Friday, 6 January 2017

Exercise Update (in which I eat my words)

Two years ago I wrote this post declaring that I would never sew my own exercise gear. I also talked about the (virtually non-existent) role exercise played in my life. Well, one of those things is still true, the other is slowly changing. After trying unsuccessfully to get into running by myself over the years, I finally took the plunge and joined a local running group in October. I took their beginner's programme and by the end of eight weeks, I could run 5k continuously. Around the time I started, Kerry also blogged about running and very kindly sent me a few encouraging emails after I left a comment. Thank you Kerry, it was a massive boost!

This photo was taken in October - they're now much dirtier!
The support and encouragement of the running group (the Ealing Eagles) has been key, I just couldn't do it by myself. I'm now much better at pacing myself (I used to set off too fast and end up half dead after about ten minutes) and it's made a big difference. The update is that I now try to do a 5k run three times a week. This usually includes my local Parkrun which has been brilliant, both for meeting like minded people and making you ran that little bit faster. And there's more... next week I'm starting an Improvers programme, as part of a training plan to build up to a 10k run! Eeekkk! 

So I now need to eat my words, as I made a couple of declarations in that original post that no longer hold true.

1. 'I'm rubbish at it...I'll never be able to run further than 5k.'
Well hopefully by May I'll be running my first 10k race (she says, laughing nervously!) I'm hoping that by writing about it on my blog, it will somehow make it more of an official target!

2. 'I hate running. HATE. IT.'
That's no longer true either. I don't exactly love it, but I do really like it. I often find it quite tough to get going, but after a while I feel like Mo Farah, especially at the Parkrun where volunteers cheer you over the finish line!

I've noticed lots of benefits too: my legs have definitely changed shape, as has my waist (hoorah!) and it feels good to be doing some regular exercise. I've also personally found running to be a great stress reliever. Living with an autistic son who is currently transforming into a teenager brings a whole new set of challenges, which have been difficult to cope with at times. Running has really helped me calm down and not get so stressed about everything. Plus I find a good blast of bracing fresh air always works wonders!

I know this post isn't really anything to do with sewing, so apologies to those of you who come here for the sewing chat. I do have one small sewing related point to make though - I still have no intention of making my own exercise gear! 

If you're a runner (and I know lots of sewers are) please let me know in the comments. It would be nice to know there are more of us out there, planning sewing projects in our heads as we pound the streets (or maybe that's just me?!) Have a good weekend! x



97 comments:

  1. Yes! I enjoy running although I wouldn't call myself a Proper Runner.. it just gets me out of the house and gets me moving. I do sew my own own exercise gear as I do sew most things I wear but it's definitely more expensive to get the performance fabrics. Good luck with your 10k!

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  2. Good luck with your 10k.
    I'm not a runner, no plans to run, but do need to up the exercise.

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    1. I needed to up the exercise too, I'm just glad I'm enjoying it at last! x

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  3. Good job! After years of saying running was impossible, I also started off with Park Run and built up to a half marathon. My back didn't love those long distances so I'm now going to stick to 5ks with the occasional 10k. Hope you continue to enjoy the running and the sewing!

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    1. That's what I hope to achieve: 5ks with an occasional 10k! Thanks! . x

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  4. Well done you. Yes I run too and this year intend trying to make some clothing too. Fabulous stress buster with added toning bonus. Just keep at it K xXx

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    1. Thanks, I'm determined to keep at it! x

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  5. Yay you! I need to start running again; haven't been out since the Ealing half! Glad you're enjoying it xxx

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    1. Oh I'd forgotten you run too Julia, we'll have to do a run together soon (and talk sewing!) X

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  6. I love my early morning runs they keep me ahead of the children mentally. My late night sewing helps me relax and return to me after being mum.
    No plans to sew my own running gear just coordinating it would be a start!

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    1. Haha! Yes, I like the early mornings too, I'll probably be doing more of those in he summer as I'm useful in hot weather. x

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  7. That's great! My weird feet can't deal with running but I've recently started lifting weights at my local gym and am loving it - it's great to be amazed by what our body can do and how good it makes us feel!

