Tunes on Tuesday – The Disney Edit

Many studies have shown that working out to music can have a number of positive effects and help us to push ourselves further. Music is also strongly linked to personal memories and hearing certain tracks can transport us to a particular moment in time. In this occasional series of posts, I’d like to introduce some of my favourite tracks from my workout playlist and share some of the memories they have given me.

Well hey there! It’s been a while since I’ve shared a Tunes on Tuesday post since these days I tend to focus on podcasts rather than music as my listening material of choice when I run, but after an experience this morning I felt inspired to write a little something.

My Disney playlist

Throughout the month of March 2021 I have been taking part in a Daily Mile challenge. No big deal there since I have been running every day for just over a year now, but alongside the challenge I have been ticking off mini challenges on a bingo card each day. Today, it was listen to music.

Sounds simple, right? But for me this posed more of a challenge than I expected.

Since I no longer listen to music when I’m running, I don’t actually keep any music on my phone so I was going to have to download something. I had plenty of space on my phone so there was no issue there, but what would I actually download? I still have a running playlist but it’s super long so I would probably have to be a bit selective. Yet when I started to think about it I didn’t feel a huge draw to this option as I remembered having tired of some of the songs in there after listening to them one time too many. This was when inspiration struck: I have a Disney playlist.

For the last year since Covid began to impact our lives, Disney has been my go-to, my happy place. I’ve watched Disney movies, shared my ear collection on instagram, listened to podcasts, watched vlogs and just generally immersed myself in the House of Mouse. What better thing to do on my run than listen to some uplifting Disney tunes?

Decision made, I had a quick scan over the tracks in my playlist to make sure they were all songs I wanted to listen to, then hit download. I gave the whole thing no further thought until this morning when I was getting ready to run.

Maybe it was because I’m on holiday this week so feeling rested. Maybe it was because the sun was shining and the temperature had crept up to T-shirt weather. Whatever it was, rather than just grab whatever kit I spotted in the drawer, I realised that I should match my kit to my music to create a theme. Cue my 2018 Disneyland Paris half marathon top paired with my favourite Minnie-inspired shorts:

With everything in place, I hit shuffle on my playlist and headed off. I expected to have a nice run in the sunshine listening to some of my favourite Disney tunes, but what I got was something more.

So caught up was I in listening to the songs, I hadn’t considered the way that Disney knows how to manipulate our emotions. This is true of the movies, the music and the theme parks. Added to that, I have a lot of memories tied to Disney, including running memories, which are sure to come to the surface when I’m running and listening to Disney music. As a result, I experienced a range of emotions during this run.

At first, I felt really happy. I was out in the sunshine, feeling fresh and mouthing along with the lyrics (at least I hope I was only mouthing the lyrics and not singing out loud ha!). The fates delivered me Hakuna Matata first and that’s such a cheery song.

In the second mile I had the steepest hill of my planned route and my phone decided this was the perfect moment for Let It Go. Actually every moment is the perfect moment for Let It Go, but it certainly does put a spring in your step to run up a hill. Yet as I tuned into those lyrics, I did feel a moment of high emotion, the kind where I might just cry but then am fine again right away. THAT is the emotional effect of Disney for me.

During my third mile it was Hercules who got me. Go the Distance is a classic for any Disney-themed running playlist as the lyrics are perfect inspiration:

I’ll be there someday, I can go the distance
I will find my way if I can be strong
I know every mile would be worth my while
When I go the distance, I’ll be right where I belong

Yup, I CAN go the distance. It reminded me of the mindset for long training runs for marathons past and digging in to reach the finish line of tough races. Not necessarily Disney-related this time, but it still connected me to strong emotional moments.

And that was how things continued. As my phone shuffled through the tracks in my playlist I felt happy, I felt sad, I felt nostalgic. I remembered Disney trips of the past. I remembered the emotions of running in Disneyland Paris. I remembered the emotions of visiting Disneyland Paris last summer when Covid cases were sufficiently under control not just to allow travel, but to persuade someone as risk-averse as me that it would be ok to be away from home for a couple of nights. I remembered my 2020 experiences of creating my own homemade magic in May and September. So many memories and so many emotions.

