Hi and welcome to my blog Clairejustine

Fashion and lifestyle from a mum of 4 from Nottinghamshire.

Showing posts with label Running. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Running. Show all posts

Saturday, 12 April 2014

London Marathon Countdown : 1 Day To Go...

It's on!!

I have decided to do the London marathon and here is some pictures of us picking up my number.

My youngest 2 writing me a good luck message on the the boost message wall.

Top left-

Look who I bumped into at the Expo collecting my marathon number. Hugh Jones first British winner of the London marathon in 82. Legend. ..

Top Right-

Eventually got a photo with Stephen Kiprotich current World and Olympic marathon champion. After everyone kept passing me their phones for me to take pictures for them.


Watching an interview with Stephen, wow he only has a cup pf tea, banana, some bread and a bottle of water before his race!! Mind you he will be having lunch when I'm half way around.

A girl can dream, right!?!

But i know this one can do anything he dreams of..

On Sunday I will be running just over 26 miles, my family are all guessing, if I complete it and how long.

I'm hoping for 4 hours and 59 minutes..

Want to guess?

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

London Marathon Countdown : 1 Month 7 Days....

Last years London Marathon...

London marathon update...

The fear has now set in...

It has not been easy...

I am tired out...


A little dehydrated...

Poorly heel...

Poorly knee...

And panicking...

Only up to 12 miles...

And only 1 month 7 days 15 hours left till race day..

Lets hope tomorrow is a better day....

Time to train the mind and hopefully the body will follow...

Thursday, 6 February 2014

MERRELL Women's Mix Master Road Glide Review...

Last week I was excited to be asked by Blacks to try out and review some of their Merrell barefoot running lite shoes.

I love my running trainers and I have tried all kinds of sports shoes over the years, but never any close to barefoot style before. I have read lots of articles over the last few months on barefoot running, how some experts say its good for you and others not so sure, so I was really looking forward to getting the chance to try them out.

I picked out the Merrell mix master road glides as I thought this style looked very nice and bright for night time training.

About the MERRELL Women's Mix Master Road Glide

Hard surfaces and longer runs increase the impact on your feet. As pioneers in the barefoot running style, Merrell have designed the Women's Mix Master Road Glide shoe to get you closer to the barefoot running style but provide a little extra comfort on that hard terrain.

While full-on barefoot running shoes feature a pancake-flat sole for natural ground contact, this more versatile shoe incorporates additional cushioning and a modest 4mm drop to ease you into the barefoot style.

What I though of the trainers

The first thing I noticed was wow how light?

198g feels very light compared to my normal trainers. So I was looking forward to trying them out.

After getting over how light they were and how nice the colour looked, I tried them around the house for a few hours. Running up stairs fast, then a mad half hour dancing around in them to bed them in before it was time to road test them AT the running club!!!

With the thought of a 2 miles warm up, 3 miles fast hill reps and 1 mile cool down. How would they feel? I soon found out....

Questions that entered my head~
  • How would they feel on my run being lightweight?
  • How would they feel when running fast reps?
  • Would I run faster?
  • How would my feet feel after fast training in light trainers?
  • How would my feet feel the next day after training, would they hurt?

I soon got answer~
  • They felt great warming up and being lightweight I decided to overtake the man that passed me on the hill on my warm up. Yes I left him behind on a warm up!!
  • I felt loads lighter, running fast in my new trainers.
  • They helped my technique as I was adapting to a more natural rhythm. I do tend to normally plod a little. These promote are more springy step.
  • My feet felt no different after reps in them.
  • After a fast rep session my feet usually hurt a little when I get up the next day and I would say they felt the same. 

Overall then a great first session, they are a good introduction into a minimalist style, without going the whole hog of a full on barefoot shoe. Because of how your foot sits in the shoe and how the heel to toe is designed you get a more natural foot plant. Which encourages a fluent heel toe transition. Will be interesting how they go with a few more sessions under my belt. I will post an update in a few weeks!!

I love these trainers, they are my new favourite running shoes and they feel great.

