Eating, Blogging and Networking: #LLBlogEvent and The London Foodies Collective

What an exciting week this has been! Here’s a short overview of the wonderful events I’ve had the pleasure to be part of before the weekend even started: first, the incredibly insightful #LLBlogEvent by blogger JJ Miller from Love London and then a full-on foodie five-course meal with the London Foodies Collective.

On Thursday evening, the lovely JJ Miller from Love London gathered her fellow…

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Bangs And A Bun

Introducing Muireann Campbell, AKA the fabulous hair wearer, serial exercise runner, legs in hosiery wonder and our favourite all round Twitter and Blogger personality @BangsandaBun Taaaa Daaaa! ;) We just had to post one of these images from Muireann’s recent photoshoot with One9 Photography as she looks stunning, and we are feeling the fabulous hair in the bun and the monochrome touches of the shoes complementing the hosiery and body top.

We heart Muireann as she provides a great platform for discussion about any topic via her Twitter and blog and is an overall great personality, full of energy, refreshing honesty, positive vibes and huge wit! We’re very happy she’s back in London Town! ;) Check her out on the links below!


The benefits of group exercise are bountiful and range from:

  • Promoting social interactions that release and reduce stress.
  • Stops you from coming up with “anything” excuses that a lack of accountability can possess.
  • Increasing your focus and motivation from the positive vibes and encouragement from members of the group.
  • Maintaining and improving your health and fitness all at the same time :-)

Click on the pic below to read an amazing interview that Spikes and Heels had with the founders of the ‘Black Girls Run’ movement, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks (very inspiring).


MOTIVATION: a work in progress.

Check out this kickass writeup via bangsandabun about transformation (in both heart and skin), courage, and achievement. Because we all are just that – a work in progress. Click thru for the whole article and the whole kickass blog.

“Sometimes I had to stop and walk, sometimes it hurt, a lot of the time, I struggled, but I felt fantastic and suddenly, I thought it was important that people see me struggle and hurt and get a stitch, because this is what life is – we all struggle with things and we can’t always hide them and pretend they’re not happening. By me getting out there, being honest and letting people see my struggle, it lets them know that it’s OK for them to struggle too.”

(via Work in Progress |

Last week feels about a month ago...

So much is happening in a short space of time and things are moving so fast. This isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing, although The Oracle (Drake, HA!) does say that “working with the negatives can make for better pictures” (valuable lesson there, kids). I want to say I haven’t had time to run and train, but that’s not the only reason. Recently motivation to do this marathon has taken a major dip. Partly because exercise is not (YET) escapism for me and because I’ve been busy prioritising stuff, it’s slipped down to the Least Important end of the scale. Also, because I know I can now run 5.6 miles I’m pretty sure I can keep up the rest of my training and do the whole 13.

To be clear, after a week with an average of 2 hours of sleep each night, I bunked the early morning Bootcamp sessions in favour of dealing with my sleep deprivation. I have no idea why I couldn’t sleep every night last week. I’ve never suffered from insomnia and after the second night of no sleep I panicked. And then obviously I definitely couldn’t sleep because I was so worried I wasn’t getting enough sleep.
I had six days of walking around in a zombie state, so I didn’t run either. I literally could not bring myself to pull my leggings on and find the will to move anywhere at any pace faster than a shuffle. So I didn’t.
I got bursts of energy at weird times, like just before lunch. On two days I made my friend Jimmy run from where we work to the restaurant where we wanted to eat. We literally jogged. Because I said I felt like it. “LET’S NOT WASTE THIS OPPORTUNITY!” We both wear trainers and (very carefully selected pieces of) streetwear to work so we probably looked like Azn hooligans running through central London. Good times. I also constantly felt like going for a run at 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning. But I live in Newham, and I’m not suicidal, so I never acted on that urge and just waited for the adrenaline to fade (which took hours).

Saturday came around and I told myself to get 6 miles done because, inevitably, I wouldn’t want to run on Sunday. I left it too late, and it got too cold. The Sunday run would HAVE to happen. Thing is, it kinda snowed on Saturday night, so that wiped out my Sunday long run too. PSYCHE! I didn’t want to run then either (not that I WANTED to break my face running and slipping in the snow).

I’m not giving excuses, I just didn’t want to run. And I’ve heard from countless people ‘run when you don’t feel like running’, but, believe me, I REALLY DIDN’T WANT TO RUN.

This week will hopefully be better. Even if it’s not safe to run tomorrow I’m still going to go to Bootcamp and work harder than I usually do to make up for my absence last week (I’ve said it now, I have to).

I’m back on my training game. I promise.

