Monday, March 30, 2015

Emmie Collinge: Snow Runner!

I have a fellow liquorice appreciator for you this morning.  You can thank me later (in liquorice!)
Meet lovely Emmie!  Originally from Nottingham, this 26-year-old freelance translator of German, Dutch and Swedish loves cycling, stroopwafels and the Dutch - so it's pretty fitting that she currently lives in Switzerland. When I originally spoke to her about coming on the blog over a year ago she was planning her move over there so it's really awesome to hear that running most definitely went with her! Over to you pal:

1.  I started running 20 years ago (not long after I started walking) and it has been a love-hate relationship for two decades.
2.  I run because it’s quicker than walking, taking me to places I’d never see otherwise and I wear multiple pairs of VJ sport shoes, a Finnish orienteering specialist, who make the meanest and grippiest trail shoes.

3.  The last run I did was yesterday’s lunchtime meandering and I ran my favourite local route with some of the steepest, sharpest hills. It was exciting and energising because spring has finally sprung and the Swiss flowers seem so much brighter than in the UK.
4.  My current fave bit of kit is my new Ashmei top – although admittedly I haven’t ran in it yet. It’s far too nice to sweat up.
5.  I'm training for a 128km race across Norway’s Hardangervidda Plateau – however, ‘plateau’ is definitely not the word I’d choose to describe this landscape. 

6.  Running made me feel alive when I first realised (accepted?) how much I love being outside, recognising that the times I run on the road and track aren’t so important and how entire days spent running with my boyfriend and a picnic are unbeatable.
7.  I'm currently listening to bird song and sporadic bursts of conversation when I run.  It sets me free to be away from constant noise, screens, technology.
8.  I participate in all kinds of races, donning my local club vest on a weekly basis, be it road, trail, mountain or track. It has helped me keep the momentum and improve my Italian!
9.  I started choosing liquorice and homemade crispbread as fuel for running while we were in Norway last year and these have proven far more worthwhile and efficient than anything else for entire days spent on the trail. I would recommend it.  
10.  I'm currently obsessed with progress – particularly when it comes to downhills – and the Strava proof of this keeps my running addiction fresh and new.
11.  I'm bringing Italian snow mountain running and retro Italian tracksuits to this blog, and throwing them down on the table.  I've just done my first snow race and found it better than any other terrain.
12.  I'm currently having issues with choosing races, far too many out there and prices seem to be on the rise - can anyone offer any tips? 
13.  Finally, here's my inspirational quote, embarrassingly taken from Emma Watson’s UN speech last September and watched the day before I ran a storming 10km PB. Hearing it go over and over as I watched the kilometres tick by, I repeated “If not me, who? If not now, when?” It gets me going.  

You can find emmie on twitter.  Now go, run

Monday, March 9, 2015

Peter Buchanan: Adventure runner and submergathoner

Having taken 9 months off, it seems very fitting that we hit the ground running so to speak - with our second ever male contributor on We Do Run Run.  You're in for a treat!  Peter Buchanan, a 52-year-old self-employed painter and decorator from Edinburgh has got some serious mileage under his camelback.  His career allows him to 'take days off when the sun shines to go running.'  We like this kind of career.  Over to you Peter...

1.  I started running in the late 90's to offset the middle aged spread after giving up 20 years of smoking. I began to remember I had always run as a child and in no time it was the largest part of my spare time.  I began to race regularly at the weekends. I would appear to have some natural ability and was very pleased to notice that.

2.  I run because with a bit of effort and training I have some success – something that has eluded me in the art world.  I wear Hokas for long flat stuff, Salomons for trails and Inov8s for hills.

3.  The last run I did was a cycle! When I am not racing at the weekend my fave rave is to go for an adventure – catch a train or bus somewhere and run 30 miles over a few hills with a map and a sandwich in a backpack. Sometimes with friends, sometimes solo but ALWAYS with a camera, which has become the replacement for doing paintings that didn't sell.

