Zakti Active Review

7 Jun

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I was delighted to receive some new running togs courtesy of Zakti.  Thank you @Zakti_Active.  This photo is me in the kit after its first 5k.  The leggings (http://www.zaktiactive.com/dashing-run-capris-p13842/forged%20iron%20grey) and running top (http://www.zaktiactive.com/run-faster-tee-p13828/black ) had other mums on the school run commenting on my snazzy new ‘active wear’, which is an excellent start!  The top is very fitted, so likely to show off any bumps and lumps, which I’ve started to think of as a good thing.  Why?  Because it keeps me on my toes, and makes me realise there is work to be done.  A baggy teeshirt hides a multitude of sins, but this Zakti ensemble does not.  Wearing such a fitted top also helps keep my posture in check during a run because I am conscious of holding my stomach in and standing up straight, another bonus.  The top has a black mesh detail on the back; it’s sleek and sexy in grey and black and tapers down the sides to flatter one’s curves.  Even my husband Olly commented positively on my ‘sexy new running top’ (which never happens).   Plus, it’s very comfortable to wear running which is – of course – the most important thing.

The leggings are very snug and fitted with a thick waistband that feels quite structured (it’s a bit like wearing support knickers).  Most of us mums appreciate a bit of structure and support around our middles, particularly on a run when everything is prone to jiggle about a bit.  These leggings practically give me a flat stomach, so the top looks even better across the midriff.  The design is black and grey with a breathable mesh detail at the bottom (they are the perfect length for me too, below the knee).  A word of warning: the size 12 is pretty tight (I often take a size 10 bottom half).  So if you are a 12-14, definitely go for a 14 otherwise you won’t be comfortable.  Running in these leggings I felt well supported – and confident – because Olly said my bum looked amazing and who can argue with that?!  The rain jacket is extremely colourful, (http://www.zaktiactive.com/finalist-ii-running-jacket-p13944/stormy%20print) almost psychedelic purple, which is possibly not to everyone’s taste, but I’m a fan.  It is lightweight, and also very fitted so looks great on, although I’ve not yet tried it out on a run.  This is really comfortable, stylish active wear perfectly suited to the regular runner, but not for the faint hearted or the body shy as there really is nowhere to hide (don’t look too closely at the photo)!

Read my interview with Zakti here: http://www.zaktiactive.com/blog/2016/06/06/interview-ruth-field-grit-doctor-zakti/

The Grit Doctor Says

Run Fat Bitch Run

Tina The Tanner

13 Apr

The sun is shining, and its time to…..get your pins out.  If you are a runner like me, your legs (having been covered in long leggings with shorts over the top to disguise any excess flab, err, I mean muscle throughout Winter), may be starting to feel a tad on the sweaty side.  My legs are screaming to see the light of day again, but the world I fear may scream in horror at their unveiling.  Scaly crepy skin?  Thread veins?  Pasty white and peppered with hairs long enough for braids?  Mmmm, attractive.

The first thing I did was to depilate – with vigour – using Veet Sensitive Wax strips from Boots (about three packets-worth)!  This is key and needs to be done at least a day before calling in the cavalry; this, and an all over body exfoliation.  Nothing fancy required, just give yourself a good scrub in the shower with a loofah, and you are ready for…Tina.

You can find Tina at http://www.sunkissedspraytanning.co.uk.  And she will spray tan those pins back to life.  More than that, she will spray tan every exposable inch of flesh and have you back looking your best within 10 minutes.  Discrete, funny, good company, always on time, and never an orange streak in sight, Tina will have you looking like you just got back from two weeks in Barbados…should you so wish….or, with a healthy glow (there are different grades of tan you can opt for).

Tina has just moved to the Watford area and is building up a new client base there.  So I am calling out to all my cousins, (most of whom I *suspect* are partial to the odd spray tan) and highly recommending Tina.  She does parties too (as in lots of you get a tan for a discount).  And of course, the best bit is she comes to you, so you don’t have that awful palava of getting dressed and booted after a beauty salon tanning, only to return home and find its streaked.