In which we view 'Perspective' (20th March 2012)

20th March 2012:

If running has taught me anything, it is the value of perspective. I mean, I thought I had a pretty good grasp of this, but this ongoing development has solidified and enhanced my existing notions, undoubtedly for the better.
I have a habit of saying “PERSPECTIVE” in a joking tone when I realise how silly something is, but it’s not always a joke and sometimes you have to be a grown up and be serious.

In terms of running, my first experience of differing perspective was with the fact that I LOOK like I could easily run without much struggle, but the reality is I found it extremely uncomfortable up until about 3 weeks ago. So, to the external and internal viewpoints, things were seen quite differently.
My main issue with running and perspective is pace and timing. Again, I look like I can run well but the truth is I pretty much just jog, ambling along on 12 minute miles. I’m comfortable with that, but even then, at times, I’m pushed off the sofa in my comfort zone. Now, I’m very happy with my 12 minute miles, to the point that I’m ecstatic when I manage to run a 10-11 minute mile. I’ve not yet hit a 9-10 minute mile, but I’m not sure that I care. My perspective is that I’m happy with my pacing and I’m going to run a half marathon in 2 weeks’ time. My brother, before he started suffering from shin splints, was running 7.5 minute miles, and was working towards a sub-1.5 hour race in Berlin. I’m not looking to finish the race in sub-anything, or even work out splits to make sure each mile is completed in the right amount of time because my priority is just to FINISH. I’m not a racer, but I’m in for the long-haul. Hopefully, my brother, if he can’t face the pain of racing and finishing fast, will be happy to run with me. I doubt it, even his patience can’t be stretched to jog slowly for nearly 3 hours, but I’d rather he run slow now and save himself the injury and triumphantly smack down a triathlon at the end of this year.

Run Dem, with the help of Charlie, has brought to light several instances where perspective becomes a major theme. I have met some really great people through this community, all of whom have contributed towards my changing attitude and experience of running. Running is by no means an easy thing to do for some people, and because I have always struggled with it, and still continue to do so, it is very comforting to hear that you are not the only one not having fun. More importantly, it is particularly insightful, and refreshing to kick yourself out of that well of self-pity that you might be comfortable rolling around in, when you hear that there are runners within the group that have pulled themselves through remarkable and life-altering circumstances and are back on their feet and running, providing inspiration for others. I feel like I need a new word for ‘inspiration’ because it is in danger of becoming cliché, if it hasn’t already. But, regardless, at the moment, when you hear that you are sharing a bench with a woman who has pulled through cancer, has gone through chemotherapy and other stressful treatments, or a man who has been motionless for weeks due to an accident, you get a healthy, and very welcome, dose of perspective. There are stronger people than me who have experienced more unfortunate things than I have. Most often, I am not in a position to complain, and I do really appreciate everything and everyone that contributes to my life. There is sometimes absolutely nothing better than coming home to beaming parents, cracking jokes about your abysmal run. Times like this I remember friends who don’t have the same privilege and I can value the heartbreak that an individual is suffering. As humans, we aren’t always open to accept other’s plights, but perspective teaches me to never underestimate the weight of another person’s burden.

I have mentioned Candice on several occasions throughout this running journal thingy, but she is a very relevant person in my life in regards to my experiences of running. Not only have I run with her (behind her – she is an awesome pacer), but I have had the opportunity to follow her own progression, albeit only relatively recently in the last 4 or 5 months. She’s running a marathon on each continent, literally running the world. Candice is about to go and smash up the London Marathon in April, probably in batty riders, Raybans and lipstick. More fool you if you step in her way. She is a particularly motivating individual and I owe a lot of my own recent running achievements to her, Orsi and Bangs. These ladies, amongst others, have given me more much appreciated lessons on perspective over the last month or 2. If I could mend broken hearts and find you diamonds, physical and metaphorical, I’d do all that I could. Thank you.

Spikes and Heels

Our home girl Bangs and a Bun returns with her latest venture Spikes and Heels and I must say it’s looking good. The fitness site for bad ass ladies there is nothing pink and fluffy over there and that’s a good thing in our eyes. I get my butt kicked on the regular by speedy girls in the crew and it narks me that much of the marketing aimed towards women seems fascinated by the take it easy and loose some pounds brigade. Run Hard, Run Long, Run Strong. Go peep Spikes and heels here

I love my body. I really do. The more I’ve gotten into fitness over the past few years, the more appreciation I have for it. But last week, I experienced a bit of a wobble in my body confidence and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I became overwhelmed with emotions I haven’t …

This has made me feel a bit better. One step close to actually going to workout today. I have had my gym clothes on for about 90 minutes. Come on Lucy, you can do it.