By the time I arrived home I had run 5 miles, listened to almost an hour of Disney music and was riding a high of endorphins that had me thinking about the impact that playlist had on my emotions – so much so that I did a bit of internet searching to see if I could find out more about what it is that causes it. I’m sure far more knowledgeable people than me can explain it better, but I’ve got my own theories:

  • Disney is all about fantasy, a place where young and old can be distracted from the realities of the real world for a while. We need this more than ever right now.
  • Our experience of Disney is often rooted in childhood and nostalgia. The films don’t shy away from heart-rending moments (Bambi’s mum, Mufasa) and we accompany characters through the best and worst of times. That creates those extremes of emotion that keep us coming back.
  • The films are anchored by their music and that music tends to stand the test of time e.g. the music of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is over 80 years old but I bet you’re singing Heigh Ho now that I’ve mentioned it!
  • There’s some kind of “secret sauce” in the way the music is composed. It’s what creates the perfect blend of lyrics, key changes and soaring crescendoes. This, too, gets tied to our emotions and hearing a song again will trigger a similar reaction to when we have heard it before.

All of this to say, it was a run that felt different to any I’ve had for a while. It was nostalgic, it made me smile and it led to a welling up of emotions… I loved it! Safe to say that as far as I’m concerned Running + Disney = Perfect!!

Please note that under UK Athletics rules, racing with headphones whilst on open roads is banned. If you choose to train with headphones, please be careful and make sure you are aware of your surroundings at all times.

Feel free to share your favourite workout tracks in the comments below…

Friday Finds – 24th April

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

Everyone ok? I’m back to let you know that today is definitely Friday (I checked!) and share a few bits and pieces of reading material to help you pass the time. Mind you, lots of outlets really are working hard to keep the content coming to stave off boredom right now. In some ways, I quite like it (but having a bit more freedom wouldn’t go wrong!).

Let’s start with a few recent bits related to the current global pandemic and its impact on running and fitness:

This piece by Matt Lindner for Medium really resonated with me as I recognise so much of what he covers – the empty streets, the feeling of being the only one about and the opportunity to shift the time that I run so there’s not quite such an early start. Running and other workouts are definitely one of the things helping to keep me in balance right now and I know I’m not alone in that

Also in Medium, Rui Bento reflects on his marathon journey on a day when he should have been running his next. While I didn’t have a spring marathon planned this year, I did have running plans and have found some comfort in remembering previous race experiences. How about you?

Meanwhile Runner’s World reports on another unusual lockdown marathon – this time INSIDE a Premier Inn. I just don’t think I could face it!

As well as highlighting the ways in which being fit can help to protect us against the most severe symptoms of Covid-19.

Moving to other topics, this next piece is a bit older (from last autumn) and I’m trying hard to overlook the use of a capital ‘P’ when “parkrun” is all lower case, but the part that stands out to me most right now is about the idea of devotion to parkrun, the community spirit and group identity people gain from being a parkrunner. That’s even more obvious just now as people seek ways to create makeshift parkruns in their gardens or replicate the post-run coffee with video calls. From parkrun itself there is the weekly quiz and other online content designed to keep that spirit alive. I just wish it hadn’t taken a pandemic for us to truly realise that it always was so much more than a run.

If you’re looking for a longer read then the BBC published this piece profiling everyone’s favourite marathon runner, Eliud Kipchoge.

And finally, we may not be racing any time soon, but we can still amuse ourselves with some race-related pet peeves. Anything you would add to this list? For me it’s the “unisex” (not a thing) race T-shirt which invariably looks like a tent on me and cannot ever be worn. There are still too many race organisers who need to learn that women are not small men and produce appropriate items – after all, we’re paying the same entry fee. (Yes, this one REALLY annoys me!).