  • Strobel construction - Flexibility for ultimate comfort.
  • Breathable, EZClean™ synthetic air mesh upper - Protective, reflective and fits like a glove.
  • Merrell Float midsole (EVA) - 10% thinner and 25% lighter to provide more feel and ground control.
  • 4mm toe to heel rise - Buffers impact on road or long runs.
  • Merrell Air Cushion to heel - To absorb shock and enhance stability.
  • Merrell Mix Sole - Sticky rubber for excellent grip.
  • Lightweight - 198g.

Price £80.00

About this post ~ I got sent these close to barefoot trainers for the purpose of this review. I did not get paid for this post and all thoughts are my own honest opinion...

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Sportsshoes Winter Running Kit Review...

It has been a hard few weeks trying to getting back into a running routine after Christmas. Throughout December I did get very lazy in my running eating loads of snacks and treats which are no good for me.

After a few weeks of over eating it really is hard to cut back down again. Once the children went back to school  I tried to cut down and feel that I am now eventually getting there!

I am very pleased that my running is now back on track too as I am training for the London marathon in April, I really do need to get the miles back up.

Monday is the day I can fit my long run in, I managed to get up to 10 miles last week and 11 miles today, which is pleasing. One thing I really wish though was that Santa had brought me was some new running clothes.

It really cheers you up having something new to wear for running especially when you do not feel like getting out the door.

That is the hardest part of running for me is the first step, all dressed in my running kit, trainers on and ready to run. Especially when it is so cold outside and warm n cozy inside!!

A big help to cheer me up my winter blues was last week when I was offered some new running kit from Sportsshoes to review.

Yeah new running kit...

I was pleasantly surprised when I visited their website with the price of the Nike running kit. I usually go for sport shops own brand as they are the cheapest to buy but I always love the Nike products. I picked out 5 pieces of Nike kit that can all be mixed and matched for less than £90.00.

This is the kit I got for racing and running the London marathon in. I do not like anything around my knees when trying to go fast so this kit is perfect for fast training and racing. These 2 in 1 shorts feel a really nice fit.

If cold I can layer both tops the long sleeve compression top keeps you comfortable and dry and the reflective shirt over the top is perfect to be seen running at night.

These straight leg running tights feel great and good for going to the gym to do exercise classes as well as running. They look great with both tops.

These running tights feel great on to, I can't wait to try them out on a running club night now. I feel as though I will be able to run fast in these.

Overall thoughts

I am very please with all the items I received. They all fit perfect, look great and are really good prices. I have my training, gym wear and race kit all ready for the next few months now.

Want help with training and nutrition?

They have a lots of expert advice over at The Running Hub for anything you need to know about running, sportswear and nutrition.

About this post- I got to choose some running kit from Sportsshoes.Com for the purpose of this review. All thoughts are my own honest option and I was not paid for this post.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Run, Run, Run...

Getting our two eldest children interested in running was one of the best decisions we have made. The idea came around about 9 years ago when they were 8 and 10 years old. After just giving birth to my daughter and being busy with a toddler, we needed to find a fun pastime to tire the older boys out.

When the boys were at school my husband drove me and our tiny tots to Berry Hill Park In the middle of the park was a running track, my husband started sharing his childhood memories of his running club days and I knew we had to bring the lads up to see it.

A few days later my husband brought the boys up to the park on running club nights. The park was buzzing, full of children and adults of all ages shapes and sizes. All seemingly having fun running jumping and throwing for all they were worth. It was the place to be and if like me (at the time) you didn't run, it sure made you want to start. The boys loved it, so much so after a few years we decided to sell our house move schools all to be nearer to the club.

For years my sons enjoyed training nights and weekend racing. It developed a sense of pride, kept them fit made them realise the value of hard work and they made some great friends along the way.. Alas the club is now a shadow of it's former self as the club and trustees (who run the park) do not get on. As a result children are no longer welcome to train in the park. The club has essentially been split up with children and adults having to go to different venues around the County to train. It is no longer a hobby we can all do as a family. Such a shame.

My little ones are now 8 and 10 and its time to find them their hobbies. Something that keeps them fit, takes advantage of the great outdoors and is fun. Maybe it will be running again or cycling, or football. Who knows? Maybe even balancing a scooter on your head and seeing how long you can keep your tongue blobbed out?

