Progress & deciding on a charity

It’s all going well!

I got  a personal best  for 5K at Brueton Park Run a couple of Saturdays ago so that’s one of my August targets done. I’ve actually weirdly enjoyed my longer runs more than the 5K’s though. It’s been a hot couple of weeks and I find myself hoping that it rains when I’m running! On Tuesday I managed to run 7.5 miles, that’s 12K. Each week I need to improve by 1k. Well, I would like to. Apparently you only NEED to be able to run about 10 miles before the day but I want to get as close as I can to the 21K 13.1 distance! Seem like a big ask at the moment but then I just have to remember that a few months ago running for 5 minutes none stop seemed like a big achievement. Just got to do my best and hope all keeps going A OK.

Targets remaining for August:

Personal best 10k

Be able to run 13K by the end of the month

Do-able? I hope so.
In other news after much umming and ahhing I finally decided which charity I’m going to run for. I called a nice lady called Kerrie at Kerrang Radio and I’m going to be raising money for their Cash for Kids charity.

Read this page all about it.

I’ve set up the Just Giving page too so start me off if you’d like : )

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Stace’s Great Brum Run
Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

Keep on running – Half marathon?!

I haven’t posted about my running in a while. I have kept up my running although in the month after my first 10k race I found my motivation was affected by not having a goal and I just ran the odd 3 or 4 miles here and there.

At the end of July it was my birthday so for my present I asked my Mom to register me for the Bupa Great Birmingham Run half marathon in October!

Bupa Great Birmingham Run

Now I have another goal set I’m back on the case. My plan is to fit in three or four runs a week and each Sunday do a long run and up my distance 1k  further every week until I can get close to the 21k distance required for the half marathon. It seems like a big task at the moment but then it seemed that way to be able to run 5K and then 10k and I did it so I may as well give it a bash.

Last week I wasn’t too well so my mileage went right down but I’m determined to make up for it. I even got up early Monday & Tuesday to run 5k. I’ve also got another sport’s bra so now I can wash one wear one rather than not running because my bra isn’t dry yet, haha. Now I have a Shock Absorber and a rather nice one from M&S which was a bargain.
I’ll try and keep my blog up to date as it’s another thing that will keep me motivated.

So here are my goals:

Personal best 5k & 10K

Increase the distance I can run to 13k by the end of August.

I’ve typed it now so I have to do it.

Fingers crossed!
Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

Twitter is a form of SOCIAL Media – A Rant

Twitter overtook my love of Facebook  nearly two years ago. After being asked by lots of people for help I even run workshops and one to ones for people to get them cracking with it for their work. There are a couple of things I need to get off my chest though.

Automated tweets

Lately it has been brought to my attention that more (lazy/busy/far too important to interact) people are using automated tweets constantly. If you use Twitter youself you’ll notice the type of account. Endless repetition of the same posts, the same marketing messages over and over again. Yawn.

Now of course there are times when I will post something more than once but I don’t schedule for the same things to be repeated time and time again. I’ve seen accounts where there is hardly any interaction with anyone, just dry boring accounts that show no creativity or personality.

Followers for the sake of followers

There’s plenty of sites you can go on and add your Twitter handle so you get lots of followers (or false followers as I like to call them). Surely it’s better to have people following you because they are like-minded and interested in what you have to offer? I am much more likely to respect  genuinely organic accounts based on their ability to engage, interact and provide great content.  This applies for individuals, organisations, and businesses alike. Some do it really well, others not so much. Also if I tweet or follow someone, I don’t want an automated response. I don’t want a one size fits all direct message. I want a SOCIAL, friendly reply. You can’t do this if you automate all of your tweets at the beginning of a working week and just use it as tickbox marketing exercise.

Credit where credit’s due

If you see a tweet and like it, retweet and share it. Try and credit the account by using the RT facility, it’s a nice thing to do. Try not to steal other people’s ideas because that’s not very nice. If you want to make it more likely that someone will retweet you, try and keep your tweets to approximately 120 rather than the allowable 140 characters (depending on the length of your Twitter handle). You can work it out exactly if you count the characters in your Twitter handle and add 5 characters (RT plus two spaces and the colon that is added when you RT. So mine is 18).

RTspace@StaceInspire:space  = 18 characters

For example for someone to RT my tweets easily I know that I would have to keep to 122 characters.

Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the interesting people (sing to the tune of yellow brick road obv).

Follow accounts that interest you and people will follow you too if you are tweeting things they are interested in and content that is relevant to them. Don’t expect everyone to follow you back and don’t feel the need to follow everyone who follows you. You may not necessarily be interested in their content or vice versa.

TASBO – Twitter Anti-Social Behaviour Order

After the success (snigger) of Anti Social Behaviour Orders or ASBOs as they affectionately known, I would like to introduce TASBOs. Twitter Anti-Social Behaviour Orders. For the bores, for the over-automated accounts, for those that create an account and never interact at all unless they want to sell us something.

Ooh, that reminds me….If your Twitter needs a spring clean use Twitcleaner, it produces a report to tell you who is worth keeping and who it may be worth clicking on that unfollow button for. Nifty.

Stace’s final thought…

Schedule a few tweets if you wish but please, constant automation, repetition, unresponsiveness and anti- social behaviour should not be tolerated. Twitter is SOCIAL media. If you can’t be bothered to be sociable go away and use something else. It’s too good an opportunity to make some great connections both personally and professionally.

Here ends this evening’s Twittery rant…

Peace out tweeple.

Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

My first 10K race – Race for Life

Well I did it! Yesterday on the 24th June 2012, I ran the Coventry and Warwickshire 10K Race for Life at Stoneleigh Park in Kenilworth. The Solihull one in July is nearer but as it is 5K I wanted to set myself the challenge to run further so I decided to sign up for a 10k.

This was my back sign.

We lost my grandad to cancer when I was little but in comparison to some of the other runners I felt lucky that I have not lost anyone since and I hope I never do. My father in law has been doing very well with his chemo and I wanted to mention him too. Whenever my mother in law Pam asks him to do anything he says ‘I’m ill you know’ to get out of it. He is, but not quite ill enough to get out of the vacuuming : ).

I wasn’t quite prepared for how sad it would make me when I was writing my sign. It hit me why I was doing a race for charity. When my Nan saw that I had put my grandad on it it made us both cry. Seeing other people’s back signs whilst queuing at the start line I had to pull myself together. I realised how lucky I am that I haven’t had to experience some of the heartache that others have.

I had run the 10K distance only once before so my aim was to complete the route without stopping. I had good support from my man Ban, my brother Rick and my Mom, Stepdad and Nan came too. It was nice to see them as I passed them on the way around.

I made it round the 10K route and bettered my previous time by ten whole minutes. I was very chuffed.

Here is me afterwards with my Race for Life medal and a chuffed face.

It’s been exactly four months since I took up the running challenge and started Couch to 5K. My journey to 10k actually felt a lot easier. My plan now is to get a bit faster and improve on my distance even further. I’ll tentatively say I’m quite keen on entering the Birmingham half marathon in October!

Now for the important bit. With the kind donations from friends and family I have so far raised £335 online for Cancer Research UK and another £40 offline taking the total to £375! Smashed my target of £250!

You can still sponsor me though! : )

Be Ace Sponsor Stace to Race

Mahoosive thanks to all who supported me by being there, tweeting me, messaging me and of course sponsoring me.

Big love

Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

10K Race for Life – It’s tomorrow!

Tomorrow I am running my first 10K race! It’s a Race for Life for Cancer Research.

I began running 4 months ago and initially did the NHS Couch to 5K and have since run a few official 5K Park Runs and upped my distances with each run too. Read my previous posts about my Journey to 10K

I am excited about tomorrow but nervous too. I have my brilliant man and family coming to support me and I know this time tomorrow I’ll feel great. I just hope to complete it without walking and maybe get a time a little bit faster than the first time I actually ran the distance. If I do it in 1hr 15 I’ll be happy for my first 10K.

Watch this space for race report and pics.

Stace x
Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

7 stone 6, a healthy weight?!

Since I’ve started running I have lost 1/2 stone. I’ve always been someone who when I mention eating more healthily or exercising people respond with

‘but you don’t need to’.

I’ve never been bothered about my weight or obssessive but maybe since hitting 30 and gaining a bit more bum I have been a bit more aware of keeping check on it mainly for health purposes.

With so many people experiencing difficulties and insecurities about weight I feel lucky.

Keep reading! This isn’t a smug self satisfied ‘look at me aren’t I great for being a healthy weight’ post.

At 9 stone 1 with a BMI of 22.5 I am according to the NHS website, a healthy weight.