Stay safe. Be kind. Wash your hands.
The Running Princess 

Friday Finds – 10th April

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

By some miracle, I figured out that it’s Friday and therefore time for a post. I don’t know about you, but I’m really struggling to differentiate between the days now and I’m not seeing that change any time soon. Still, the thing to be grateful for is being safe and well – hopefully you are too,

Let’s begin with a few recent pieces related to the current Covid-19 situation:

Some comment from Runner’s World on the increasingly prevalent number of runners taking on challenges like running a marathon in their garden:

As well as the reasons why so many of us need to run right now. Perhaps some of these resonate with you:

And if you’re worried that running may be removed as an option, Martin Fritz Huber reports on what that’s like in some parts of the world:

As well as giving us the inside story on the rather bonkers Quarantine Backyard Ultra:

Meanwhile Alex Hutchinson has written about the relationship between exercise and the immune system:

And Sophie Raworth has shared a series of photos depicting an eerily empty London as she runs to work at the BBC each day:

Moving away from Coronavirus, we have Alex Hutchinson explaining why sleep is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal when it comes to improving performance:

RunRepeat published a breakdown of all the benefits we get from running, ranging from the immediate to the super long term:

And finally a heartwarming story of how everyday runners in one English town have found a fantastic way to spread happiness. What a great idea!

Stay safe. Be kind. Wash your hands.
The Running Princess 

Friday Finds – 1st November

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

Hello and welcome to November! Where did that sneak up from? Hopefully you have a fun weekend planned, but while you’re snuggled up keeping cosy, here’s a bit of reading material for you.

One thing to keep an eye on this weekend is the New York marathon. And while the elite race is sure to be exciting, like many city marathons it’s the other stories to emerge from the event which can be far more interesting. Take this one for example. How can you not be inspired by an 86 year old woman running her 17th New York marathon (she ran her first aged 69)? What an incredible story! I would LOVE to still be running (and enjoying my running) in my 80s!

Speaking of marathons, I found this next piece really interesting. I know I’m not the only one to have felt an overwhelming surge of emotions at a marathon finish line, so it was good to learn a little more about just why that happens. I have to say, I’m also one of those people who wells up a little in Disney Parks (not always when I’m running!) so I guess the theories can be applied to other aspects of life too. What are your thoughts?

Interestingly, that wasn’t the only piece I came across this week linking running and crying, leading me to wonder if everyone is out there sobbing and sniffling as they run! Normally running makes me feel fantastic, but I’ll admit to a a couple of occasions when I’ve been dealing with some emotional “life stuff” and a run has kind of unlocked the tears. Have you ever cried during a run?

Meanwhile, after recent high-profile marathon runs, footwear – more specifically the Nike shoes worn in Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-2 hour run – continue to generate interest and stimulate debate. I’ve listened to a number of commentators and read various pieces all discussing this topic and can’t help feeling that it is at it’s core a technological advancement akin to those seen in other sports. It’s just that this development has resulted in a significant gain in a short period of time, thus courting controversy. That said, I’m happy to consider both sides of the argument and found this well-crafted piece by Geoffrey Burns to be an excellent examination of the shoe debate.

And finally, on the topic of Eliud Kipchoge’s historic run, have you seen this video in which Olympian Nick Symmonds demonstrates just how incredible a feat it was? So good to see athletes at that level feeling just like we mere mortals do when pushing our limits!

Happy reading,
The Running Princess  

Friday Finds – 18th October

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

What a week! There are really only 2 stories to cover right now – Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-2 hour marathon and Brigid Kosgei breaking the women’s marathon record in Chicago the following day. An amazing weekend for marathon running which really showed what can happen when we push the boundaries in training and kit design. So for this week, I’m going to simply gather together some of the writing I’ve been looking at on each of these feats, both of which have attracted praise and criticism alike. Personally, I found it really exciting and felt so emotional when Kipchoge crossed the finish line. I’d love to know your thoughts on these historic events.

Eliud Kipchoge

Brigid Kosgei

And finally, a little 1:59-based humour:

Happy reading,
The Running Princess

Week In Review – Bonjour Encore!

