Monday, 23 March 2015

5 reasons why you should start running

A view from one of my morning runs! Views like this are a reason why you should start!
Running is my therapy, it does so much for me and has completely changed my life in so many ways! Here are five reasons why you should start running!

1. It doesn't cost anything:
I would totally recommend running outside, there is nothing quite like feeling the wind through your hair and watching the wildlife. I can't stand the treadmill, so outside is definitely the more fun cheaper option. Sure, you do need to buy some suitable footwear, but if you are just starting out you can get some for quite reasonable prices here. I have bought from them before and they are always having sales! If it is a confidence thing that is not allowing you to go outside, try not to worry, passers by won't pay much attention to you, or care, and if they do anything negative then just remember you're better than them and you're a badass runner. The only people that really pay attention to you are other runners and that is always with a smile, a friendly wave or a hello, it just depends on how exhausted they are ;)

2. It's a great way to start and end the day:
Whether you're a morning person or an evening person, running is for you! I think running makes me into a morning person. It gets my endorphins flowing and puts me in a more positive mood for the rest of the day. But also at the same time, if I have had a really awful day running helps me to de-stress and it's like I am literally running away from all the negativity so I can move on from it all and enjoy the rest of my evening.

3. It's a time to think and reflect:
Running is my me time, time for me to think and plan. I very rarely run with another person. I do like running with people but one of the main reasons I run is for my mental health. It just clears away the cobwebs and gives me a more positive outlook on things. If something is bugging me, I go for a run, thinking about it. Discuss it with myself in my head and once my run is over I am usually over it. It's my escape from the world. It almost feels like time has stopped and I have this time to myself to think. I can't usually do it at home or at work as I have other things to do. So it is nice to have time to myself within nature to just reflect and escape from life for a bit (not that my life is horrible or anything, quite the opposite, however it can get a little stressful).

4. It's great for your body:
Weightloss!!!!! Another lovely benefit of running, I have lost quite a bit of weight from running as you can see from my blog post here. Although that is not the only benefit, it also builds muscle, especially if you want to focus on speed and run shorter distances. I also find it keeps my skin clear as sweating is detoxing my body. If I take a small break from running and start up again my skin for the first week is horrendous all over my body and I think that is because it's detoxing god knows what, after that my skin looks better than ever. As long as you don't go to extremes and over do it then your body will definitely benefit in many ways!

5. It improves your confidence:
This is probably the best one! Running has definitely given me more confidence, in so many ways. It has improved (in my opinion) my body shape, I have lost weight and toned up, which has made me happier with my appearance. But it's not only body confidence it has given me, it has shown me that I can conquer most things I put my mind to. Three/four years ago if you had said to me, in a few years time you will be able to run a half-marathon in 2 hours 3 minutes I would not have deemed it possible. Yet last year I did, I completed my goals one by one. This then translated over to other areas in my life, if I could conquer my running goals, I could surely work towards my life goals.  For example, I have definitely gained more confidence in my work environment which has helped me to progress. It makes you feel like you could take over the world sometimes!

I hope these reasons have inspired you in some way :)

Thanks for reading,
Rach x

Lipstick and Coffee 

Monday, 16 March 2015

Half Marathon Training: Week 3/12

I was super happy with this weeks training! The days were a little off, but that's how it is when you try and fit your workouts around your life. Never goes to plan! But I got all my runs/miles in! I even went like 0.2 miles over what I was supposed to do and got told off for over training by the app! Whoops ;) That is one of the features I do like about Nike Coach, that it gives you those little warnings. I remember last time I did this I went a little overboard with my miles and perhaps running too much but those little reminders helped me slow it down a bit! Running is extremely addictive and I get caught up in it all far to easily! 

The run I did on Monday was actually meant for Tuesday, but as Monday was my day off I thought I'd opt for the longer run on that day! It nice and early as I was also taking my sister to the station that morning too! Very rare I get up at that time on a day off, but I felt extremely productive doing so. Might have to do it more often. However, you've got to love a lie in!

Another early start with Tuesdays, I like to get my runs out of the way, especially if I have a full day of work ahead of me. I find if I leave it to the evening I will worry that I won't be bothered when I get home. Plus it clears my head and puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day :) This was a slightly slower pace, I think it was due to the long run being on the Monday

This is another day where I swapped my runs around, I was meant to do this run on the Saturday but did it on the Friday as I was only doing a half day that day, yet a full day on the Saturday! I knew I would be too tired to do 6 miles after a full day! This is the longest distance I've done this year so far, so I was pretty happy with the pace too!

I didn't end up doing this on the Saturday as intended, so it was a Sunday morning run. And check out my pace! So happy with that, there was even a hill involved too! I absolutely put my all into this. The weather was perfect, cold and cloudy. I hate running with the sun beating down on me, so clouds are my best friend when there is no shade on my running route. This left me feeling refreshed and energised for a rather lovely Sunday with my boyfriend Will :)

Overall, I am happy with how week three turned out. My pace is starting to quicken again, and I am getting back to how I was before Christmas and my illness. Also I am getting through the longer distances quite well. I have 8 miles to do this week and I am terrified. However it's nothing I haven't done before so I should be fine!