The Grit Doctor says

My beauty tip for Spring: Tina The Tanner (www.sunkissedspraytanning.co.uk)

Egg-tastic

23 Mar 15131

I don’t know about you but I’m already sick of eggs.  Like, proper sick.  The kids too – one of them has sworn off the brown stuff completely, insisting he doesn’t want any chocolate over Easter, he’d rather have wotsits (not that this is in any way a healthier option of course), but its interesting how quickly we’ve reached chocolate saturation point in our house, and it’s not even Easter weekend yet.

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This picture of me – with a look of intense concentration befitting of a Doctor of Grit – was taken last Easter Sunday at Golant, near Fowey in Cornwall.   I am trying to catch an egg being hurled towards me at breakneck speed from a considerable distance, by my husband Olly.  My sister-in-law entered my husband and I for this egg throwing contest at the last minute towards the end of a wonderful day of Easter fun and frolics in the village.  I was delighted to take part, but absolutely gutted when we were narrowly beaten, by just a yard or two.

This year I will be better prepared:

  1. Make sure we throw last, because its actually much easier when you know precisely what distance it is you have to beat.  This is what last year’s winners did, and it paid off.
  2. If last year’s winners make a fuss about point 1. make a bigger fuss.
  3. No jewellery.
  4. Much less tight jeans, and more appropriate/sporty attire overall.  Definitely not heels.
  5. Considerably less alcohol consumption beforehand.
  6. Considerably less chocolate consumption beforehand.
  7. Practise in the garden the day before.  Shout at Olly to focus.

The Grit Doctor says

Loser.

 

 

Fat Bitches Running in Sri Lanka #ankasbigday

13 Jan

I’ve just got back from my sister’s glorious wedding in Sri Lanka. This is us about to head off for a run in 35 degree tropical heat. I appear to be smiling, but behind my sunnies, I am weeping with fear and exhaustion. Not only is my sister 11 years my junior, but she is miles fitter than me and lives in Melbourne so is used to exercising in extreme weather conditions. We are carrying boxes of confetti – as you do – because Anna was worried that on our jungle run, we might lose our way, so we were to scatter pieces of confetti like Hansel and Gretel to make sure we didn’t end up lost, lying in a ditch and dying of dehydration while we were attacked by rabid dogs. Anyway, the run lived up to its billing and was suitably terrifying: dogs aplenty, and the humidity made breathing extremely difficult. I’m amazed I survived, I was panting desperately on the final climb, weak as a kitten and just thrilled to make it home in one piece. The swim afterwards – I literally fell into the pool fully clothed – was paradise. Needless to say, my little sister barely broke a sweat. And sprinted up the final hill leaving me hobbling behind her in a trail of dust.

I am sharing this memory of barely a week ago because this morning I braced my usual run in polar opposite conditions. I was struggling to breath again though, this time because it felt as though I was inhaling ice, and my fingers went completely numb, so I brought to mind that very recent run in Sri Lanka – hell at the time – and made it my ‘happy place’ that I went to to distract myself from freezing my tits off. Amazing how quickly that run has gone from the hell it actually was, to an epic holiday memory. I knew this would be the case of course which is why I was mustard keen to do it in the first place, despite my terror.  So cheers for that sista sista xxx

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Anyhoo, my husband tells me it is in the post: Snow! It is all too easy in the face of such brutal weather conditions to postpone one’s good intentions of shifting all that Crimbo lard from January to February (when no doubt those intentions will promptly be adjourned until Spring). You know the story. We have all been here before. We are here every year.