Believe it or not, this post actually brings me up to date with my weekly roundups – the only one still to write is the week we’re on right now! Through circumstance, the first week of the holidays was a “down” week in terms of training (but certainly still a very active week since I was in Paris!). It was a really fun week, but very little training to speak of:

Monday – Disneyland Paris
Tuesday – Paris
Wednesday – travel home
Thursday – Ashtanga yoga
Friday – rest
Saturday – parkrun open sandwich
Sunday – 8 miles

Yes, you read that right, my week began with a return to my happy place: Disney! This was a new addition to our trip itinerary and it looks set to become a permanent feature after everyone had such a brilliant day. Although some Scottish schools were on holiday, it was far from all areas and English schools weren’t on half term yet. It being a Monday meant locals with annual passes were likely to be at work so in comparison to our visit on Run Weekend the parks were much quieter. This meant I was able to tick loads of attractions off my list, pick up some bits and pieces of shopping I had put off, and see the fireworks (although there was a bit of a technical snag there and for a good 10 minutes I thought they weren’t going to happen. Not going to lie, if I hadn’t been with pupils I would probably have been in tears after I sacrificed the fireworks for sleep on Run Weekend!). It was odd being back there so soon, but I did find the layout of the park felt much more familiar (it is not the same as the Magic Kingdom in Florida) which probably helped me to move quite swiftly through the things I wanted to do whilst still soaking up those magical vibes. Stand by for photos!!

I’ve never actually arrived this way before as I’ve stayed on property and only seen this from a flyover during the half marathon.

The “Ear Rule” was applied!






Lunch. Yes I did order this. Yes it was tasty.

And for the record, although it was covered up by my trip hoody, I was wearing this top:

In one shop a cast member took one look at me in my Beauty and the Beast-inspired leggings, Briar Rose Gold mouse ears and Arendelle Aqua Loungefly backpack (see below) and said, “so you’re a big Disney fan then?” It took every ounce of control I possessed not to reply with, “duh!” or similar 😂

Not me, but since I do have all these Arendelle Aqua items, it easily could be!

Photo Source:

That was probably my favourite day of the whole trip – and the one where there was no rain! Sadly Tuesday was forecast to be the wettest and that is exactly how it panned out, but luckily we had mainly indoor things on our itinerary for the the day.

We started at the Musée d’Orsay, a former railway station which is now an art gallery. I last visited here on my own school trip to Paris (more years ago than I care to count!) and remember enjoying the Impressionist art, so after a restorative cup of tea, that’s exactly where we headed.

From there, I walked the group along the Rive Gauche (left bank of the River Seine) to let them see some of the book/souvenir stalls (bouqinistes) and crossed back to the Rive Droite (right bank) on the Pont des Arts, which until recently was the bridge associated with love locks. Now, the railings have been replaced by perspex panels to prevent people attaching padlocks to them as there were concerns about the weight eventually causing them to fall into the water, potentially causing serious injury since the river frequently has an array of different kinds of boat on it. It’s still a nice pedestrian bridge and a nice spot to view the river and its banks.

This bridge delivers us right to the Louvre and we spent a few minutes getting some photos around the pyramid before heading along Rue de Rivoli to our destination: the Forum des Halles, a huge shopping centre which I can find ok, but I ALWAYS get lost within it’s labyrinthine floors! (Although I can find the Pandora store, so that covers the essentials 😂)

Having sent the pupils on their way, the staff headed to a pavement cafe where we sat under umbrellas, warmed by outdoor heaters, and had some lunch while we watched people scurrying out of the rain. I had hoped for more onion soup but sadly it wasn’t on the menu so I settled for a club sandwich which was really tasty.

Satisfied, we went our separate ways for a bit of shopping. I had a couple of things on my list but took care of those quite quickly so ended up marvelling at some of the creations in the Lego Store.

Around there I bumped into one of my colleagues so we went off for a cup of tea at the cafe beside our meeting point, finishing just in time to meet the rest of the group to head back to the centre for dinner – probably my least favourite selection of the trip as the fish was really bony and not well cooked, the rice wasn’t the best and the veg was cold. At least they had that nice dessert on again!

