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Foodage 23 May 2013

23 May

Here’s the food! Yum (maybe)

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Empty porridge bowl. Sorry. Scot oats, banana and blueberries made with water

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Lunch: tuna and baked sweet potato with salad and low fat dressing

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Yogurt for sweet treat

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Morning Snacks. Only had some of the peas

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Afternoon snack before home time

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Dinner: grilled haddock and veg. Was gonna do couscous but I’m lazy

Over and out

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Accountability

23 May

So, I have a confession to make.

I eat. I eat a lot. Mostly I eat good food. Whole grains, high protein, low carbs etc., etc. but sometimes, more often than I should, especially when snacks are involved, I eat poop.

We all know the saying “Abs are made in the kitchen and not the gym” and so really I cant be surprised that I’m not getting the 100% results that I want when I am not putting in 100%.

And yes putting in 100% all of the time is hard but damn it if I want to be fitter and healthier and no longer overweight then I need to work hard at it.

So I was thinking back to the reasons I started this blog. I knew that if I put it out there and made it public then I would be accountable for what I was doing. People would look at my blog and be like, “hey, she is working hard” or “boo, she isn’t putting in the effort”. I rave a lot about the exercise and sport I undertake but not the food I eat.

Therefore, in the interest of transparency I am going to trial something for a couple of weeks.
Once a day in the evening I will post up pictures of the food I have eaten through out the day. And maybe a little description of what it is (in case you can’t tell).

I do a lot of my eating in secret!

I AM A SECRET BINGE EATER. I binge. I can’t eat just one biscuit. I have to have 5 or 6 or more. I went and brought an M and S wrap the other day, one of their summer ploughman’s sausage rolls, then went to costa and got a Belgium chocolate tiffin, I ate all of those before I got on the train back to work.. When I got to Kings Cross I went to Leon and bought a halloumi burger and some popcorn. That was my lunch on Tuesday! Everyone saw me eat the halloumi burger, no one knew about the stuff before.

I have food issues. Maybe I should see someone about it. What is really going on here? Why do I sabotage myself like this? Who knows? Anyway the buck stops with me, so yeah starting this evening a daily blog post of my foodage.

Lemme know what you think 🙂

Ain’t nothing but a (grey)hound dog!

15 May

So, just before the marathon I was running my 5k runs in 27 mins. Since then I haven’t quite gotten the speed back in my legs.
It is definitely time for me to start pushing myself so within Run Dem Crew I have moved up from Fast Hares to Greyhounds.

Hare pace is about 10/10.5min miles – which it felt like I was doing easily. I was leading the groups and we seemed to be getting faster.
Greyhound feels so much faster than that at 8-9min miles.
The definition of a greyhound on the RDC website is:

Greyhounds: 8-9 min/miles

You own a lot of Lycra but like to take your runs at a slightly more leisurely pace than our Cheetah friends. You take in the sights as you run with a nice sprint finish at the end just to make everyone know that you could out run a Cheetah if the need be. Your family think you are a bit odd but appreciate the effort needed to run a 4hr marathon or a sub 50 minute 10k. You’ll never forget the early days in the park when your heart was about to jump out of your chest, but now you can’t imagine life without running a solid 6 miles on a Tuesday night.

Right now I still feel like my heart is about to jump out of my chest.

My first week in Greyhounds I wanted to cry. It was my first proper run after the Marathon. We did bridges and about 5.5 miles. The crew helped me out. I can do the distance and I can pretty much do the speed but it is such a challenge.

I haven’t felt like this in such a long time. It leaves me feeling unsure, inadequate and lacking confidence. I’m used to be upfront and I hate feeling like I might be slowing the pack down.

My second run, last night was still very tough but felt just a little easier than that first week. We ran to the Emirates which was mostly uphill and I think that was what I found the hardest. I was at the back of the pack again but I did it. I never know if people are just being polite but everyone assured me I was running really strong.

Coming back downhill was much easier but I gave myself food for thought on the mind over matter stuff.

Up until the last mile I knew the route and then we diverted away from it on to a path unknown by me. Because of this I found that last mile really hard even though I was feeling quite good until that point. But as soon as we got to the part of the route I knew again I was off again. Ready for a sprint finish.

