Lee Valley Velodrome Track Taster Experience

Back in December, along with my sister and our husbands, we had a fantastic evening out in London. This was not your typical night out and definitely falls into the category of ‘out of the ordinary’. Forget preparing for the evening with a cute dress and heels. Instead we needed leggings, trainers and a helmet.

We visited the Lee Valley Velo Park in Stratford. This is the track that was cycled by our amazingly talented Olympic team back in 2012. The park is now open to the public and almost anyone can have go on the track.

We signed up for the one hour track taster session. This coach led session aims to get you used to using a fixed wheel bike (it has no brakes or gears) and safely riding the track.

I’m not going to lie, I was very nervous about trying this out. I do not have a good track record with bikes. Back in primary school I basically got thrown off the cycling proficiency course because I was considered a danger to myself. Oh the shame!

I definitely surprised myself though. I managed to cycle the track without falling off and even get up some height. That was quite scary as you have to be travelling at a good consistent speed. If you slow or stop peddling suddenly the bike will slide down the track wall. I kept saying to myself ‘just keep peddling…..just keep peddling’ even if my thighs were burning.

Scariness aside it felt incredibly exhilarating travelling at speed and feeling the rush of air against you.

I have to say it was actually easier than I thought it would be. It is however very tiring and you really feel it in your legs. The professional cyclists are super fit.

The taster session costs £45 and lasts for an hour. If you can go during an off peak session it’s £35. Bookings can be made directly through the the Lee Valley website.

Lucy Locket Loves Athleisure Leggings | Rave review

Just a quick one from me today. I wanted to share my love for the newest additions to my legging collection.

These are the Athleisure leggings from the small independent brand Lucy Locket Loves.

Lucy Locket Loves Athleisure leggings

They retail for the very reasonable price of £15.00 and are definitely worth every penny.

The fabric is a nice thick soft jersey that I’m finding perfect for running in at this time of year, basically warm but not too warm. They held their own well in -3 degrees!

I was a bit dubious about the sizing of the leggings before they arrived as they only come in two sizes:

Size 1 – 8-14

Size 2 14 – 20.

I would describe myself as a small size 8 so was concerned that the size 1 would be too big. Happily they fit just fine and I’ve had no falling down whilst running issues. Believe me it wouldn’t be the first time!

My sister wears the same size in these leggings and usually wears a dress size 12. She is pictured wearing an Alice in Wonderland pair in the first picture. Clearly these are magic leggings as one size fits a wide range of people.

I’ve worn and washed the leggings a good few times now and they still look and feel perfect. It is worth noting that I air dry them in a clothes airer. I’m not brave enough to test them out in a tumble dryer.

The two designs I have are no longer available but there are still plenty of designs available on the website. Mine are also quite dark and not so colourful as many of the other designs. There is plenty to suit all tastes though.

The Lucy Locket Loves Facebook page also says that they are getting a delivery of new stock this week. Nice! I’m trying to justify a new purchase now.

I’ve signed up to run the London Landmarks Half Marathon

Soo….I may have signed up to run my first half marathon. The London Landmarks Half to be exact. Last year I made a decent go at running my first 10k, but this is twice that distance.

I still haven’t decided whether I’m excited or pooping my pants. 13.1 miles is quite the distance for a girl that hated P.E.

I suppose it could be worse, I could have been daft enough to sign up to do a full marathon? Noooo…. I’ll leave that one to my big sister, husband and little brother. (They are doing the Brighton Marathon this year)

On the 24th March I shall be running as part of the Breast Cancer Now team. This is a charity that is significant to me as two years ago my Mum lost her fight against Breast Cancer.

I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to experience this. Sadly though so many families are going through exactly the same thing right now. Life can be very sucky at times can’t it!

Image : breastcancernow.org

Breast Cancer Now‘s aim is to ensure that by 2050 no one will die from breast cancer. How? By carrying out that all important research into the causes, genetic risk factors and targeted drug discovery. It was such research that gave my family an extra 8 years with our Mum.