I then stumbled on this website weightlossresources.co.uk and I input my details on their calculator…

In answer to the question ‘Do I need to lose weight?’ the advice is very different with regards to my ‘healthy’ weight.

Losing 1 stone 9lb could apparently make me feel better!  That would make me 7 stone 6!

Anyone think that losing nearly TWO stone would make me look and feel better as they suggest?

Just another thought. I am a size 10. If I lost 1 stone 9lbs what dress size would it make me? Size 6? Size 4? Healthy???

There’s also a big discrepancy with the calculator. If I input 7st 6 as my weight it thankfully tells me that I would be underweight (similarly for all weights from 7st 6 to 8st 1).

BUT

When I input 8 stone 2 it tells me I could think about losing up to 10lbs! I think you can understand the danger here.

Eating disorder anyone?

Despite some other good resources on this site I can’t help wonder how dangerous calculators like this could be to young people and those with lower self esteem, people already battling body dysmorphia and eating disorders etc.

What are your thoughts?

Stace

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

Lurgy running break did me good!

After a week of sneezing and coughing and stressing my fitness would suffer all the worry was unfounded. I had my 24 hour ECG fitted on Thursday I still felt rough but needed to give my heart something to do. The problems were that it was tipping it down outside, I couldn’t get the ECG wet and I was full of cold. What to do? Well I called my local Fitness First who very kindly gave me a free day pass. Off I went to use their treadmill. I’ve never really ran on one before and never let go whilst on one! I can’t say the experience was a good one. The staff were very lovely and the gym was nice but I was already running a temperature and it was too hot in there for my hot blood. Also a problem with a gym is people! Sweaty people. Nope, I decided I much prefer running outside. I only managed 2.5 miles for the sake of recording something on the ECG and trundled back home hotter, feeling poorly, deflated and frustrated. Reluctantly I decided that I would have to give in and leave it another couple of days.

 

Yesterday (Sunday) I was determined that I was going to get back to it. My previous best distance had been 5.1 miles before the lurgy set in so I was fully expecting to be able to maybe do 3. Then a weird thing happened. Although slow my legs kept running! I ran around the quiet Sunday streets deciding on my route as I went along.  As I neared home I checked my Endomondo on my phone and I had done 5.5 miles! As my target to get to before my Race for Life is 6.2 miles (10k) I just thought ‘sod it’ and carried on. The result? 6.25 miles AKA 10K two weeks before my target and despite the break in training due to the lurgy! As you can imagine I am quite pleased! So now I have two weeks to keep my fitness up and maybe improve my time (with the help of @Runningonline).

If you’re reading this and have a quid, or £3.42 or whatever amount then sponsor me pleasey! It will help my motivation of course and will convince me that all this Couch to 5k and Journey to 10k has been worth it to make some money for charidee mate.

Cheers!

Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

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Beat the heat, now beating a cold

My last post was about running in the heat. Surprisingly despite the heat I managed a personal best in my 3rd official Park Run. I had to wear considerably less than usual!

Park Run 3, Personal best in the heat. Whoop!

The weather cooled down for the rest of the week so I got up to 4.5 miles on Tuesday and on Thursday I was really pleased to manage my furthest run of 5.1 miles. I went to Park Run again on Saturday before the Jubilee celebrations wearing my England shorts of course although I think the longer run less than 48 hours before had slowed me down and I was about 50 seconds off my best time. Still, have to hold onto the fact I did 5.1 miles and I have three weeks left before the race.

My 4th 5K Park Run at Brueton park, Solihull

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minor buggeration this week is that I have come down with a cold, or woman flu as I like to call it. I should be running today but as I write this I am lying in bed watching Kylie on a re run of the Jubilee concert! I also found out today that on Thursday I have to go to the hospital to have a 24 hour ECG to check on my heart (for my Long QT Syndrome). Not a bad thing but it’s a mission to the new QE. Would rather know I’m safe though. Therefore I’m aiming to get rid of this lurgy and run on Thursday while I am wearing my trace.

So other than that nowt to report! *sneeezes*

Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

Lovely Jubbly Jubilee party

Yesterday, on the 2nd of June I celebrated a very special lady with my family. My Nan!

My Nan rocks.