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    1. Couldn't have put it better myself! Good for you with the weight training! x

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  8. Omg you're an eagle! I've been following your blog for ages and i think you're fantastic! I hit 5km in December a year ago, then did 10km in May just like you. Then i somehow managed to do the ealing half. Every goal felt impossible at the time, but you will make sooo much progress if you just stick to it! I hope I bump into you at an eagle's event... my favourite is track, which is more beginner friendly than you expect

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    1. Oh that's fab and really inspiring, thanks Christine! Funnily enough I just did my first track session this morning (I can't do evening sessions) and loved it too! Hope I bump into you at an Eagles event soon. x

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  9. What a great post! I started running at the beginning of last year, joined a running club in May and in October I ran a half marathon (very slowly but who cares!). No plans as yet to sew any running gear, but who knows where we will all be by the end of this year. x

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    1. Hoorah! If I finish the 10k without stopping I'll be ecstatic! Well done on running a half marathon! x

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  10. I've been running on and off for years but never found a way to make it fit consistently into my routine. I currently run about once a week on my day off but I work long shifts so struggle to make time when I'm at work and I don't want to run both of my days off, hence only once a week at the moment. I did my first 5km in October and I'm going another this coming weekend, it's really fun to run with other people! I'd like to do a 10km in May but I'm worried that once a week training is not going to be enough and I can't work out how to fit in more!

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    1. Good job doing 3 x 5km a week tho, that's amazing! I've never done park run but I'd like to try, this should be the year!

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    2. Thanks Amy! I'm luck that I have day times free, which is how I get to fit so many runs in. My local parkrun starts at 9.00 which is great as it means I'm finished and home well before 10.00. Good luck with the 5k this weekend! x

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  11. I'm definitely not a runner - it hurts too much! - but I have signed up to Country Walking's walk 1000 miles in 2017 challenge in an effort to actually get out there and do some exercise.

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    1. Good for you Sam! My husband won't run either but can wipe the floor with me when it comes to walking, he walks for MILES and is really fit. You'll be amazed how many miles you start to clock up! x

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  12. I started running last year - I still don't love it but I know it is good for me and I completely agree on the stress reliever point.
    I have no intention of sewing exercise clothes, they just don't interest me.

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    1. No, sewing exercise gear really doesn't interest me either! x

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  13. Hi Jane, I started running in 2016. Even got myself a treadmill to run indoors this winter (blistery cold winters here up in Montreal). I'd love to sew my own running gear.

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    1. Yes, your winters put ours to shame when it comes to cold! x

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  14. I run and like you, it's the getting started that's the tough bit. It's a mental battle until you hit your stride but well worth it for the sense of achievement and health benefits. Well done you!

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  15. I've never got on with running despite doing a range of gym /exercise classes, cycling and walking. Have also never made any exercise clothes although I regularly eye up Fehr Trade makes. Keep writing the blog- I love your makes

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    1. Thanks Ann! I'm quite interested in reading about other people making exercise gear (and bras actually!) but just have no interest myself! x

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  16. Good for you! I am a runner who has slacked off since becoming a mom last year, but I want to get back into it with the new year. I love hearing from others who are started out reluctant runners like me. If I could work in three 5ks a week, I would be very happy. Thanks for sharing your story!

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    1. My pleasure Claire! Hope you manage to carve out a bit of running time for yourself, I know how hard it can be to find time for anything with a baby! x

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  17. Woo hoo! Great progress, Jane. Good luck with your 10k training. I'm also amazed to hae proper leg muscles for the first time in my life

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    1. *have proper leg muscles... :)

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    2. Thanks for all your encouragement Kerry! x

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  18. Well done. I too started running last year after hating running all my life. I am now running 7 miles in one go and I'm doing a half marathon in march. I can't believe the difference it's made to me but it dies encroach on valuable sewing time. Keep it up you're doing fabulously x

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    1. Well done to you too! I like to get out as early as possible so I don't lose much precious sewing time either! x

