So, this is a new style of blog post for me. KATIE WOO UPDATE: I’ve now signed up (been signed up for) the Relish Running Two Tunnels 10km Race in July!

I wouldn’t consider myself a runner AT ALL. I love exercise and enjoy pushing myself, but when it comes to running I fail. I either get bored/ get stitch after 2/3 mins of running/ feel wheezy when running in chilly weather and usually only make it a mile and then stop. So I wouldn’t say I’ve had a positive relationship with “going for a run”.

I’ve always considered myself a short burst runner kinda gal. I enjoy high intensity workouts, for example British Miltary Fitness. This may be an hour long class but the exercises are varied and change quickly. I love this as it keeps you on your toes. This is why I also really enjoy JUICEHIIT in the Park too (can’t wait for the outdoor sessions to start up again).

— Recommend both of these! Check out British Military Fitness & JUICEHIIT by ToniqLife (both located in Royal Victoria Park)

Now, back to running — the exercise I am really concerned about. Since I’ve signed up to run the race I’m already feeling the nerves that I won’t enjoy it at all.

Will I ever get a runners high?!

The reason I’m inspired and actually said yes for once:

This lovely chap is UltraRunnerBean. Since seeing his running campaign 2017for2017 where he ran a ridiculous amount of miles in one year – completing multiple ULTRA marathons, and just a casual half marathon, plus even MORE – made me see how incredible it is to achieve such big physical and mental running challenges. The reason he ran so much was for so much more than just a personal goal/achievement, it was to raise money and awareness towards mental health charities like MIND and CALM. His running achievements also helped him with his own mental health journey too, breaking through the barriers both physically and mentally in everyday training and throughout these challenging races. He’s seen the effects of running has had on his mental and physical health and is really keen to shout about how much running is great for everyones mental wellbeing.

I can in no way follow in his footsteps – not at all – but it has inspired me to run. Not only to raise money for charities close to my heart, but also discover how running can be a life changer. I’m excited to see how running can help my mental health journey too!

UltraRunnerBean (Rob) will help me with training for this 10km race (because obviously this race will be a doddle for him!). I hope he doesn’t think he’s going to make my into a Ultra Runner after this… (talking to you Rob!).

The 2 things I know are key in my first steps of becoming a better runner are:

  1. To Eat Better

A healthier lifestyle will help me so much – I’ve already witnessed the evidence being around UltraRunnerBean. After his most recent ULTRA MARATHON! 33 miles! (I KNOW!) The next day I thought I would be waiting on him hand and foot, bringing him food (and I was going to say rubbing his feet – but nah, not RUNNERS FEET!! Ew!). But I thought I would be looking after him for days! But nope – INSTEAD, he was out walking my dog with me and kept moving the whole day. He links this to his plant-based diet – helping his muscles recover a lot quicker and his diet giving him so much more energy.

So… not that I’m becoming fully plant-based – not going to happen – but I aiming to eat more of a plant-based diet to see the results for myself (ah damn it, Easter is coming up — definitely going to need to run with the amount of Easter Eggs I’m planning to consume).

2. Wear Better Trainers

The most important thing to prevent injury and to properly support my feet is to check whether my trainers are up to it too. You don’t want trainers that are too tight, too loose, or have lost their cushioning inside (such as mine). As much as this is an extra cost to buy new trainers I think it’s worth it – especially for my FIRST big race.

So, I am doing this!

I AM DOING THIS – keep telling myself. I have to now – I’ve signed up AND written a blog post about it… AH! SHIT.

I will be giving your little running updates about how my training is going. Plus, check out the boyfs blog – UltraRunnerBean – for more training updates, from someone who knows what they are talking about.

From a non-runner to a “slightly better, who won’t get stitch” runner. Let’s see how I do – and whether my body is up for this.

Any advice appreciated so feel free to message me or comment on my social media.

Much love (and hello again, from the blogging sphere… it’s good to be back!)


Joy can be “terrifying”: How To Practice Gratitude

[Video at the end]

“Cultivating gratitude and joy: “Letting go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark”

I thought I had worked out how to feel truly grateful and not take things for granted, but I think, after watching this video, I have been kidding myself. Do I really enjoy those moments of happiness fully? Or does that niggling thought of, “what if this never happens again… what if I don’t see them again… what if, what if” creep in and take over? Those feelings definitely hover around my mind in moments of happiness and joy which means that I’m not truly enjoying the moment.

I can’t believe just one YouTube video would make it so crystal clear and give me a new outlook on how to practice gratitude.

Dr. Brene Brown and Oprah discuss Dr. Browns book, “Daring Greatly” and highlight the “Guideposts for Wholehearted Living”.

No. 3 – Cultivating gratitude and joy: “Letting go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark”

Dr. Brown explains that “when we lose our tolerance for vulnerability, joy becomes foreboding” – because we are scared joy will be taken away if we don’t acknowledge the other, darker thoughts; meaning that we never fully LEAN INTO those joyful moments, just in case we never have it again.

Even writing that out helps it make sense to me. If we NEVER fully allow ourselves to feel joy, enjoy the moment, and feel truly happy, then we restrict ourselves from living a joyful life – and we do not deserve that!

“In moments of joyfulness we try to beat vulnerability to the punch”

Key Moment:

3.22 seconds in

Another key moment in this discussion was when Dr. Brown mentioned what a man once said to her about being joyful.

“My whole life, I never got too excited, too joyful  about anything – just stayed in the middle – that way, if things didn’t work out I wasn’t devastated and if they did work out it was a pleasant surprise.”

Writing and reading it back on here has really clicked with me and it seems so silly that many of us (including myself) actually follow his way of thinking without realising.

Then Dr Brown mentioned that after this man lost his wife in a car accident he then said to her:

“the second I realised that she was gone, the first thing I thought was, I should have leaned harder into those moments of joy because that did not protect me from what I feel right now”

Dr. Brown mentions that some of us seem to dress rehearse tragedy, to protect and shield ourselves from bad things BUT this is not the way to live a full, happy life. Instead, all we need to do is practice gratitude.

“Once you actively practice gratitude you go through the day looking for it.”

It made so much sense when she mentioned that a lot of people, after losing someone they love, actually miss the ordinary, smaller, day to day things, rather than the extraordinary things.

So really, it can be so easy to practice gratitude everyday, from the moment you wake up to the people you meet throughout your day. The ordinary things in life should not be taken for granted and by actively practicing gratitude and thinking positively you can then enjoy those moments of joy and happiness fully – shutting out those thoughts of fear and negativity in the background.

It sounds so simple – and it is – but I think for myself and maybe you too, it does take time to train yourself, to slap those negative feelings in the face in moments of joyfulness.

Hope you get as much out of the video as I did. Enjoy!