Back In Black (Lycra)

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Rather a while ago, I wrote about my new-found (and slightly lukewarm) passion for running. Back then I did all my exercise within the safe confines of a gym, where everyone was sweating and skin-tight Lycra was the look du jour. The thought of running outside, in the open air, where people with regular heartbeats and normal bras could see, was quite terrifying.

There’s something quite soul destroying about running on a treadmill, though. That brick wall never gets any closer, and no matter how often you change machines you’ll always end up next to some meaty guy grunting and humming the Rocky theme tune to himself. Always. So as the weather warmed and I finally finished a 5k on the treadmill without falling at meaty guy’s feet afterwards, I decided to get back to nature and take to the streets.

The untidy shoes (both pairs belonging to my boyfriend, of course) kinda ruin this pic, but here I am anyway – wearing my Lusciously Light t-shirt, running leggings from T K Maxx and Nike trainers

I was spurred on by the Aussie Lusciously Light project – faced with a choice of a Lusciously Lighter Style (a radical hair change in time for summer) or a Lusciously Lighter Self (a makeover of mind and body through decluttering, healthy eating and exercising) I surprised myself by choosing to concentrate on the inside rather than the out.

I’ve spent my life investing in new clothes, make-up and shoes to change how I look. Only this year have I really realised that changing my eating habits, levels of physical exertion and attitude to life can also change my appearance. It’s not about losing weight, but about mastering a staircase without panting, or dancing all the way through Yeah by Usher without breaking a sweat (seriously – as my friends will confirm, the dance floor is my own personal sauna).

I’m running the Race For Life on Sunday and have yet to complete the requisite 5k on open terrain. Running outside is HARD. There are hills and wind and people who walk smack bang in the centre of the pavement. And as my friend Jen pointed out on Twitter, dogs chase you. But it’s so much better than running towards that just-out-of-reach brick wall. Even if you do have to stop every 5 minutes to walk (like me).

As well as Race For Life, I’m training for Boutique Run. Having these goals has really helped, and knowing that I’ve got those finish lines to cross gets me out of my PJs and into my trainers. It’s still a struggle – just like it was back then and as it has been since I started in September 2010 – but I can deal with it because it makes me feel great. I can’t run far, or particularly fast, and I’m sure my technique is more Phoebe from Friends than Paula Radcliffe, but hey. As was often said to a 10-year-old me on Sports Day, it’s about the participation, not the winning (I could never keep that egg on the spoon).

Are you into running or does another form of exercise take your fancy? Share your tips for healthy living in the comments below.

PS – If you’re feeling inspired and fancy joining me at Boutique Run, you can get 25% off the entry price by using the code BLOG25 at the checkout.



You look fab in the gym get-up. I wish I could cope with running outside but I just don’t like it. You’re right, the treadmill is easier! x


Treadmill is easier, but its really boring so be prepared to have music or the tv handy.

Ali x


i live surrounded by fields so i’m trying to get back into jogging (i don’t like people seeing me either, so fields are nice and private-ish!) i’m more of a bike ride girl, sometimes swimming if i’m in the mood. get yourself a hula hoop! that’s my favourite exercise. or a mini trampoline!
i prefer exercising in the fresh air, makes me feel so much better!
good luck with your runs coming up, love your work out gear too!

Lulu B

I love running! I started at 16 as a form of therapy as i find pounding the streets is great for realeasing tension and clearing my head! Good Luck with the race for life xx :o)

Diary of a Tinyholder

You have got a great figure Jen! I actually prefer running outside. I’ve found a nice route that’s not too hilly for me and I sear by nike plus! I too have only just go to 5k (inside and outside) so the next target is to get to 10k ready for the British London 10k in July! Wish me luck (I’ll need it!). 🙂


I need to take up running! It’s a great exercise, especially since it’s free and you can do it on your own terms.
Aussie’s been motivating me to be healthier as well.
Good luck for your 2 races.

Panty Buns

Good for you! Overcoming self-consciousness about going out and running in public isn’t an easy thing for everyone (like myself – I don’t do it), and getting yourself in good shape like that deserves some congratulations. People shouldn’t let their dogs run loose like that either. For myself I’m resolving to start getting back into shape with some physical yard-work. Good for you running in that 5k “Race for Life” and training for the “Boutique Run”.


