lot of fun challenging myself to lace up my trainers and run everyday!

There have definitely been some hard and easy runs along the way but I'm planning to do a full write up soon going into a bit more detail on how I feel! But for now, that's my 365 days of running. This run was actually a double run day as I ran a separate mile to make sure I hit the year mark with a good run. I then headed to track in the evening thinking we were going to have an shorter distance session (as quite a few of us were running the half marathon that weekend). But in typical fashion we actually ended up doing 4 x 1 mile repeats! So, 5 miles to celebrate a year - not too bad at all! 

I'm currently still going with my runstreak but planning to end it towards the end of this week. To keep up to date check out my Twitter - @afloralcrown to see all my runs as they're uploaded!

I've written summary posts for previous milestones which you can check out here:
- Day 100
- Day 200
- Day 300

16 April 2015


With triathlon season now picking up and in full swing I thought I'd share the current bits I take with me for my training sessions. I am currently swimming twice a week as part of my triathlon training - but this will soon be three times a week as it builds. In the next couple of weeks my tri club are going to start open water swims which I'm excited to give a go! For now here is what's in my current swim kit.

Speedo Pull Buoy* - Great for isolating the arms for both technique and strength purposes. I don't tend to use this for every session but I'll always have it with my on my longer swims just incase I need help breaking it up. I've found this really useful to have and it's great for slowly down your stroke for technique and also practicing bilateral breathing. We do occasionally do some drills with this at the tri club as well.

Speedo Fins - After my first tri club swim session it was recommend that I looked into getting fins as they're often used for some of the drills. They weren't essential but since purchasing I've found them very useful to have! These were one of the cheapest pairs (at the time I purchased them) on Wiggle and I think they're great. Quite a few people at the club have these as well so it seems like a popular choice and great for both novices as well as experience swimmers.

Speedo Sports Towel* - Obviously a towel is essential for post swim. This one is really useful as it's extremely lightweight and folds up very small. I often use this if I'm running to the gym as it barely takes up any room and also doesn't weigh down my rucksack. It's very fast to dry and super absorbent.

Speedo Rucksack* - Any rucksack will do of course to transport the kit you have. This one is fantastic for me as I have a lot of different bits I take with me. It has a really handy detachable waterproof pouch on the inside that is perfect for keeping my wet kit in post swim and also I normally store my fins in here.

Speedo Goggles* - I'd recommend this pair for everyday pool training but I'm currently looking into getting a second pair for when I hit the open water. These have got a nice snug fit and really clear vision. I accidentally scratched some of the protective layering off these and they fog up during longer swims but they're still a great pair of goggles to have as a spare and are good for what I'm doing at the moment.

Adidas Swimsuit - I LOVE the design of this swimsuit in terms of both the colours and cut. It's incredibly comfortable and the shape at the back allow a full range of motion through each stroke. I like to think of the stripes as "go faster" stripes and channel a speedy swimmer as I cut through the water. Another thing that's great about this is the length of the body. With my old swim suit it was a bit higher cut at the bottom than I would have liked. Whereas this one has a good cut at the bottom as well as a really comfortable neckline.

TomTom Multi Sport Watch - I've got a first impressions review up and I'm planning to do a full updated review soon on this piece of kit. I've found so far it's fairly accurate but just doesn't tend to count the very first length! This isn't an essential for everyone though but I like to keep track of my pace and distance for purposes of seeing developments through my training.

And that's the main pieces of swim kit I currently have in my bag! If you have any recommendations of goggles or open water wetsuits then please do let me know @afloralcrown on Twitter!
*Speedo kindly sent me some pieces of kit a couple of months ago but this post is in no way sponsored or was asked to write a post about their products. I'd 100% recommend all these pieces of kit and use them on a weekly basis as part of my training.