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  19. Woo another sewing runner! I love the fresh air and escape, but like you find it hard to get going sometimes. You will be fine with the 10k - if I can do it, anyone can. As well as your shape changing your body will probably change - my resting heart rate reduced and my oxygen capacity increased. Good luck on the improvers course

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    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement! I'm hoping my fitness will improve too. x

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  20. I used to say I'd rather die than run. Then my kids left home for college and I decided I needed a hard goal to work toward, so I started a "couch to 5k" program. That was 5 years ago, and after happily running 3-4 miles at a time I decided to train for a half-marathon to celebrate my 50th birthday next fall. I'm really slow, but that's ok, I'm not out to impress anyone.
    I did sew myself some running shorts. I wanted a specific length and pockets in just the right places. I started with the Duothlon pattern from Fehr Trade and made a bunch of changes. Next up is sports bras because I'm hard to fit on top and I want something more comfortable than what I can buy.
    Well, the sun is up in California so I better get out and run!

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    1. Thanks Karen! I love your story and best of luck with the half marathon training! x

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  21. Good luck with the 10K training, sounds like you're doing brilliantly! I wish I liked to run but I've tried it a few times and just didn't. I'll stick to my yoga and fast walking for now I think! I am planning to sew myself some yoga leggings this year though.

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  22. I plan my sewing when I'm swimming! And I have no current plans to sew a swimsuit!!

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  23. Good luck Jane on your 10k! I have a love hate relationship with running, but like you started with 5k , my first proper race was a 10k and even now I can still feel the exhilaration as I passed the finish line. I'll never be fast but I still run regularly and completely chuffed that in April this year ran my first marathon (brighton) at the age of 50! Sadly my sewing skills aren't yet up to sewing active wear - maybe one day. Look forward to hearing your progress.

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    1. Thanks so much Sharona! I don't think I'll ever be fast either but that doesn't bother me. I just want to get past that finishing line! Well done on running a marathon too, that's amazing! x

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  24. Sort of Jane, we are hill walkers so less speed but more incline! I don't make exercise gear but I do often wear all strange toile garments that aren't quite fit to be worn on the outside of a fleece lined waterproof coat! Jo x

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    1. Hill walking is tough, respect is due! x

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  25. I started running (in secret) nearly a year ago and can just about manage 5k once a week. I actually vomited in PE at school after running 3/4 of the way round the track once so I'm quite proud of myself. I inspired my husband to start going as well but annoyingly he just seems to float along, running at twice the speed as I do and producing one bead of sweat for every bucket of mine. If he wasn't so far ahead I could quite happily punch him in his lovely face!
    Hope you manage 10k - good luck!

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    1. That made me laugh and laugh and laugh, I feel like that about my (also lovely) husband sometimes! And thank you! x

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  26. I think I might start again - I work up to a 5k every so often then I fall off the wagon again. It's better for losing a few pounds and toning than a walk in the same time. Keep up the good work..

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  27. Well done on your new found love. I find it sneaks up on you. I enjoy cuppa after Parkrun now my kids need me less. But you don't sew your own running gear yet...?

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    1. I've sneaked in the odd post parkrun cuppa too! And nope, no running gear from me! x

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  28. Well done Jane. I'm so impressed. I wish I could get some motivation to run in the cold... I just can't bear it! But I'm hearing the words 'waist reduction' loud and clear and they are most definitely great words of encouragement! x

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    1. Thanks Janene! xx I'm the exact opposite I love running in the cold, it's the thought of running in summer that fills me with horror! x

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  29. Love your clothes, they suit you and save lots of money and time shopping around. I also like simple, classic lines.
    About the running. Don't kick me, but I don't run. Last year I discovered Pilates Mat and it transformed my muscles and brought greater flexibility to my limbs. Now I am deeply in love with Pilates Reformer. This adds weight resistence and I feel there is a positive toning to my muscles and my posture improved. You may want to investigate it in your area. Best to you in this New Year !