Thanks for reading,
Rach x

Monday, 9 March 2015

Nails of the week: Illamasqua's Glitterati

I own loads of nail varnish, quite a lot actually for someone who never wears it! Recently I decided that I would put more effort into my nails and wear nail varnish more often. So far for the last three weeks I have been successful.

This weeks choice is Illamasqua's Glitterati, which is a beautiful shade of raspberry with flecks of glitter, some larger pieces of glitter too. I really do love this colour, it's quite dark, the picture above is with two coats on. For a less intense look you could just get away with one coat.

One downside to this nail polish is it isn't work proof for me. I work in a clothes shop where I am constantly handling clothes hangers and other objects which easily chip my nails, and this polish didn't even last a day! Although it did have some tough conditions as I was moving stock around. This is the main reason why I haven't been paying much attention to my nails as of late, because work absolutely ruins them! I have to say though, wearing nail polish has been acting as a reinforcer as my nails haven't been breaking as much.

Overall I really love this shade and it's totally worth having to go over in the evening to cover up the chips.

What do you think of this shade? Do you have an Illamasqua nail varnish favourite?

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Half-marathon training: Week one and two

The first week is always the hardest, you have to re-find your routine. Kicking myself out of bed in the morning sure was a challenge, however definitely was not a regret. There is something about morning workouts which are more supreme than any other time of day. Running is such a great way to start your day off. This week consisted of a three mile run on Monday followed by a four mile on Tuesday, then two days off. Friday was three miles again and Saturday was four. It was relatively easy. I am still recovering from a horrible cold that I had at Christmas and it still hasn't quite gone away. Keeps coming back in waves. Considering I have been doing only 5kms for the past couple of months I am happy with my pace. It was a strong start it my 12 week program.
Week 2, a slower pace but more miles! Monday and Friday were 3 mile runs and Tuesday and Saturday were 5 miles! The first time I have done 5 miles this year - yay! Once again all morning runs! At the moment while I am still on the tail end of this cold it is harder and harder to go after work, the evenings are the worst. The weather is starting to get better too, still cold but the sun is shining - which in my opinion is perfect running weather!

This is a short overview, next weeks should be longer and I shall include some of my individual runs, just wanted to make this quickly as I am recapping two weeks worth! So make sure you check back to see how I am getting on! Even though I have done this program before I am hoping to see improvement on my times!

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

FOTD: Weekday Work Edition

Here is my simple look that I wear on weekday for work. I don't do too much make up as we don't have much footfall and I like to do something more special on the weekend!

Face: MUA primer, Maybelline baby skin brightener, bareMineral's original foundation and Illamasqua cream concealer in the lightest shade to help conceal dark circles under my eyes.
Eyes: bareMinerals Flawless Definition mascara on the top lashes and Canmake Nobimori mascara on the bottom lashes
Eyebrows: Urban Decay brow box in Brown Sugar

And that's it! I have some lip balms on my lips and sometimes I will wear a blush. This is a nice, easy and quick look. Also as the eye lashes are really defined so it looks more glamorous that it is.
What make up do you wear to work? Do you go more natural or do you prefer a heavier look?

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

My Running Story

I always count the date the 6th of November 2012 as the day I became a runner. I used to run on the treadmill a lot, but my dream was always to run outside and be comfortable with doing so. But like most people I was too self conscious to do so. I was worried about what people would think. I didn't want people laughing at me, I was quite overweight at the time and thought that would also draw more attention.

However, on the 6/11/12, my boyfriend at the time and I decided it was time to venture outside and run. He lasted all of about 5 minutes, however I continued on by myself and went on my first run outside! However, it wasn't a proper 'run' run. I was nowhere near ready to just go out and run. I started with a couch to 5K program by the makers of Zombies, Run! While I could run around 5k on a treadmill I knew that due to many factors that I would not be able to do that on an outdoor terrain. So I started from the beginning.

My first Nike+ run
I never finished the couch to 5k program. I stopped about 4 weeks in and downloaded Nike+ Running, which since then has been my staple running app. I did occasionally use my Zombies Run! app now and then as I loved following the story. My first run on Nike was 1.36 miles at a pace of 11:31 min/mile. From there throughout that winter I kept on running and slowly adding to my distance. I went out most nights after work. I much preferred running in the cover of darkness. My confidence grew and I also started running in the daylight on my days off. Then on Christmas Day of that year (1 month and 19 days since beginning my running journey) I did 5 miles!!! I was so proud of myself. From there I just kept building my distance. Last year I finally ran a half marathon in 2 hours and 3 minutes! I am doing the marathon training again and I am hoping to get under 2 hours this time. I have achieved so much with my running, and I love the fact that there is so much more left to achieve, it's never ending!