For our final night, we headed over to the Notre Dame area. Following the fire the actual cathedral is blocked off while it is restored, but we still wanted to have a chance to see it and there are lots of other things to do in the area. Our first port of call was one of my favourite places: Shakespeare & Co bookshop. Not only is it an iconic location, but there is a resident cat called Aggie who is most definitely the boss!

The staff then headed to a nearby cafe for a refreshment and most of the pupils went off to find snacks and souvenirs before heading back to the centre and bed.

Sadly it ended up being quite a late night as we had to solve a problem (not caused by our pupils but affecting them) and with the typically laid-back attitude of the French when it comes to getting things sorted out, this took much longer than it needed to. I can tell you I was not pleased when my alarm went off the next morning.

We weren’t due to be collected from the centre until around noon so had considered heading out on some kind of walk/excursion, but it was clear that the pupils just needed a chance to chill out after several busy days – as did we after our late night! We had to check out of our rooms, but luggage was kept in the baggagerie and there was a fairly nice cafe and seating area, so the couple of hours we had actually passed really quickly. To be honest, it felt like no time at all before we were back at the airport, dropping off the bags and picking up some food to see us until our arrival home.

A highlight of the flight was that this time I was on the left of the plane so saw the daytime view of the Eiffel Tower from the air to complement the night-time view I had when I arrived for Run Weekend. That felt like a nice way to round things off.

Everything went pretty smoothly and by 7:30pm we were back at school and delivering the pupils safely back to their parents. A really nice touch was one parent who turned up with flowers for the staff members to thank them for taking time out of their holiday to take her daughter to Paris. So thoughtful!

My only stop after that was to pick up a Chinese takeaway on my way home since Steve wasn’t going to be in much before me and we didn’t have anything in shopping-wise since I was away. Then I headed for a bath before bed. Wine DEFINITELY needed!

After all that I was EXHAUSTED. I didn’t see much need to run on the Thursday, preferring to get plenty of sleep and tackle some of those real-life errands teachers have in the holidays like getting a dental check-up – quite a comedown from being in Paris!

I did, however, make a point of going to Ashtanga since I wanted to stretch out after all the walking around. I also finally swallowed my pride and asked to be supported for the headstand. Perhaps getting used to being in the posture again, with some help, will be useful in getting me back to doing them solo again. It can’t hurt!

Then on Friday I ended up having another rest day. My errand for the day was my annual flu jab and my arm always hurts a little after so I didn’t bother asking Steve for a session. Instead I made some effort to unpack (properly this time!) and get myself organised. This included opening up this year’s edition of “Nope” magazine from the London Marathon. This year it may as well say “hard cheese” given the image they selected! 😂

By Saturday I was ready to get back to it. Steve was RD at parkrun so he drove down earlier with a warm top etc for me and I ran down. This was the day that Eliud Kipchoge completed his amazing sub-2 hour marathon and in my determination not to miss a minute of it, I actually ran there whilst still streaming the live feed (parkrun in Scotland is at 9:30am, I leave by about 9am latest to run down and he was due to finish at 9:15am so I knew I would probably be arriving, or just about arriving, when he finished). You should have seen me trying to look at my phone screen every time I had to pause to cross a road! By some miracle I reached parkrun without tripping, falling or otherwise making a fool of myself, so there’s that.

I had a fairly good run considering I hadn’t run in over a week. A little slower than I would have liked, but it was actually quite windy which definitely made a difference. I was just happy to be there and enjoyed my run.

I helped to sort the tokens while I waited for Steve, then donned my extra layers while the run was finishing up (I was back in my shorts again after that one super-cold day of capris right at the end of term). Steve being RD meant we headed to the cafe for a bacon roll while he processed the results.

Had to take my own picture since Steve was busy 😂

Then it was back to the usual Saturday glamour of food shopping. Oh take me back to Paris!

I spent the afternoon getting myself up to date with Strictly Come Dancing (to be honest, with two trips to Paris I had pretty much been a bit behind from week 1, but had somehow managed to avoid any spoilers. First world problems lol!). And for those wondering, the kitties definitely missed me while I was away, so much so that Smokey has suddenly become a lap cat – this wasn’t part of his repertoire before I left!