Tips for uber gritty winter running whatever the weather:

●Do not try and make it fun. IT IS NOT FUN. You will fail if you try and make it fun. Fun is what you can have when you get back from your run;
●Assume that your motivation to do this will mirror the outside air temperature: below zero. Ignore this brutal truth, lace up and go anyway. Any motivation you may have will be experienced retrospectively. You will want to go again because of what you got out of it the last time. You just have to trust me on this one.
●Get your clothing right. Waterproof and even windproof outer layers are ideal. I have a black ‘onesie’ type item for my top half that I bought from a specialist running shop which covers my head, a lot of my face, my neck my hands the whole shebang and regulates my body temperature. It is brilliant for running in all winter conditions. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have one; a beanie, lightweight scarf and gloves will do just fine but head, neck and hand coverage are essential throughout Winter. Because we all know that the first 10 minutes of every run is hellish, whatever the weather. But in January and February, those first 10 minutes is where hell goes to self-harm: Icy wind, snow, rain or sleet, (possibly stay indoors if its hailing) biting around your head face neck and ears is beyond brutal and an entirely unnecessary grit add-on, so do dress appropriately.
●Wear two pairs of socks. This has such a positive impact on the whole experience it warrants its own bullet point. Two pairs of socks has the effect of making your feet feel so warm and toasty in comparison with the rest of your body that it provides a welcome distraction during those first 10 minutes while the rest of your body acclimatises. I really focus on my feet, marvelling at how warm they are, like little radiators, and I envisage them spreading heat up into my legs and ultimately throughout the rest of my body. After 10 minutes I am warm all over and the rest of the run is a pleasure…ish
● Always be alert to potential hazards and slipping in mud, slush, ice etc. Layers of snow can hide icy patches so take extra special care if you’re running in areas where the snow has been lying for days. Be safe. Go even more slowly than usual if it has been snowing. That way you can run for longer as once you are out and running, you may as well nail as many kilometres as you can so that you don’t have to go again tomorrow.
● A must-have footwear gadget for running in thick snow and ice: ice cleats. Available from http://www.blacktoes.co.uk, they offer a good grip on treacherous ice and are frankly, essential kit if you are serious about running after heavy snowfall. They are cheap(ish) and dead easy to order online so no excuses. Invest in a pair and never again use the ‘weather excuse’. And yes, they deliver throughout Ireland.  And while its still only in the post, lets be grateful for every snowless, ice-free run where all we have to contend with is the cold.

The Grit Doctor says:
The more brutal the physical conditions accompanying your run, the bigger the pay-off at the end and the more calories you will burn. If you can grit out a run in Siberian conditions, I reckon you can do pretty much anything. So, bring on the freeze baby.

Running to Writing

30 Nov

I received this wonderful message on the RFBR Facebook page from an Irish gal living in Singapore.  I thought it was so lovely, I’ve reposted it here.  Particularly inspiring is how she has used running – and the newfound confidence it has brought to her life – to give her the courage to try and become a writer, and here is the link to her first article published in an online magazine in Hong Kong. (http://www.sassymamahk.com/training-tips-for-running-your-first-half-marathon/). It has some great advice for anyone training for a half marathon (particularly those in hot humid climates, like my sister Annie Field and all her buddies Down Under)

Hi Ruth,

I’ve been wanting to message you for a while to say a long overdue thank you after signing up for a colour run 1 year ago for fun, I bought ‘Run Fat Bitch Run’ and felt so inspired by you, your attitude and you’re writing. Your advice and encouragement were so refreshing and 1 year later I’m signed up to do my first half marathon in Singapore! I can’t wait and I’ve loved the training experience, as painful as it is at times!

Embarking on this journey has also given me the confidence to pursue writing, something I’ve been putting off for years as I was always worried I wouldn’t be talented enough. It seems the confidence I’ve gained through running has started to seep in to all areas of my life, and I finally sat down and wrote my first article. It’s been published in an online magazine in Hong Kong and I hope this will be the start of a career change for me.

I know you’re crazy busy but I’ll post the link to the article if you feel like reading it. But mainly I just wanted to tell you that what you’re doing is so important and you’re changing lives in a very real way.

Again, thank you so much! Keep the grit coming!

Best, Fionnuala.