What I’m also learning is that at the end of the run I’m not on the floor and I’m recovering pretty darn quick which means I can definitely give more. I just need to gain the confidence and belief and if I want to start running my marathons in under 5 hours then I need to be getting the speed in.

This weekend is the Nike/Elle We Own the Night women’s 10k race in Victoria Park. I am hoping for a PB in this race. I am desperate to run it in under 1hour. Even if it is 59mins59seconds. J Im going to be running with my usual ladies and I’m sure we will push each other to success! 6.2miles of amazingness!

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I did it!

14 May

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What can I say.
So much yet so little has happened since my last update.

I ran a fricking a marathon. What a journey it was.

6 months ago I hadn’t run more than 10k. I cant believe how quickly the tide has turned.

What started as a journey for me to lose weight has turned in to what in which all I want to do is better myself and try new things.

When I signed up for the Marathon I was faced with two daunting tasks. Raising £2000 for my chosen charity and actually running the marathon.
So many people have encouraged and help me do both these things with such amazing success. I barely recognise the person I have become.

So many times people thought I was being blasé about the amount of miles I was running each week, but it was only because it was normal because I was training with an amazing bunch of people/

Run Dem Crew has spoilt me. They made me feel that the impossible is possible and that its no biggy. If I could run this marathon then it cant be a big deal. Because I’m the safe person. I don’t really push my boundaries. I quit a lot. I get scared.

On the 21st April I ran a marathon! It was hard but it was also the best fun I have ever had in my life. I got cramp at mile 16 and it stayed with me the whole time. I cried for 2 miles, but at mile 18 I got over it. The pain was there but damn it I had a race to run and failure was not an option. I chucked my desired time out of the window. If you look at the pictures of me on Marathon foto, I am beaming in all of them.

Seeing my family at mile 11 and mile 19 was just what I needed both times. Mum had chips on hand and yumyum!

Hearing people call your name as you “zoom” past them is just amazing. I felt like everyone who called my name had come out to cheer me on personally. Its really keeps you going.

There was epicness at Mile 21 which was the bestest blur of my life. When probably about 100 members of Run Dem Crew cheered us runners through with drums, chocolate and love.
I saw a video where I almost fell to the floor with the explosion of love I felt.

I wouldn’t have gotten through it at all if it wasn’t for Be! I partner in marathon crime who really pushed me when I needed it. We ran miles and miles together in the run up and sang our way for every mile point on the day. To any one who heard two crazy girls belting out “I’ve got 20 more miles to go” So Solid, 21 seconds stylee at the mile points, that was us!

I completed my first marathon, The London Marathon in 5 hours, 38 minutes and 22 seconds. Thank you all for believing in me and supporting me. Giving me hugs and cheers and love

With that now under my belt I’m already signed up for the Bournemouth marathon in October. I really want to prove to myself that I can get under 5 hours.

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3 More Sleeps

18 Apr

Laying here in bed, three more sleeps before quite possibly the biggest day of my life so far.

So many thoughts.

Collected my number and time chip today.

Came home and lounged in my race kit for couple of hours.

I can do this! Can I do this?

I CAN do this.

It’s only 26.2 miles. People keep telling me I am so calm about the distance but people run marathons everyday. Or do they?

Sometimes it feels special, sometimes it feels like I’m doing something loads of people do. What’s the big deal?

People asked if I would still run after Boston. I will run for Boston. No one is going to scare me off MY roads, OUR roads.

I also run for my younger brother and sisters mum who passed away on Tuesday after a long battle with Cancer.

Families are so complicated. My heart is broken for those two children and if what I’m feeling is just a fraction of what they feel then they are the strongest people I know.

I run for my charity, The London Community Foundation. I worked so hard to raise this money for them and I’ll be damned if I fall at the last hurdle.

I run for those who can’t run.

I run for me. This is just another part of my journey on the long road to being the best me I can be.

Three more sleeps and three million more late night thoughts.

Let the taper begin!

2 Apr

Let’s catch up!

I know I’m terrible at blogging at the moment. I worry that I’ll bore you all ha ha.