Training is going to be tough, I’m going to need all the support I can get. Even if its just encouragement to get out and train on a day that a) I’m feeling Meh! Or b) the weather is grim. I’m definitely more of a fair weather runner.

If you would like to make a monetary donation to the cause you can do so through my Just Giving page.

Wish me luck, I shall keep you updated on how the training goes.

Route map source: llhm.co.uk

Running with Orthosole Max Cushion Insoles

Last Sunday I completed the Cancer Research race for life 10k event along with my Big Sister and Cousin. That’s my second one under the belt now. There were no PB’s to be had on the day as it was a super hot but there was a great atmosphere. The event also seemed like the ideal opportunity to try out my new insoles from Orthosole .

I was gifted a pair of Women’s Max Cushion Insoles rrp £40 from Orthosole to test out, in return for an honest review.

Described as the ‘Ultimate performance’ style the insoles are customisable to suit the individual wearers needs. Each set comes with 6 support pads that can be switched up as required providing up to 9 different wear options.

Anyone that runs will understand that a good supportive running shoe makes a huge difference when it comes to performance and avoiding injury. They will also appreciate how difficult it is to find a shoe with the right level of support as we are all different, so for me having so many options to work with is a big deal.

There are two pad sections of the insole that can be customised, which are the arch pad and the metatarsal pad.

The Arch Pad – provides support to help control pronation and alignment of the foot and body.

This is a big problem area for me as I have one leg longer than the other and my right foot tends to roll in. I literally fall over my own feet!

The Metatarsal Pad – helps improve weight distribution, circulation, cushioning and protects the ball of the foot.

The Insoles are sold in shoe sizes, and can be trimmed down to fit if necessary. I’m a half size but didn’t find this a problem. After removing my existing insoles, as instructed, the Orthosoles fitted in quite snuggly.

It took me a few attempts to find the combination of pads that felt most comfortable. The pads were quick and easy to switch up though as they have Velcro backing.

When wearing the Insoles I immediately could feel the difference, my foot and leg alignment felt much straighter. I also usually experience some mild pain in the knee of my shorter leg when distance running but on this occasion I didn’t.

I did start to feel a bit of an ache in my arch area during the last 1 km of my run. I think this is probably because I’m not used to running with my foot in that position and need to get used to it. Either that or I need to try a lighter support pad next time. That’s the beauty of the these particular insoles though I can keep trying out different options till I’m 100% happy.

Orthosole offer loads of different insole options to suit different types of footwear. They even offer a set designed to be worn with heels. I definitely want to try those out In the future. You never know I might be able to wear heels on the Reg?

5 Things In May

It’s been a little while since I have had time to write. Lots has been happening in my life, I thought then It would be a good idea to share some of the highlights with you in one post. So here goes….

I Ran My First 10k

On the 9th of May I achieved a huge personal goal. Along with my sister Michelle, AKA marathon runner, and Husband Chris who completes triathlons, I ran my first 10k. 

We took part in a runthrough chase the sun event at The Olympic Park in Stratford. 

I am so proud of myself especially as I had to push through the last km. My calf’s were starting to feel like I had weights attached to them, yup it hurt! 


My Fourteen Year Old Son is Taller than Me!

The difference In these two photographs is crazy. Since the second picture was taken he has grown even taller. 

This dawned on me the other day. Harrison has always been cheeky, however on this occasion he was being a bit too cheeky. I was telling him off and he was looking down at me! What!!! 

No wonder he has been eating me out of house and home. 



I Finally Finished ‘Me After You’ 

This was such a great book. It is the sequel to Jo Jo Moyes bestseller ‘Me before You’. Set a couple of months on, after Will takes his own life, the book tackles grief and whether you are able to move on. It has a somewhat humerous approach whilst managing not to make light of the subject matter. 

At times I did want to give the main character Louise a good old shake, other times I just wanted to hug her. 