For my Sunday run I had considered 10 miles but ultimately decided that this should naturally become a cutback week since I hadn’t run much, and 8 miles would therefore be ideal. I headed out to the path through the woodland park which I like and just kept the pace easy. It felt good to stretch things out with a run after lots of walking. And yes, still in shorts.

So there you have it. Not much running or training but a super-fun week nonetheless. I mean I was in both Paris AND Disney – how could it be anything other than fantastique!

What was the best school trip you ever went on?
Are you in your winter running kit yet?

Friday Finds – 11th October

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

It’s been a couple of weeks since the last Friday Finds and oh boy there’s a lot going on in the running world! There’s plenty of time to come back to many of the big stories, so for this post I’m going to focus on Eliud Kipchoge and the INEOS 1:59 marathon attempt taking place this weekend.

First off, the details. It was announced earlier today that the attempt will take place at 08:15 Vienna time which is 07:15 here in the UK. Here are the things you need to know:

Of course the route is of great interest as every fraction of a second counts. So here’s Alex Hutchinson with a bit of critical course analysis:

Kipchoge’s previous assault on the sub-2 mark was covered closely by writer Ed Caesar so I think it fitting that we hear from him again. He shared his thoughts in The New Yorker:

We all know I enjoy a little bit of running science, so here are some of the details of what will hopefully make history:

And finally, I’m sure there will be many sources available to watch the attempt live, but the official YouTube channel should be an accessible one for all. Will you be watching?

Here’s to history!
The Running Princess

Friday Finds – 23rd August

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

Hello! Sorry for missing my Friday Finds post last week. The kitties threw a bit of a spanner in the works as one of them was unwell and had to stay at the vet for a night, which really knocked my routine off. Everything is fine now, no need to worry, and when I finish catching up with my Week In Review posts the details will be in there for those interested.

But now let’s get to a bit of reading material to start your weekend…

First, a story I’ve seen shared online a lot in the last couple of weeks. We have seen a growing number of ultra races being won outright by female competitors and that’s exactly what happened at the Green Lakes Endurance Run 50k. Runner Ellie Pell won the race, thus being awarded both the prize for the overall winner and the first female. So far so good, however the organisers had expected the winner to be a man, so when the first placed male finished (in second position overall) there was no prize for him. If I’m honest, I’m not sure how to feel about this one. On the one hand, I’m thrilled that there was a female winner, but on the other hand it irritates me that this was so unexpected. What are your thoughts?

Next, let’s turn to a story I’m keeping an eye on at present. I’m quite excited to follow Eliud Kipchoge’s new attempt to break 2 hours in the marathon and it was recently announced that Norway’s Ingebrigtsen brothers, who have made a real name for themselves on the track, will be part of the pacing team. This could be shaping up to be a really exciting event!

Speaking of marathons, it looks like Strava has once more studied its vast store of data to come up with some advice for marathon training, as well as for forming healthy habits. I don’t think their conclusions really surprise me (although the headline is maybe a little misleading), but a reminder is never a bad thing!

Someone who has spent a lot of time training is Max Glover, who recently completed a marathon whilst pulling a 1.7 tonne BMW!! He undertook this crazy feat as a fundraiser after a friend’s illness, and there are just so many things to love about this story: he ran wearing an ancient pair of Converse shoes that he had to SUPERGLUE the night before; he only trained for 2 weeks to get ready for the challenge and he covered the 26.2 mile distance in a little under 22 hours! I don’t think I could move a BMW as much as 26.2 centimetres, so this is an amazing thing to accomplish. Well done Max Glover!

And finally, if you’ve ever wondered who would win in a race between a parkour athlete and a police dog, here’s the BBC to answer the question for you. Who do you think it will be?