4.  My current fave bit of kit is my off road bike - cycling is very much on the menu this year, although I have always cycled. (I don't have a driving licence.) I don't really have the patience or flexibility for yoga, preferring boxercise and circuits.

5.  I am involved with 2 challenges currently:
Number 1: my girlfriend dared us to keep doing open water swimming once a week throughout the Winter. So we have been putting on the wetsuits, gloves, socks and hoods at the weekend and doing about 15 minutes (before your face goes numb and you can't speak) at the beach along the coast. The water is around 3 degrees at the moment (about the same as in your fridge) and it takes longer to get in and out of the kit than we spend in the water. Several times recently we have done an immersion without wetsuits. It's one of these experiences that isn't wholly enjoyable while it's happening but exhilarating. I haven't found I am building resilience against the cold yet, but there is a real near-death-experience vigour about it, that is equivalent to recreational drugs as a twenty year old.
Number 2: to mark 100 years since WW1, a (slightly eccentric) friend proposed a group of us run a 30 miler once a month for 4 years, passing a different war memorial each time. Initially I thought this was unrealistic but so far, 7 months in, it is going well and my blog is filling up with a collection of war memorials, previously hidden in plain view.

6.  I feel most alive running down the beach in new trainers

7.  I am currently listening to Mix 8 (see link) when I run. However most of the time I don't run with music.

8.  As mentioned above, I participate in a weekly submergathon. A weekly splash and dash along the coast. It helps because it wipes your mental slate clean.

9.  I started eating Star Bars and Boosts on long runs. They keep me going as well as any overpriced sports bars but taste better.  I have a fairly healthy diet although the battle with the bulge is constant. I don't eat junk food. I have reduced alcohol consumption to modest amounts. I did all the bad habits in the first half. You have to put a line through them in the second half. Running is a fair swap. Fitness in youth is optional, later it becomes imperative.

10.  I am currently enjoying spin classes which are useful low impact workouts in addition to the running.

11.  I'm bringing primal scream to this blog: If you are flagging horribly in a long race have a good bark at yourself and those around you who seem to be in need of a pick­me­up. It often does more good for the shouter than the shoutee.

12.  I don't have any issues (suitable for discussion here!)

13.  I am not really an inspirational quote person. However I did smile wryly when I saw the following quote, though it is more in line with the hardcore competitive me than the more relaxed person taking photos of the sunset:

Now I am not trying to sell myself as a tiger but I do think there are far too many sheep, slumped on the sofa, watching dreck on the telly, shovelling crisps and chocolate into themselves, wondering why their lives feel empty. I would encourage them to get out and walk/run/bike/swim NOW. It quickly becomes enjoyable and will save your life.

If that didn't make you feel inspired to go and run 53 miles well you're reading the wrong blog. There's more of where this came from, just head over to the aptly named 'Best part of the day' Peter's online running journal.  Thanks Mr Buchanan for getting We Do Run Run back in action! 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fiona McGruer: Runner, whatever the weather

I have ' just your average belle' for you today.  Fiona's a neuroscience researcher (this is not average by my definition of average) and student from Scotland. She told me she's trying to exercise her way out of 'the Glasgow Effect'.  Let's see how that's done...

1. I started running 4 years ago and like any long relationship we've had our ups and downs, but I keep coming right back to it. I hope we’ll be together forever and I’ll be the weird 80 year old lady rocking the Nike Tempos…

2. I run because it’s the only sport that’s ever really ‘caught’ me and made me commit. I wear a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s for every day road, and Inov8 212 X-Talons offroad.

3. The last run I did was yesterday and I ran 4 fairly pitiful miles. It was classic Glaswegian weather- bright sunshine with cold wind and splattering rain- at an ungodly hour of the morning, but was still fun because I was with one of my many ace bully victims running friends.

4. My current fave bit of kit is my Nike Twisted leggings- they’re a vibrant mix of black and traffic light yellow. It helps that they’re clearly a bit oversized so they make me feel all svelte every time I look at the label ;-)

5. I'm eyeing up maybe committing to doing a marathon (so decisive!). If I do I’d probably go for a scenic Scottish highlands one like the Loch Ness Marathon in September. If I do I will likely run for mental health charities.