Hopefully we do not need to move house though?!

As for me I am now training up for my 2nd London Marathon, looks like I caught the running bug!!

linking our outdoor fun up with

Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Saturday, 23 November 2013

The Runner ...

My dad loves to write poems and wrote me one to help me get back into my running for the VLM 2014.

Loved it and thought I would share it...

I started off my run today, and went across the park. 

Children playing on the grass, in the distance a dog did bark. 

Carrying on, down the narrow lane, till I reached the wood. 

Training hard for a Marathon, the peacefulness was good. 

It's not just lungs, and legs that hurt, I've learnt to deal with pain. 

It's that certain mental attitude, your mind has to attain. 

I looked down at my trainers, pounding on the ground. 

My heart, still beating steadily, and the pace, was good and sound. 

As I left the wood behind, I felt an ice cold chill. 

'cause I knew what was coming next, that steep and muddy hill. 

I grit my teeth and focused hard, started that energy sapping climb. 

My legs were drained and heavy, as my feet slipped in the slime. 

This is where your attitude counts, there was no way I was going to stop. 

I pushed, and pushed through all the pain, until I reached the top. 

I remember feeling good inside, I had conquered that hill again. 

Even though I was exhausted, and my legs were racked with pain. 

Six miles down, four to go, before my end would be in sight. 

Thinking just, how tired I was, and would sleep very well tonight. 

Looking down, at my watch, I knew I'd done a decent time. 

My body was getting tired, and I was covered in mud and grime. 

The last two miles, were getting tough, but I would never give in. 

Then I saw my house in the distance, and started kick on again. 

As I reached front door, I put the key in to the lock, I pulled off my trainers, and my dirty muddy socks. 

While I was in the shower. Washing the pain and dirt away. 

I thought of the London Marathon, and how I would run that day. 

Now it's time to treat myself, to a cuppa and some cake. 

Hoping tomorrow, I'm not too stiff, when eventually I awake. 

Because even in the morning, if joints and muscles, are in pain. 

I know, I'm so determined, I will do it all again. 

The end

Sunday, 27 October 2013

London Marathon Countdown 5 Months 17 Days...

This year ~ My first London Marathon.

 After I finished
Meeting my wonderful family ...

One of the hardest things I have ever done this year was on April 2013...

The London Marathon!!

No no never again!!

 Entered my head and stayed there for many many hours days and weeks...

Then I started think...

Wow, I didn't expect that to happen! should have done that different? I could that changed that!!

Then came the idea I should really try it again as my first marathon and surly it was only a practise run?

So by the time the ballot opened my husband had convinced me to try again!!

 "Come on I will enter with you, we can get fit together" he said!! 

Go down together, go to the start together and you wont be on your own this time!!

Aww little did I know I was to get through and he wasn't!!

After the mad crazy thoughts of oh no what have I done?

How will I manage it again?

Will I cry so many times?

Will my knees go again at 12 miles and cry the next 14?

And after the lazy few weeks feeling sorry for myself...

Being run down and now catching a cold...

I am finally ready to start training ,,Yeah!!

The next 5 months will be tough, challenging and really hard work...

But now I am ready for the challenge!!

By race day I want to ~

Take all the excitement in!!

see all the amazing sites!!

Run around with my head held high and not hoping people wont see me crying!!

High five all the spectators at the end of the mall!!

And make my family proud!!

Went out today only 2 miles as I've been ill and still have a cold...

But let the run streak begin..

Watch out London, I'm coming at ya!!!

#Runstreak day 1

London Marathon countdown 5 month 17 days...

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

What It Feels Like When Your Child Leaves Home...

There comes a moment in time in every parents life that they have to prepare themselves to watch their children leave home. A day you will never forget, a time you know you have to let go. Slowly it dawns on you, that you do not know when you will see them again.

 I realised that day was fast approaching a month before my eldest sons 18th birthday, of all places in a spinning class!! The good thing was in the dark with only the light from the disco balls I could wipe the tears away. I managed to escape at the end of the class before anyone noticed.  Luckily for me once my son planned his future, leaving school at 18, taking a year out before deciding which university he wanted to go to I had another year to prepare myself for the big day.