Happy Reading,
The Running Princess  

Friday Finds – 14th June

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

Hola! Yes, it really is me! You may have noticed that the blog has been on a bit of a hiatus while work and life were really busy. I’ve had my head down just working my way through things and now that it’s all a bit more settled, it’s time to get back to my regular posting schedule. So without any further ado, here are some of the things that have been catching my eye…

I’m going to start this post with a sad one. You may have seen already that US elite runner Gabe Grunewald died earlier this week at the age of 32. I first learned of Gabe and her story on Mario Fraioli’s Morning Shakeout podcast and as the final days of that story played out, I found I couldn’t stop thinking about how inspiring she had been and what a loss this is. I was touched by the number of runners sending her messages of love and my heart goes out to her husband Justin as he embarks on a new journey in life. One thing to take away from this is that we should all be #bravelikegabe.

Moving away from sad stories, something I found really interesting earlier in June was the results of a study into the limits of human endurance. We live in a time when it feels like someone is always pushing for more, to see how far they can push themselves, but there must, of course, be some kind of a limit. According to this study, it comes down to calories burned and how sustainable the metabolic rate is. Here’s a BBC article that sets out the findings. Worth a read if you’ve not come across these results already.

And if you want something a little more in-depth, Alex Hutchinson also dug into the findings in his Sweat Science column:

Another article I enjoyed was written by David Roche, whose book The Happy Runner is on my reading list for this summer. Roche tackles the subject of failure and its role in helping us make progress. Definitely worth a read since we often struggle to deal with times when things don’t go our way.

Speaking of books, when I saw this article combining the subjects of running and writing, I was hooked. I know I often come up with my best ideas when I’m running so learning more about how some running writers use their favourite sport to help shape their work was fascinating.

And finally, we all know I love an animal story and this great one caught my eye. A high school cross country team in California invited some shelter dogs to accompany them on a training run. They look like they had a great time and I think this is a wonderful idea, combining the therapeutic qualities of both running and access to a pet. I hope this is something they and other groups can do more often – it might even lead to more pet adoptions.

Happy reading,
The Running Princess  

Friday Finds – 3rd May

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

Ooh it’s Friday and for many it’s the start of a long weekend. Perfect! It’s going to be a rather different weekend for me than last week as I’m having a little break from running to allow my body to recover post-marathon. It was really strange to miss the live coverage of the London marathon on Sunday, but I’ve since caught up on the elite races and actually have coverage playing as I write this (*edit – just this minute spotted Anna McNuff running over Tower Bridge!*). Given my current obsession interest in marathons, you won’t be surprised that this week I want to include some of the big stories to come out of the event.

Let’s start with the elite races and the amazing Eliud Kipchoge. What’s not to like about that guy? A fantastic runner with a smooth, relaxed style and always comes across so well in interviews. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

In the women’s race, Brigid Kosgei ran a great race, but it was Hayley Carruthers who really stopped our hearts as she took a tumble right before the finish line and crawled over to snag a PB! Thankfully she was ok but it brought her to my attention as an elite athlete also working a full time job (which she was back at the very next day). I do love her tenacity!

It was a record-breaking year what with a new course record, a record number of participants and the highest number of female finishers ever. There was even a new Scottish record for Callum Hawkins – go Callum! I always love all the totally random Guinness World Record attempts and 38 of 78 attempts were successful. Here’s the complete rundown:

Unfortunately there has, in recent days, been a more negative story emerge from the day after an official pacer discussed her experience of running behind the cleanup crew. While I do understand that organisers must get roads open within agreed times, if the event is going to be open to runners of every pace then appropriate provision has to be made to ensure they still have access to on-course support and are kept safe. I’m not going to comment too much on it while it is being investigated, but it is disappointing to hear and I hope that action is taken to ensure that this can’t happen again.

And finally, for the second time this year I’m featuring Lukas Bates, the runner who found the strong winds at the London Landmarks half marathon rather challenging. This time he made it to the finish line ok, but then found the finish gantry a little too low for his costume! And the story didn’t end there as the infamous costume later went missing and, to the best of my knowledge, is still to be returned. That’s quite the story to tell the grandkids one day!

Happy reading,
The Running Princess

PS here’s a little bonus with some cool London marathon stats. You know I love a good running stat!