6. Running makes me feel alive every single time that I run. But most of all when its bucketing it down and thundering and everyone is looking at me like I’m crazy and I’m looking at myself like I’m a badass.

7. I'm currently listening to Timber by Pitbull and Kesha when I run. It makes me want to combine a sort of crazy run/dance move but I’m clumsy at the best of times so I’d better not.

8. I run with my university team, which has made me countless excellent running allies. However unless you happen to also attend the finest university on earth :P I’m afraid you can’t join so I recommend finding a local running club and getting involved there! You wouldn’t believe how friendly, interesting and motivating most clubs are.

9. I’ve recently started drinking/eating better in general- cutting out pointless snacking and focusing on ‘real food’  instead of chemical creations and it's changed how I feel quite a bit. In the long run (pun!) I’m hoping it will help me get back in serious shape for races and help me enjoy running for a very long lifetime!

10. I'm currently obsessed with running in crazy places. I like punishing windy hills and rough terrain underfoot. I recently went up Conic Hill in insane winds. It’s keeping my re-found running motivation fresh and nothing makes me feel more alive.

11. I'm bringing cross training to this blog, and throwing it down on the table. I believe in cross training. I believe it will make me a better runner. I believe it could work for you too. I believe in exercise variation and not getting bored. I believe that if I do both bikini season might not be quite so much of a sarong covered washout…

12. I'm currently having issues with getting back into it, it’s so depressing being worse than you were before! Can anyone offer any tips?

13. Finally, here's my inspirational quote. It gets me going when motivation has gone.

Find Fiona over at her blog, on twitter, instagram, Pinterest and google+.  Cheers Fiona!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Make the good things last

Life goes fast. Sometimes it's good to slow down.  Enjoy your bank holiday weekend, We Do Runners. x

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Melissa Webb: Runner and tube enthusiast

To get you inspired for your week of running I've got lovely Melissa from lissyruns.  When she's not running or apparently over-using brackets on her blog, she works as a food buyer (and gets paid to try food!) 

Melissa is a self-confessed Tube geek ("give me old maps and photos of disused stations and I'll be happy for hours!") and it was great to hear what she has to say in brackets and out.  Over to you Melissa! 

1.  I started running just over three years ago and it surprises me every day that I'm still doing it. I know a lot of people say this, but if my PE teacher at school was to guess who would become obsessed with running in their mid-twenties, I would be pretty near the last of their guesses.

2.     I run because I love it. I honestly can’t thing of a single thing that has enriched my life in so many ways as much as running has. I wear a pair of adidas Supernova Glide 6 boosts – snappy! They are the best pair of running shoes I’ve ever owned, I was previously quite a slave to the swoosh.

3.     The last run I did was a brand new route to me this weekend. I moved to East London fairly recently and I ran the canal and Victoria Park. I’m in love with where I live already.

4.     My current fave bit of kit is my new bright orange Sweaty Betty running jacket. I never would usually spend so much on one item of clothing, but I used money I got as birthday presents on it. It’s a great fit and it’s seen me through a fair few rain showers recently.

5.     I'm training for the Paris marathon in less than two weeks. OH MY GOD IT IS LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY.

6.  The last time running made me feel alive was a while ago now actually. It was in the summer before it got really hot and it was an evening run along the canal to Victoria Park in East London. I was running faster than I ever had and felt like I was flying. 

7.     I'm currently listening to the sound of myself panting when I run. I stopped running with music when I moved to a not-so-great area last winter and wanted to be alert whilst running on dark evenings. Now I don’t often run with music, but I am trying out podcasts on very long marathon training runs

8.  I run with Run Dem Crew and RDC West and it has helped me fall deeper in love with running.

9.  I started drinking chocolate milkshake after running and it stops the feeling of sickness (surprisingly!) that I sometimes get after a long run. I would recommend it.  

10.  I'm currently obsessed with the fact that I haven’t got any faster in three years (due to inconsistent training) and it's keeping my running addiction fresh because I've decided I'm finally going to do something about it. Watch out, track! 