I have been channeling my inner Marie Kondo

My head is in that place where I’m feeling it’s time to get my home and life organised. 

I have been having a good old clear out and a reorganise of my storage. I just want everything organised so that I can eventually be more productive with my time. The sight of all these neatly folded tops makes me so happy. 

Infinity War Was AMAZING!!

Okay so technically this was released in April, but it was May before we went to see it. 

It was such a good film. It’s not often the outcome of a film leaves you speechless. I left the cinema thinking ‘I don’t know how I feel about that!’ 

To be honest I’m still reeling at what happened and cannot wait into the second part next year. 

This is hands down my favourite Marvel film so far! 

So that’s at little update of what’s been happening In my life recently. 

The Gym Playlist 

Music is such an important thing in most of our lives. 

Different music can have an impact on how we feel and influence our moods.

I’m sure you’ll agree that we all have our own selection of songs that will evoke memories, both good and bad. 

We have those songs that motivate us and make us work and train harder. 

For this reason I put my gym playlist up there as one of my most important training tools. If I forget my headphones and don’t have my music it actually has a negative impact on my performance. 

I’m unable to run at the moment has my scholiosis has flared up. Instead I’m cycling so the playlist has had a little tweak. It’s working for me though. 

I can guarantee not all of the music in this current playlist is to everyone’s taste, but it has relevance to me. 

So confession time, this is what is on my current gym playlist with a little explanation of why that particular song has earned its place. 


1. Danza Kuduro (Through Your Hands Up)
Lucenzo & Qwote

This is our honeymoon song and never fails to put me in a good mood. Perfect for  warming up. 

2. Heart Attack

Demi Lovato

Im starting to lift the tempo a bit here but  this is not too fast that it helps with pacing.

The next few songs I’m looking to maintain a steady pace. Music that is at a certain tempo is really important to helping me maintain that. 

 3. Roar

Katy Perry


4. The Edge of Glory

Lady Gaga


5. Uptown Funk

Fleur East

By this point I feel like I’m hitting a bit of a wall. So I need something that is loud and motivational. Yup it calls for a spot of  Prodigy!

6. Invaders Must Die

The Prodigy 

It’s time to wind down now, but not too much. 

7. Figure it Out

Royal Blood 

Thanks for stopping by schooled beauty.com.


What’s in my Gym Bag | #BEDM Day 4 

Who else is a ‘Nosey Parker’ and likes having a peek inside other people’s bags? 

Me, Me, Me!! 

Now don’t panic, I’m not about to have a rifle through your bag if you happen to leave it unattended near me. No, but, If I see a ‘What’s in my….’ blog post or YouTube video though I’m all over it. 

It’s about time I did one myself then and what better reason than its today’s suggested topic for #BEDM. 

So let’s have a peek inside my gym bag. 

Wow that’s quite a lot of stuff, and my gym kit isn’t even in it presently! 


First up we have a pelvic support belt and a small exercise ball. I haven’t actually used these for a while but they are there incase I have a relapse and need to do my physio excersises again. 


Next up are my sennheiser sports headphones. I need my music when I run, these are great as I’m not fighting with earphones that fall out. They have a handy storage pouch as well. 

These New Balence Vazee Rush trainers are without a doubt the best running shoes I’ve ever owned. They are lightweight but still have a firm instep. I pretty sure I got them on sale for around £50 instead of £85 during last years Black Friday sale. 


The small make-up bag from Primark contains an assortment of quick to use beauty products including moisturiser, hair serum, makeup and brushes plus the standard sanitary products. 


Then we have my Cath Kidson oilcloth wash bag that I take into the shower with me. This has some of my genuine holy grail products in it. Lush silky underwear dusting powder. It smells of jasmine and does two things for me. One it acts like talc so stops leggings and skinny jeans sticking to me post shower, and two acts as a moisturiser as it contains grated cocoa butter. 