Was it really that long ago he was born? His first steps, his first words all seem like yesterday. A primary school teacher coming up to me asking if he could come and live with her as he was such a good boy. He applied himself at school and in sports and without me realising was growing up into a man.

After getting into all 5 university's he chose, I was really pleased he picked one fairly close to home.
The weeks leading up to the big move were a roller coaster of emotion, firstly he asked me to come shopping for things to take with him. Shopping? With his mum? Amazing!! After weeks of saving things, a pan here a quilt there, he was as organised as he could be. Occasionally he would mention the day he would leave, but soon realised not to do so in public as it is embarrassing when your mum is crying in the street..

By the time it came to moving day I was prepared for him to go, after visiting the university where he will be staying for the next few years I knew he was going to be happy. Loughbrough is amazing, sports facilities galore, a holiday camp for the educated! It was though the hardest day of all, turning around and leaving him there alone.....

I was surprised when I got home checking his room, taking most of his clothes, his shoes and his trainers leaving a shell of a room with just his running medals on the shelves. I miss his big booming voice, always being there for a chat, making his dinner for him, making sure he is OK after his run, knowing he is safe after a night out and Sunday dinners is not the same without the 10 minutes mashed to perfection creamy potatoes!!

The first few days he sent me picture messages, his room, eveything but the toilet!!  his 1st meal, it had to be a pot noodle. 2nd meal an impressive chilli. The pictures started slowing down then after five days he sent a picture of his blistered hands he burnt on the cooker. I was ready to fetch him home!  Hopefully he will be back for visits once he is in a routine. We will have him home for Christmas Easter and Summer holidays. I am ready to wash his clothes and dad is ready to catch up on all the athletic news.

This week I have found out we are having a visit, freshers fortnight will be over and he has an race coming up. So out comes the baking and I am going to make his favourite cakes- millionaires shortbread, just like my grandma use to make me!!

Sometimes when you have four children you can perhaps go a few hours or even a day (once they are teenagers!) without saying two words to them. They are always about though, somewhere close. When they leave home you do not know where they are, when you will see them again or if they are safe. You hope some of things you have imparted have sunk in. The absence you feel, like you have lost a body part, you can longer speak to them when you want. A part of you is incomplete. Another part of you though is full of pride. I have raised a man.. I have often wondered my purpose in life, reflecting on it now a mother is who I am first and foremost. There may be brain surgeons,astronauts, and scientists but on the 7th June 1994 I got the best job ever MUM..

By the time my 4th child leaves Iwill be a nervous wreck!!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Robin Hood Half Marathon...

Do you ever feel your ready to take on the challenge, but find out something is stopping you?

The Robin Hood half marathon!!

Not a good race for me
Perfect course
   Nice, flat and fast
Achievable Pb race
 Around wonderful Nottingham

Beautiful sites~

 University Boulevard, Around Highfields Lake
 Trent building courtyard at the University of Nottingham
Starting and finishing around the stunning Victoria Embankment
Amazing spectators
Over 6,000 finishes

But it just was not  my day.

Firstly I need to get out and race more, wow I was so impressed with how many runners and spectators were at this race. Only half marathons I have done are Worksop, Mansfield and Retford. Knowing I was going to meet up with some friends I expected to turn up and greet them, no way of this happening!!

It was a glorious day, the sun was shining there were thousands of runner and amazing crowds of spectators.

 Off I set wanting to break records ( only my PB records though ) I felt great up to 6 miles, not to fast and not to slow and on time for a pb at half way, that is if I could pull a little time back in the second half. At around 7 miles I slowed for a drink, energy drink station just what I needed. Then a man cut in front of me forcing me to stop, not a problem, usually but this time was different, my knees just felt like they locked.

 Trying to talk myself out of the problem I tried to carry on running, but how do you run when you can not straighten your legs? shuffle, yes shuffle around the next 6 miles. After slowing and shuffling, feeling sorry for myself and drinking to much I then got stitch, arr how can this be happening to me?

The only thing that got me to the end was knowing my family was waiting for me at the end. Oh well I have another half marathon or 2 to plan before London Marathon.