I’m officially in the tapering zone right now. Eating right and fuelling my body and mind for the 21st April.

The past few weeks have been filled with long runs and my last long run was on Easter morning. 20 miles. It took just under four hours. Feeling really happy with that time.

It’s really interesting how my body has reacted to these runs. I am finding the last one – two miles the hardest each time. But never unreachable goals. I think my body just knows that only 20 more mins or so and I’ll be at the end. It can see the finish line and it’s a bit of mind power to push to the end.

I think my hardest long run was my 15miler. I did it with my cousin the week after Paris. He is quite a lot faster than me and it felt like I pushed it quite hard for that run.

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Running 18 miles in the snow a couple of weeks ago was definitely challenging, mainly because I was trying to stay up right but this was the run that I feel helped me find my pace for Race day. 18 miles in 3hours 27mins. That’s what I like.

The last two miles up hill in to Highgate were something special. And not the good special, but ploughed through it and felt great afterwards.

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My final long run this weekend was of a similar pace. 20miles in 3hours 52mins. We took in a shortened version of the marathon route, doing a circuit of Canary Wharf and up in to the Mall. That took us to 17 miles; we finished with the final few miles along the Thames down to Tower Bridge.

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Man, the end of this run brought with it such relief! The taper has begun.

It’s now time to finish prepping and feeding my mind and body for the biggest physical challenge I have ever undertaken.

A lot of people keep telling me how casual I am about running all these miles. It’s not that I am being blasé, I just don’t think I have fully realised how far 26.2miles is, I’ve tried to comprehend how far I would get if I ran for 26miles outside of London, but it just doesn’t make sense. I was never good with distances at school.

I’ve finished with the fundraising part of the marathon a few weeks ago and having hit my target meant that for these last few weeks the focus on my running has been much less intense and with out worry. Thank you to everyone who donated and who continues to donate. You can add to my epic total here.

Weight wise, I have no idea how much I weight right now. My weight over the past month had gone up and down around the 15st mark. I am extra hungry and probably not making the best food choices after my long runs so therefore I am not seeing results on the scales and I don’t want to feel disheartened about this. So I agreed at the suggestion of the amazing Saz, my weightwatchers leader, that she would weigh me but not tell me the results. This has taken such pressure off let me tell you, but I do need to ensure I am eating correctly in order to be able to fuel my body properly.

And regardless of the scales, I am now pretty firmly into a size 14 clothes wise with a few size 12 dress choices. So I can’t complain.

I am starting to like what I see in the mirror and as a result I am finding myself taking more and more pics of me in my new purchases and sticking them up on instagram. I started to feel a bit narcissistic but then I remembered how I used to feel. Big and bloated and now I don’t. I’m so happy with my progress and I do want to show it off a bit. People keep telling me I need to look at how far I’ve come and I’m starting to believe that.

A friend of mine this morning asked me to post some “top tips”. I can’t really say I have many, apart from this. If you really want to become fitter and healthier and slimmer then you will do it. No matter how hard it gets.

You will eat better, you will train hard. You’ll set your goals and you’ll make sure you hit them because you’ll be so sick of how you currently feel that you’ll have no option but to change.

Seeing and feeling the changes. Feeling unstoppable is the most gratifying thing.

I’m currently reading A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington, as suggested by one of my blog readers the other month. Sitting on the tube reading this book has reduced me to tears thinking about all the things I can push myself to do. I suggest anyone who has goals, reads this book. You just don’t know until you try.

I’ve recently been wondering how I will feel after the Marathon. Will I want to continue running marathons? I do know I want to really push my body to see what it is really capable of. I also know I want to see how many miles I can run in one day. I’m not talking about racing, but if I was to take a long leisurely run with gels and water etc. how far could I really go?

We’ll see aye!

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Happy Birthday to me!

9 Jan

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It’s my Birthday tomorrow. In fact by the time most of you read this it will be my birthday today. Happy birthday me.

I’m turning 28. I’m a proper adult.

I go to work, I pay my bills on time. I go to bed when I’m tired and mostly get up when I have to.

It’s not too shabby.