I couldn’t fail to mention The Body Shop Banana conditioner either, I’m obsessed! 
Some other random things in my gym bag include a Mills & Boons Historical romance book, these are my guilty pleasure an umbrella, frilly socks, a battered ‘wet brush squirt’ deodorant and leave in conditioner. 

So not to bad, no nasty surprises! Leave your blog links if you’re also taking part in the #BEDM challenge. 

Obsessed with My Protein  running tights 

 One of the perks of going to the gym regularly is that I get to indulge in one of my current obsessions, running leggings from My protein. 

If I had my way I’d have at least 10 pairs by now as they are constantly coming out with funky new designs. Obviously that’s not going to happen as that would be rather excessive. One or two pairs though is okay right! 

 
 

What can I say though, they are super comfy, look great and most importantly wash well. They still look as good as new after several wears and washes. Next time I get to indulge in my obsession for crazy printed leggings My Protein will be the first place I look. 

 

I have my eye on some of the latest designs available from their website. A girl can have a wish list right! Oh and of course they have matching cropped vests and vests printed with motivational quotes to match.

   

Here’s what I’m currently lasting after. 

Black square athletic tights £22.49

  
Women’s reflection leggings £25.49

  
Reflections printed sports bra £21.24

  
The reflections set has to be be my favourite it might clash with my trainers though. Damn! Does that mean an excuse to get new trainers as well? 

Walk away Katy! 

img_0613-1 

30 Day Flat Abs Challange – My experience 

So it’s been a while. Life has been a wee bit hectic revolving around job searches, interviews and general running around after the family. I haven’t forgotten about my blog I can assure you. Case in point, here’s my update for the #30daysflatabchallenge. 

    

 I have mixed views when it comes to my experience of this challenge. I didn’t finish it, so technically I failed, but I have found it beneficial. Long term readers of schoolrunbeauty.com will know that I have had problems with my back and left hip/leg. This is where I hit a bit of a snag with the challenge. I physically could not do some of the exercises. In particular the double leg lift and criss crosses. 

Notice the similarity with the two exercises, they both involve extending the leg from the hip. My left left just kept getting stuck. I tried forcing myself through the excercises but ended it up in so much pain I couldn’t excercise at all for a couple of weeks until the nerve irritation had settled down. For me, it just isn’t worth me doing these two excercises. 

I am pleased that I was able to complete the rest of the excercises and have seen some good results. I replaced the dropped excercises with a plank which I hate doing but is really effective. I always feel that my abdominal muscles have a great work out once I have completed them. 

So my opinion of these thirty day challenges? Great if you don’t have any underlying injuries or conditions, but if you do, definitely be more cautious about trying one out. If you are lucky enough to have a personal trainer or are under a doctor speak to them about it first. They may be able to help develop a challenge that is not going to cause further injury or the wrong kind of post work out ache. 

I may not have finished the challenge but I don’t feel this has challenge been a fail for me. I have leant some new excercises that are more effective than a basic an crunch and I will continue to do those. 

Have you tried a 30 day excercise challenge before? What was your experience? 

Starting the #30dayflatabschallenge

Today I wanted to share with you the latest fitness challenge that I am embarking on.  

My lack of exercise over the Christmas period is showing and consequently  I’m feeling a little bit ‘meh’. I’ve also been suffering from a distinct lack of motivation to actually do something about it so need something to kick me up the bumb a bit.

I don’t need to lose any weight but certainly could do with some toning of those muscles. 

Having seen this 30 day flat abs challenge on Pinterest I decide this would be a good way of easing myself back into a good exercise regime. 

I tried day one out yesterday morning, adding it into my usual gym exercises and it wasn’t too bad. The roll-up I could do no problem, the ankle reach fine but the double leg lift was a challenge. (It’s that dodgy hip again!!) Still I’m going to see how I get on with it. 

The full challenge schedule is shown in the picture below. It also sets goals for increasing your water intake. Which is great for me as I’m terrible at drinking water. 

source: blogilates.com via pinterest

So do you fancy joining me on this challenge? 

I shall keep you updated over the next month with how I’m getting on. 

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