 Got home and slept all afternoon,,, onwards and upwards.

Same thing happened as in London, thought it was my trainers then but now find out not. Husband checked it and found out I have some weak spot to work on, lots of squats... 6 months to improve for London as I never want this to happen again...

Watch out Nottingham, same time same place next year, I am coming to get you and after my shiny new PB


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Running, Spinning and Repeat...

Outfit ~
Top ~ Kookia via charity shop
Jeans ~ Firetrap
Sandals ~ Crocs
Over the last few days I have noticed that you can really feel the Autumn chili in the air starting to settle in. It has got me packing some of my summer clothes away, reaching for my warmer clothes and finding out my warm snuggle dressing gowns and pj's.
Yesterday morning it was really fresh and even my daughter woke up and said she had been dreaming it had snowed, she had noticed the change in temperature too. The nights are also turning cooler and darker evening are getting earlier, very quickly now. Was lovely to see it still like summer on Monday in the day, where has the sun gone today? We did do really well this year for wonderful weather especially in the summer holidays when we needed it the most.
I have really been making the most of pushing myself into exercise this week, no excuse now the children are back at school. My 13 miles run on Sunday got me into running long distance again and the last few days in a morning ( before I have time to change my mind)  I have been really enjoying spinning class, today I still managed to do a 6 miles run with my trapped nerve.

What is it with spinning though that makes you hungry?

Since getting home today I have not stopped eating.

3 slices of honey on toast,
2 biscuits,
1 turkey cob
Half a packet of Liquorice allsorts
 glass of full sugar cherry cola,
1 bottle of water
2 cups of tea

 Ekk its not even lunch time yet!!

So now my new training is Running, Spinning, Showering Eating, Eating, Eating Sleeping and Repeat...So far so good! Just hope I don't put on weight with how hungry it makes me...
 Off to find some lunch now..

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Change Of Plan...

A long run was planned for me today as I had to add some miles onto my training. With only 3 weeks until my Robin Hood half marathon I have only manage one or two run above 6 miles with the school holidays. I decided to run so far out and turn around at 10 miles, my husband drives home along this road from work so we had arranged he could pick me up.

Armed with my water bottle filled with pop, my Garmin to time the miles and distance and my I-pod to keep me singing along the way.

Wow I though Nottingham was just around the corner as it only takes you 45 minutes in the car but not when you try and run there!! it feels like it could take forever. Happily singing to Eminem, Pink and of course the lovely Robbie Williams the sun was on my side, popping behind the clouds every so often so not to make me to warm. Miles down the road I ended up at a cross road. Do I wait to cross the busy road or change my route plan to make it 10 miles before I turn around?

I changed my route, up the hill and into a side street only to run into a bush full of wasps!! I could see them flying around my head in my shadow, how lucky was I not to get stung by one? Phew I turned around crossed the road and quickly started heading for home.

Up to12 miles felt good but last mile I got a trap nerve and had to come to a stand still. It had been trying to trap all week and what a time to showed up?...Ouch had to stop straight away with the pain and try and stretch my back out. So glad I was getting a lift home or I would have cried all them miles away from home. It was ok ish after 5 minutes then I managed the one last mile I had planned to do before I meet my husband. What a coincident I stopped the watch, and my husband showed up , talk about great timing...

13 miles planned done!!

2 hours 15 minutes it took me

Average pace 10.15

And 1539 calories burned

Now what shall I have to eat??

Whoop whoo...

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Running, Diets, School Holiday And what I Wore...

Finally after all these months I got a "share a coke with Claire"!!

Keep calm and go for a run should be changed to keep calm and find time to run in the summer holidays!!

Yeah my husband brought me new Nike running trainers!!

Love my new £5.00 dress I picked up at my local shop in the sales
and my so comfy Cheeky shoes

Day 3 on the Diet Chef diet and I feel great, after my body decided to stop giving me headache grief for stopping the sweet stuff!! :) 

I so need this at the minute - Top ~ Sweat shop

Always a treat having new shoes delivered!!

Hope everyone is having fun in the summer holidays?

Summer fun sun glasses ~ Primark

Top ~ Sweat shop

 I will catch up with you all very soon....

Hugs oxox


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