We decided a few months ago that we would have a Jubilee party for her 77th birthday as the two coincided. She has always been a fan of the Royals and I think that has rubbed off on her grandchildren too. I’m not going to get into a pros/cons of the Royals debate, Twitter has depressed me enough with all the joyless miseries. I enjoy British traditions and I think it made it an even better excuse to celebrate a memorable occasion. Oh and of course you may know me by now, I love a theme for my nails!

Jubilee Nails.

My friend Emma solved the what to wear problem by kindly lending me a dress which I spotted her in on Facebook. This is me in it with my two ‘little’ brothers Ricky and Joe. I love this picture so much.

Me and my brothers.

I made a Spotify playlist for the occasion with one song for every year from the last 60 years. We all love music in our family and having a sing song. My cousin Charlotte filmed everyone singing ‘Two Little Boys’. I can’t post it because it’s not on YouTube but it’s probably for the best, haha. My stepdad Tom made a big box covered in Union Jacks which we used as a DJ stand i.e. something to put the iPad and speakers on.

Jubilee party Spotify playlist

We didn’t want Nan to have to faff around so we all made something to bring, her only instructions were to make a trifle.

I made Jubilee Battenburg from this recipe from Wright Little Baker

Jubilee Battenburg cake

I also made some red velvet cupcakes with buttercream and some nifty icing Union Jacks , sorry Union FLAGS I got from Icing World.

Jubilee Cupcakes.

Man being a man wanted to make something meaty so he made BBQ pulled pork from the most recent Good Food magazine. Plenty of opportunity for pork pulling jokes.

Mom made a ton of this amazing warm potato salad with blue cheese. Nom nom. Quite jealous she got to make it into bubble and squeak today with the leftovers. Other foodie mentions, my  Uncle Steven’s marinated chicken, the spicy one was my fave, my cousin Emily’s sausage rolls and not forgetting my cousin Liz’s cheese and pineapple on sticks! A party isn’t a party without something on cocktail sticks!

Despite the weather not being perfect the rain stayed away for the afternoon. My Nan has a pretty massive garden so we put two gazebos up and got on with it. My Mom got too cold in the end and went and stole a blanket off Nan’s bed. She will thank me for posting this.

Mom keeping warm in the British weather.

My naughty cousins managed to get behind everyone without them noticing with flags. This is the moment they caught us.

Me and my man Ban. Naughty minxy cousins in the background!

Fran my brother’s girlfriend took all these ace photographs. We went to her exhibition on Friday night, you can see her website here.

We added candles (a ‘2’ and a ‘7’) to Nan’s trifle and sang her happy birthday. By then I was sporting my Mom’s hat and a leather jacket donated by Nan’s friend, even my hot blood gave in in the end!

This is a photo of the full rabble (Minus my Aunt and cousin who are on holiday).

Me (second right) and my family.
Photograph by Francesa Hancox

This says it all for me. God bless the Queen of our brilliant family.

Nan’s Facebook status. Yes she’s on Facebook!

Hope you had a lovely jubbly Jubilee too.

Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

Upping my distances, trying to be cool

About time I wrote a running update for your eyeholes to read. After completing my first 5K Park Run with the ‘grown up’ runners I’ve been trying to up my distances. I improved my time at my second Park Run and felt a little more confident. Since then (two weeks ago) I’ve been gradually upping my distances and running every other day. The best run was on Sunday when I managed a full 4.25 miles. Very pleased with that! My dodgy ankle has also been behaving  just about.

However, this week that big ball of hot stuff in the sky has scuppered my plans somewhat. Lovely as it is I didn’t realise how a rise in temperature could make such a difference. After a sleepless night on Monday night my attempts to run in the sun on Tuesday proved difficult and for the first time I had to give in. I tend to be quite hot blooded anyway and I’ve already found getting too hot a problem above any other even in cooler weather. I tried again yesterday morning and went out earlier. It was still quite warm and I just did 5K. I’m going to do my third Park Run at Brueton park in the morning and then (weather pending) just keep working on my endurance and getting that distance closer to the 10K mark. I have one month until my Race for Life. Eeek.

The good news is that yesterday I won a competition on Twitter via AXA PPP Healthcare. Just the boost I needed. I won an online running course from this great website Up and Running who you can also follow on Twitter @runningonline

They have all sorts of courses to help runners and I’m looking forward to getting some more inspiration and keeping my motivation levels high.

I’ll keep you posted.

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Stace x

Follow me @StaceInspire

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