11.  I'm bringing yoga to this blog, and throwing it down on the table.  I've discovered it earlier this year and it's awesome. I really want to become really good at it – I'm seeing quick progression when I manage to practice a few times a week.   

12.  I'm currently having issues with my lower back, as I have lazy glutes so my back and hamstrings are overcompensating and becoming tight – can anyone offer any tips? 

13.  Finally, here's my inspirational quote. I saw it on the Lululemon website and I love it as it completely sums up me as a runner. It gets me going. Now go, run!

You can follow Melissa on twitter, instagram and in Paris on April 6th! Good luck Melissa! You can do it. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Treat yourself

Running is just always there. It doesn't flake out on you or do annoying things to wind you up and running doesn't send you a text at the last minute with a made up excuse. I can trust running and running can trust me.  A little pocket mirror for your gym bag.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rhianon West: She Runs with her Mum

I've got a lovely lady for you today.  She's accomplished something we all wish we could do: gotten her own mum into running marathons.  Can we say run-buddy envy??? Rhianon is always brimming with enthusiasm and kindness on twitter; I wonder if I was more like her, whether my mom would come running with me too? 
Over to you mate!

1. I started running  10 years ago, just as I started University as a way to counteract all the booze and cake! Initially it was all about plodding away endlessly on the treadmill but I soon discovered that running outside was far more enjoyable! There's always runs that go badly or ones where you have to drag yourself out the door but you never regret going for a run afterwards.

2.  I run because it keeps my head in check. Without it I sometimes feel like the whole world would topple in on me. It helps keep me on the straight and narrow and I wear a pair of AsicsGel-Kayano 19s. Just got some new neon red ones. Hopefully they'll brighten up those dark morning runs!

3. The last run I did was this morning and I ran 8.5 miles into work. It so so nice to have daylight on my morning runs again and there's loads of daffodils in Hyde Park at the moment making it extra pretty. Epic run overall!

4. My current fave bit of kit is my Garmin 405, called Gary. I love him like a brother from another mother and never go on a run without that little chap.

5. I'm training for the
Tow Path 10 race at the end of April. After having to drop out of my spring marathon due to a back injury I'm using this race to help ease slowly back into running.

6. Running made me feel alive when I crossed the finish line at the Berlin Marathon a few years ago. It was my first marathon and the finish under the Brandenburg Gate was a high point in life so far for sure. I cried my eyes out after finishing. This was quickly replaced by devouring a VERY LARGE bag of ready salted crisps.  

7. I'm currently listening to some shamelessly cheesy "mash-up" remixes when I run.  I always listen to music when I run as it helps me keep my rhythm.

8. I participate in interval sessions with my local club, Ealing Eagles when I can but I generally much prefer running on my own, with my thoughts, but whenever I am at home visiting my parents I'll always get out for a run with them around the countryside lanes in Gloucestershire. A very welcome change from city running.

9. I started drinking 
Nuun before and after running after being recommended it by the lovely running folk on Twitter. I was suffering from terrible post-run headaches and Nuun has single-handedly stopped them. I'm hooked! Strawberry Lemonade is by FAR the best flavour, and I can also vouch that it helps knock a hangover on the head very efficiently too! 

10. I'm currently obsessed with strength training/core work/anything at all that makes my back stronger and me stop getting injured.

11. I'm bringing my mum to this blog, and throwing her down on the table (not literally!).  She got into running a few years back after lots of encouragement from me and is now hooked. She ran her first marathon, the Chicago Marathon, last October with a storming 4.21 debut.  My mum is a total trooper on the long runs and attacks a hill far more aggressively than me!

12. I'm currently having issues with my lower back- can anyone offer any good core work tips?

13. Finally, here's my inspirational quote.  This little saying gets me through those times when your legs feel like lead weights, your lungs are burning and that hills seems just TOO steep to run up.

Find Rhianon on instagram and twitter and failing that you can probably find her on a 12 mile run with her dearest companion.  Happy running, ladies!