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for the Pilates tips, I've tried Pilates a couple of times but never really got on with It, but then again I said that about running a couple of years ago! I did a weekly Barre class last year which was fab, really good for toning up. x

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  30. Well done! Hope the 10k prep goes well. I started running in July last year and am doing a coastal 10k at the end of next month (why oh why?!) I can't say I enjoy running yet but I love the glow after a run. I will never sew my own running clothes until I get down to a less seam busting risky weight! Even then, I'd probably much rather sew a dress or quilt!

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    1. Yes! That's what I think, it's just a waste of sewing time! Lots of luck with your coastal 10k! x

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  31. Great and true words! Personally, I went from a girl who hated sports at school (but was always moving, dancing etc) to a marathon runner. And it all started like you: just run a 5k, then 10k, then maybe I could run more than that... so beware, in 5 years you might end up preparing a marathon, however unrealistic it might seem to you today :o)
    And yes, I totally agree that running is the best stress relief. I usually run all alone and it is the true ME-TIME, sometimes I think about work, sometimes about nothing, but a lot about sewing and often I come from my run and have the solution to issues or questions sewingwise, or other.
    So "just keep running"! ;o)

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    1. I'm not just saying this, I really mean it, I will NEVER run a marathon! 10k will be my marathon! Thanks so much for the encouragement! x

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  32. Really well done! 10k is a really nice distance, challenging, but doable! I am an on off runner (struggle in the winter when it's dark). It's amazing what you can achieve. When I started, couch to 5k wasn't really a thing but with a friend we built from not being able to run a mile to running a half marathon. I'm completely out of trading at the mo but signed up for a few obstacle races in 2017 so need to get going! Good inspiration post! (I have not yet sewn any run wear though I have patterns and fabrics... and fear!)

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    1. Thanks Teresa! I'm very lucky in that I have day times free in which to run so don't have to contend with running in the dark. It is amazing what you can achieve isn't it? Good luck with the obstacle races! x

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  33. Congratulations on your new exercise programme. But please be very careful, as there is evidence that running too long and hard is bad for your joints and bones. It can be quite destructive later on in life. You are not in the realm of that age yet; but it is cumulative and does appear later on. Walking does the same amount of good; and is a lot less destructive.

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    1. I did actually speak to my doctor before embarking on running and am aware of the potential dangers, so will heed your advice - thank you! x

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    2. Good enough, Jane. If your doctor gives the okay, you are in good hands. Have fun with it. Did not mean to bring your new spirits down at all; just wanted you to be aware in case you did not not know.

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    3. No worries at all, it's always good to check these things out. And spirits are still high! x

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  34. Looking forward to your next post...about making activewear! Running in my own gear is twice as rewarding as just running - I make my own bras, tops , knickers and tights over at Stretch Nation (on fb and insta) and just wish I could make my own running shoes too!!

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    1. Wow, I take my hat off to you! x

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  35. Good luck for your 10k Jane!
    I know you haven't asked for advice but I'm giving you mine anyway - don't give it up!! I had a lot of time out from running after my ultra and although I think I needed it mentally, I have virtually lost all the fitness I spent 4 years building up. Really regretting it now as I start back at square one! Happy New Year!

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    1. I'll gladly take any advice! It's still early days for me but I would really like to try and maintain the small amount of fitness I've built up, I just feel better all round. thanks Sherry! x

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  36. Very encouraging to read of so many running sewers! I started a year ago and hilariously am still aiming to do 30 mins continuously but I WILL GET THERE.Started when nearer 60 than 50 so that's my excuse. Love your blog Jane and learn lots from it. I'm the one who'd love you to do a tute on Plym pliers for snap fasteners. Still not mastered it!