Looking fab hear Jen! Good luck in your races, I’m sure the 5K will be fine, I did one recently and surprised myself by not dying at the end! I run and I’ve started to love it. I try to go 3/4 times a week but since starting my new job and getting home late I know it’s going to be hard to go in the evenings so I’m going to try go at lunch time which I personally think is gross but it’s got to be done haha! Signing up for races gave me the much need motivation to keep me going too. Also, investing in proper running gear makes me feel proud when I put it on because I know I’ve earned those 80 quid trainers by working hard. all the best in future running, we can do it!!

Bow Dream Nation xx


How styling do you look in your exercise gear! Much more than my grey battered tee and some old 3/4 joggers. I need to style up.
I have been inspired by you and Bangs to get running and enjoy it more, and you get to see some of nature whilst you are at it!



Great post Jen, very inspirational. I’ve recently got into running too, over the last few months and now it’s got to the point where if I don’t run for a few days I start to feel really sluggish and rubbish and I actually start looking forward to a good long run.


I’ve recently started up running too, its a struggle but I’m glad that I get out there! Good luck with your races!


Glad to hear the running’s going well. I much prefer outdoor runs to the treadmill – I can’t seem to do more than 5 minutes on a treadmill! I’m so nervous/excited about the Boutique Run…ran for 40 mins today without stopping which felt great (could only run for 2 minutes back in February) but know that I still have a way to go before I’m running 10k…the challenge is definitely keeping me motivated and as someone who used to purposefully avoid any form of exercise whatsoever, I really never thought I’d become someone who chooses to (and sometimes enjoys) exercise! x


I’ve recently gotten into rock climbing and LOVE it! I love that it’s both physical and mental. And I especially love how toned my arms and legs are getting!

LadyBugSays ...

Is great to hear you have so much motivation and love for running! I really want to start running in the dreaded ‘outside world’ but I am so scared of people looking at me funny(and now, dogs chasing me!)


Great post! I love running too, though I REALLY love spinning. I find running outdoors much easier than the treadmill even though my face turns so red I look like I will implode! It’s amazing how far you can push yourself with running, I built up from 3 miles to 8 1/2 earlier this year even though I really didn’t think I could. My music gets me through it! Thanks for the extra motivation x


This post has just confirmed my rather reluctant decision to MAKE AN EFFORT as of today. Glastonbury is my target…(no don’t worry, I won’t be running there), i don’t have a race to get fit for unfortunately… I just want to look REALLY good in short shorts!
Every time I ‘run’ (or jog, more like) – I feel like I’m experiencing cardiac arrest after 5-10 minutes so from today, the dancefloor/my bedroom will be my gym. I find workout dvd’s really good so if I can just get into the pattern of doing one a few times a week for the next, 3 or so weeks HOPEFULLY I will start feeling better, even if I don’t see any obvious changes!
So thanks for that Jen! You have spurred me on! X p.s I also LOVE the retro nike trainers!!


Hey, I really want to start running but I injured my foot at the beginning of May and it is taking FOREVER to heal. I’m also kinda scared about running outside so massive props to you for overcoming that huge hurdle. I have so much respect for you right now! I need to get on this! xxx


I never enjoyed running until I tried it in vibram 5 fingers, it’s seriously an awesome experience! I don’t get leg cramps or shin splints anymore, and can easily run 3 times as long. 🙂


Whoops, that sounds vendorish, sorry. I’m a real person, I just have always HATED running and those shoes seriously turned me around to it 🙂

PolkaDot Lighthouse

Ooh I’d never heard of Boutique Runs so thanks for posting about them. Unfortunately I can’t make the one on 9th July but maybe another one. I was training for a half marathon but have had to put it to one side for now due to hurting my knee. I think it might be time for a new pair of trainers if I want to stop hobbling around with my bad knee. Running is great though. When I started I didn’t like it but once you get past a certain stage it gets easier and, for me anyway, very addictive.


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