I also make crazy decisions like running a half marathon and a full marathon within weeks of each other.

The training has fully begun and with some minor adjustments I am doing the following training plan.

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I’ve adjusted to make allowances for Run dem crew on Mondays and Tuesdays and the fact that a friend of mine has recently begun running. She is making such amazing improvements and is so much fun to run with that I can’t give up those lunchtime runs.

I’m making sure I get enough active and total rest.

So far so good….. Apart from the massive panic I had on Monday.

Run a marathon they said. It will be fun they said.

What if I can’t run the marathon? What if I faaaaaaail!

Then I went for a run and felt better. Funny that. Haha bonk.

I’m training well and I’ll run well and there is no way my family, friends and crew will not let me finish that marathon. So I’m cool now 🙂

I got me a marathon mentor. In fact I have many mentors all around me. So many kind offers and advice from seasoned pro’s. I’m lucky.

But I got me a mentor who ran his first marathon for London last year. And his experience is going to show me I can do this.

The Sue and Papa G clubbed together to get me a voucher for runners need. Two new pairs of runners, here I come! Thanks family!

No only do I have to train for this marathon, I have to fundraise for this marathon.

I need to raise £2,000 for my chosen charity, The London Community foundation. And it ain’t gonna be easy. But once again my support network is coming through for me in more ways than I could imagine.

I’m also organising a series of fundraising events.

The first of which is on 2nd February.

An evening of cocktails and fun.

All my UK readers are welcome and it costs £10 to come in.

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I’m also going to be holding a zumbathon, maybe two. Details to follow.

If you would like to donate any prizes to my raffle, please get in touch. Any offers gratefully received.

Sooo, today is the 1st anniversary of my Weightwatchers meeting.

To celebrate, I lost 3.5lbs and finally! Finally can say I weigh 15st exactly. So thats exactly 3stone i’ve lost in my meetings. biggest thanks ever to my Weightwatchers leader, Saz Back and all my supportive friends at the meeting.

Omg! I’m going to be under 15stone!

What? Naaaaaah. Over 18stone and now I’m going to be under 15. Totes amaze mate, totes amaze.

So, in summary.

Happy birthday me!

Sponsor me

Come to my event

Please!

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Leeleegraham

Bye Bye 2012, Hello 2013.

2 Jan

Wow. What a difference a year can make.

2nd of January 2012 I was upset and fed up. I felt angry and disappointed that I had allowed myself to become so unhealthy and fat. I was 18stone 3lbs.

I’d just spent almost two weeks eating and drinking myself in to a state of pure glutton.

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I decided to take action… I joined weightwatchers, I took up running and I set goals.

It’s been really, really hard. I’ve cried, I’ve had temper tantrums, I’ve been lazy, I’ve put on weight and I’ve eaten more pizza than I should have.

I’ve also laughed, bought clothes 4 sizes smaller than the size 20 trousers I was wearing a year ago, I’ve run 10k races, I’ve run over 10miles in one sitting, can feel bones that have been hidden for years. I’ve challenged myself and I have won!!!

People have not recognised me. People have been stunned my the change in me, not only have I lost weight and gained health, I’m so much more happier with life.

This New Year’s Eve, people who last saw me a year ago at my biggest stopped me and told me what an amazing change. I lost count of the people who looked totally shocked when they saw me. Is that the same girl? Yes darling, it’s me. People actually stopped me to say “wow”. My ego has been well and truly stroked, but it has also shown me that I can not go back to that again. I don’t want to be the “big girl” any more.

It’s very strange though. My face has changed a lot. There are times when I don’t recognise myself in the mirror. It’s still my face but the puffy roundness has gone. My cheeks and jaw line seem to have changed slightly. Maybe that’s my imagination.

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I couldn’t have done this with out the masses of support I have received from my friends, family and those reading this, my tweets and supporting me.
I want to shout out so many names but I’ll be here all day, so I’ll do those who with out a single shadow of a doubt I would, no scrap that, COULD not have done this with out.

Chris, Charlene A, Rochelle, Saz, The Sue, Papa G, C-Hoolz, Angel, Jane, Sabrina and so many more.