My running achievements so far...

Before and After: My heaviest vs. now

When I started running, I was depressed, overweight, a heavy smoker and would just binge on unhealthy food. Once I started running I was smoking less and less, eating more of a healthy diet and building my confidence one step and a time, which in turn made me a happier person. The weight was also falling off me. My sister left for university the September before I started running and when she came back for Christmas she was shocked at how much weight I had lost. I still have the jogging bottoms I first started running in. I can't wear them anymore, even with the string tightened as much as possible they still just slide off. I just like to have them around to remind me how far I have come.

Pre-run selfie ^__^

My advice to anyone who wants to start running, just go for it! People don't really take much notice
of you, and if they do just remember you're more badass than them because you're RUNNING! Also it takes time, you need to realise you can't just get up and run 5K straight away - you need to build it up, the more you work at it the quicker you will improve! I love running, it's time to clear my head and think, it's also nice to run and appreciate the nature around you. I am now one of those people who spends ridiculous amounts of money on running shoes and protein powder.

People always ask me "do you run the whole way? Do you ever walk?" Since I abandoned the couch to 5k I've never walked during a run, I just keep on going and just slow down my pace. "Up til then I'd made it a point of pride that no matter how hard things get, I never walked. A marathon is a running event, after all, not a walking event"- Haruki Murakami, What I talk about when I talk about running. This is how it is for me, I go out to run not walk, and if I feel like I have to stop running I just stop all together or push myself through, there is no middle ground for me. I would highly recommend Murakami's book, it is so motivating! And remember that if you do want to walk that it's completely fine, I am just far too stubborn!

I hope you have enjoyed my running story! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or even if you just want some motivation! Running has become such a huge part of my life now and I don't know what I would do with out it!

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, 1 March 2015

February Favourites 2015

I have a mixture of favourites this month from protein coffee to manga with some beauty bits and pieces in between. Decided not to film this one, much easier to type! Also this month I plan to blog about my half marathon training - I have already done this training program before and have decided to do it again! Hopefully doing a race in May! Exciting!

Body Building Warehouse Protein Coffee, in Caramel Macchiato flavour. This stuff is amazing, I am picky about my coffee, but this stuff is perfect. You can have it hot or cold and I have to say I prefer it cold, shaken with coconut milk. This is a perfect morning pick me up and means that I can have my caffeine and protein hit all in one go, which is really convenient! Plus it tastes great. Even my sister, the Starbucks Barista, who is even pickier about coffee than me loves it! So it's definitely one to try if you are looking to increase your protein intake in the morning.

Next up is Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Bright Transformer with SPF 35! This I bought in Japan and I think I have mentioned it in a previous post. I love this, it give my skin an added glow, I put it on after my primer and before my foundation. It evens out my skin tone slightly and just brightens my sometimes dull skin. It is also a great surface to apply foundation too. Although this product is not available in the UK and I have no idea if it ever will be I really do recommend it. You may have to get it off eBay or Ratuken though.

The foundation of the month is bareMinerals Original foundation in medium beige. I really do love this foundation and I have been wanting to try it for sometime. Finally, I got my hands on some in TK-Maxx in a set with other bits and pieces. Having super sensitive skin which doesn't seem to be reacting well to foundation at the moment I thought maybe this would be a bit better for it. And it really is, I have been using it for a little while now and my skin has cleared up and it's still a little dry but it's not as bad as it used to be. Being a powder I was worried it would be a little drying, however it's not, probably due to the amount of prepping I do to my skin. I like to set this with my Mac Fix+ and it gives a really nice finish. I can't wait to try more bareMinerals products.

The final make up product is Rimmel Exaggerate liquid eyeliner. This has been a favourite for a long time, I think I mentioned it in my eyebrow drawing post a while ago. The application is super easy and it lasts all day! Also it is easy to correct before it has properly dried!

Kosé Q10 Coenzyme Essence sheet mask. This is a really moisturising mask, I like to use these once a week and the thing I love about sheet masks are they really are no fuss. Place it on your face, relax for 5-10 mins and look scary while doing so, then remove and throw away, then pat the left over essence into your skin. No need to for water or to peel off little bits of (although that is really fun!) It leaves my skin feeling refreshed, smooth and moisturised, which is what it needs in the winter months.

The final favourite for this month is a manga by Junji Ito called Uzumaki. This is a horror manga about a town that is consumed by spirals, it certainly has it's creepy moments which made me shudder, and the ending is really quite perfect! Plus the artwork is really beautiful, especially on the coloured pages. I would really recommend this manga if you are wanting to read something quite dark and weird.

Also this lovely cat who was helping me blog today is included in my favourites :P

What are your favourites for February? Anything you think I should try? 

Thanks for reading,