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    1. Aha! Try this one - it's very clear and detailed with good photography: http://verykerryberry.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/tutorial-adding-snapspoppers-using-prym.html. And good for you with the running, you definitely will get there, if I can, anyone can! x

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  37. Jane I'm so proud of you!!! I can dearly remember your previous posts and forays into running that didn't stick. It looks like you've got past the really hard starting it phase, and have found a formula that works. I've noticed that your body shape has changed and had wondered!! I've had a difficult adjustment period, moving somewhere new that really threw my established routine but finally I've worked out new solo routes as well as new levels of commitment with a race in March so am totally in love with running myself. Can't wait to talk more with you about it xx

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    1. Yay!! Thanks Winnie! I'm also hoping I'm past the really difficult starting bit! We'll be running bores next time we meet! x

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  38. I'm not a runner but am also eating my words. I've recently joined a Pilates class which is amazing ... and I'm about to cut into a Jalie pattern and make mself a Pilates top.
    BTW thanks for the mention about Persephone books a littld while ago. My daughters and I bought each other one for Christmas and now we're on a mission to read them all!

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    1. Aw good for you, so glad you've found something that works for you! And hoorah for Persephone books, I'm a bit obsessed with them too! x

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  39. At the age of 55 I have been plugging away at gym for the last six months and I'm really beginning to enjoy it! Never thought I would say that! After 4 years of serious illness, I now feel stronger and healthier than ever. Keep up the running and value the ability to move.

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    1. Exactly, starting to exercise makes me appreciate my health even more! x

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  40. I am a runner too. I joined the track team at school in 4th grade and never stopped so I never had to deal with the painful start-up phase as an adult. I don't sew my own running clothes either. One time I made a long sleeve shirt and tank but the fabric ended up not breathing well. It's hard to know before you actually work out in the fabric and I don't want to risk another fail. Plus I want people to see the things I sew but I usually work out at home by myself.

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    1. It's far harder to start as an adult, although to be honest, I was never a runner as a child, I far preferred swimming! I just don't think I'd be able to better the sportswear in the shops if I tried to make my own. x

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  41. Well done you! After a lifetime of claiming I would only run if the bogie man was chasing me, I finally got into it about eight years ago and now couldn't live without it. The trick is to go regularly enough to maintain a good fitness level, so it's not always a struggle. I've been reading your blog for years - can't believe my first ever comment is about running! But my very favourite thing to do while running is to plan sewing projects!

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    1. Ah hoorah! Another sewer/runner! Thanks for the great advice, even if I don't manage a full 5k I'm trying to keep up the three times a week regime! x

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  42. Another sewing runner here, no plans to sew active wear either... apart from the UFO swimming costume that I will finish this year. Love park run... Just wish the time didn't clash with mummy taxi duties!

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    1. Yes, luckily we don't have Saturday morning football practice anymore, otherwise it would be a clash for me too! It's a gear at feeling to have completed it early and still have the rest of the day in front of you. x

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  43. I started running again last October and I have slowly built up to being able to run 5k. I have no plans to run any further for the moment, I just want to get more comfortable at the 5k. I have absolutely no plans to branch into sewing my own sports gear either, its about as likely as me making my own bra's. Well done with your runnning and sewing, I never fairl to be inspired by your makes.

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    1. Thanks so much Tracy! I need to get more comfortable with 5k before I can even consider running further, hopefully a tiny bit further each week should do it! x

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  44. Hi - yes - I've been doing the Couch 2 5K in Brum. I've always hated running but we have a brilliant coach and the camaraderie of the group is fantastic. It's all free too !! - brilliant !

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    1. I also had a brilliant coach and a really friendly group - it makes a huge difference I think! It's good to meet new people too! x

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  45. I also plan projects while I run! I've been sidelined since November with an injury and can't wait to get back to it!

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    1. Hope you manage to get back to it soon! x

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  46. Congratulations Jane! It's nice to know it's never too late to create a new habit :D I've started running too last April, so nearly a year ago, and though at the beginning it required a lot of willpower, I really enjoy it now. Something I never thought I would ever say ;-)

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    1. Yes, I never thought I'd ever write 'running' and 'like' in the same sentence either! Thank you! x

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  47. I run and sew my gear :)
    I run with my dog and think about sewing, work, family and sometimes nothing ... As you say a great stress relief ... I get cranky if I miss my run! Enjoy the 10k

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