A big thank you to all of you who have shared the past year with me.

So, what now…?

· I keep going. Marathon/Half marathon training is in full effect. I have my plan and it’s time to get serious. I want to finish the marathon in under 5 hours. Erm, actually, I just want to finish it haha.

· I want to be the fittest I’ve ever been

· I want to hit my goal weight.

Tonight was my first weigh in of the year.
At my last weigh in I was 15st 3.5lbs.

Over Christmas I decided that I would allow myself from the 22nd to the 26th to eat what I wanted. With out being a total pig but to not stress about what was going in my mouth and to enjoy it.

I weighed on the 26th and was at 15stone 6lbs. Not the end of the world.
Where I am now is my new starting point for the year.

This is day one!

And on the 2nd of January 2013, I weigh back at 15stone 3.5lbs

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So let’s go, I’ve just finished one amazing year, I cant wait to get started on the second.

Thank you so much to all of you who have read my blog, who have commented, who have inspired me and have never let me give up. It’s amazing to have you by my side going forward…

Merry Christmas! Yay

24 Dec

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My plan is to full enjoy the next two days. I won’t be going mad but I will be enjoying myself and so should all of you.

See you in a couple of days for my review of the year.

Xxxx

The Run Dem Crew Gunfinger 10k

16 Dec

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I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I seem to be freely giving up my time to run.

Something’s changed inside. I hope it lasts because I’m going to need this to pull me through marathon training, but currently I’m actually enjoying giving up my time to run.

I’ve gone from want to sleep all day on a Saturday and Sunday to having my alarm set at 7am to be ready to run nice and early. Wonders never cease.

My most recent early rising was the the first official, unofficial run dem crew 10k.

A point to point race covering 6ish miles across the city of Landan town.

Ensuring I did as I said I would and actually turned up, I arranged to meet a fellow RDC west friend before the race and we said we would run together. Motivation and all that. Which led me to being at Old street at 9am on a Saturday morning.

The start point was Shutter bug, just off Rivington Place in shoreditch.

Even though this was a race I decided that thinking of it as a race would put a lot of pressure on me so I approached it like a normal Monday or Tuesday run, I was going to have fun.

I was aware that I was likely to be one of the last in. So a small group of us got together and hit the start line.

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The starting horn/whistle/I dunno went off and we were off.

The whole group started very fast.

One thing I’ve learnt recently is that if I start too fast then I’m doomed. So I tried to slow it down a little but it wasn’t happening. No time to moan though, just run init.

We hit check point after check point. Macdonalds Liverpool street, the millennium bridge, Waterloo skate park, Fabric night club, look mum no hands – a bike shop, and finally a sculpture called the button near shoreditch.

Knowing we were the last group to hit the check points we stopped and grabbed a picture at every point. Why not ay?

It was tiring. I was running faster than usual for this distance but I could do it, nothing hurt, or ached I was just out of breath. Keep it going Leeanne.

I had a slight guilt that I was slowing my group up but that went very quickly, they weren’t miles ahead of me at anytime, we were all running the same pace and I had constant support and encouragement for Lyric L and Ash. Thanks ladies.

After we reached the Button it was a sprintable distance to the finish line.

Lets push it we all said. My energy reserves were low but I pushed, I saw them zooming off ahead of me. I “sprinted” as fast as I could but man it was hard. As I came upon Rivington Place it seemed to be snowing. That was a but surreal.

I turned the corner and heard cheers! I was last but there, before the finish line was Lyric L waiting for me. She ran with me across the finish line. What a friend. I’ll never forget that.

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Last in, but first place in my head.

We did 5.91miles in 1hour, so faster than I’ve done before. Happy leelee.

The atmosphere after was of such triumph. I did have a little cry when no one could see.

Not only that, as I keep on finding out, it’s not how fast you go, but how you cross the finish line. I crossed with gunfingers blazing.

I finished the morning with a fantastic crepe and peppermint tea care of Shutterbug. Do pop in if you’re in the area. It’s right by Cargo.

And I got a medal. I win! Haha

Thank you Charlie Dark and the Run Dem Crew. Keep on pushing me!

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