Half Marathon Training Part 2: For the Love of Running Gear

It’s week 9 of Half marathon training and I guess I’m half way there. Progress is being made and I’m having a lot of fun with it. I’ve also been reminded just how prone to injury I am, and am treating my body with as much care as possible. The one thing that this running ‘journey’ (for lack of a better word) has taught me so far is that: I actually quite like clothes shopping.

Half Marathon Training Part 2: For the Love of Running Gear on Style for a Happy Home

As someone who really isn’t into fashion, clothes shopping has always been one of those annoying things I have to do when my clothes are not really appropriate for wearing out anymore or I have an event that requires something new. But with running gear it’s different. I really love it. Lululemon especially. I was talking with a friend about it, and we couldn’t work out why the sudden shift from selector to someone who quite happily spends in a store and wants to return often. But I figured it out: running makes me feel good and the running gear that I wear makes me feel strong and capable. It’s like a cape for superheros!

I’ve got myself some lovely t-shirts with the sweat wicking fabrics and some great running crops (capris) and now even an operation move running hat! I’ve even bought myself some skirts to try when the weather warms up. The running gear is probably worth more than all the rest of my clothes put together. But it’s so worth it to feel comfortable when I run.

When it comes to actually running, I’ve had more down time than I would have liked, but the long runs on Saturdays seem to be going well. I’ve let go of the crazy time that I first thought I wanted to meet and am now happy with crossing that finish line as my reward. It will be a PB no matter what, and I really want a race this year that I can actually run. (I’ve just been diagnosed with a calf injury that will need attention before I can run again, but I will do all that’s required to help it recover as quickly as possible).

I’ve switched to the Galloway method for my training. It’s a 2:1 ratio of running then walking and it’s working for me so far. I program the intervals into my watch and it beeps at me when I need to run and it beeps again for those walk sessions. Last week I ran further in my area than I had before and I actually ran out of footpath to run on and had to turn around. Whilst I’d love to have kept going on the road, it has no shoulders and the cars are all doing 80km (or more) and I’m still nervy about being cleaned up by one. Safety is a priority when I run (as I’m sure it is for most people), so if it means that I have to do some doubling back on the same paths, then that’s what I’ll do.

I really feel like I’m finding my feet with running now. It bothers me to miss a session but I know it’s a long term plan. A byproduct of all the running is that I’m getting slimmer, but more importantly fitter. For me it was never about losing the weight, though I’m happy that I have as it makes running easier. Weight loss isn’t something that I am motivated by, but I do love fresh air and the chance to get out and just do something for me. It’s my few hours a week to clear my head and just not think about anything but the lyrics in my ears and keeping up the cadence. As an over thinker, it’s a dream.

I’m also beginning to love the hills. Rather than curse them, I’m starting to enjoy the challenge of running up them and the thrill of zooming down the other side. It’s like you get to be a kid again for a moment without a worry in the world. Last week I ran up one hill that had been defeating me for a long time. I may have fist pumped at the top! haha I’m now at the stage where the long run distances will all be longer than I’ve ever run before. I’m really excited to see how far I can go and how to keep well fueled along the way.

Since I really wanted to tell you about my new love of running gear, here’s a list of my current faves:

  • Lululemon Bang Buster Headbands (the only headbands ever to stay put on my head)
  • Lululemon Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve tops
  • Lululemon Mod Moves Crops (5 pockets!! pockets are hard to get in exercise gear)
  • Injinji Toe Socks (Mid Weight for cold days and Light Weight for warmer days)
  • Hoka OneOne Bondi 3 running shoes
  • Moving Comfort Juno Sports Bra (She Science is where to find them)
  • Garmin Forerunner Watch with HRM (I have the 210, but I’m dreaming of getting either the 220 or the 620)
  • Apple iPod Nano clip on (I need new headphones, but clipping this to my sports bra makes it easy to reach and it doesn’t move when I run)
  • Operation Move Hat (as an alternative to the headbands)
  • 2XU Compression Race Socks (I wear them for recovery because they are come in prettier colours than the recovery socks – I’m not even kidding)

I’ve found that having the right gear helps me feel comfortable and confident to get moving. I see it as an investment in something that I want to do long term. And I spoiled myself with a pair of lululemon crops when I first started running in 2012, and I find it hard to switch brands now, especially as they seem to be the only ones who have the side pockets. You don’t have to spend a whole heap to get running, but this is my hobby and it’s nice to treat myself to things that I know will get a lot of use. I also shop at the outlet, where most things are 30%-40% off. The outlet is awesome!!

I can’t wait to see how the next month goes. I’m taking my running gear with me to the Problogger Training Event on the Gold Coast next week and I’m hoping to get a nice long run in the glorious Queensland sunshine! So fun!

Part 3 coming late September x

If you missed it you can read Part 1 here

Pinterest Saturdays: 6 Fun for Everyone Outdoor Games

Hello! Happy Saturday! August is just zooming by, but in this part of the world it means that Spring is on it’s way! Hooray! No matter if you’re in Summer now or still dreaming of those lazy outdoor days, I’ve got a great pinterest round up for you today with Outdoor Games that the whole family can play!

Pinterest Saturdays: 6 Fun for Everyone Outdoor Games on Style for a Happy Home

  1. Twister This would be fun for a party or just for getting everyone outside for some fun! Original Post HerePin It Here
  2. Bean Bag Toss This one might be aimed at the little ones, but could make for a fun family game, especially if you team up! Buy It HerePin It Here
  3. Giant Jenga Here’s a great one for a spring/summer barbeque! Original Post HerePin It Here
  4. Ring Toss This one is easy to make from what you already have at home and makes a great summer boredom buster! Original Post HerePin It Here
  5. Yard Dominoes As a lover of dominoes I couldn’t go past this! Would be great to play on a warm afternoon (and a fun DIY too!) Original Post HerePin It Here
  6. Kick the Disk  A fun outdoor game that could be played in teams in the driveway on a sunny day! Original Post HerePin It Here

Do you like outdoor games as a family? Which of these would you try?

You can follow my Summer Fun Pinterest Board for more inspiration! And you can also follow me here, if you’d like!

Mini Makeover: Easy Framed Art for the Home

Some of the DIYs for our home can feel so big that we never get around to starting. Sometimes we want something that’s quick, simple and inexpensive to make our homes feel a bit happier and brighter. Today I want to share a tutorial with you that’s all three of those (quick, simple and inexpensive). Yay! These easy framed art pieces are especially great if you have some frames you want to hang but don’t have the prints or photos you want for them yet.

Mini Makeover: Easy Framed Art for the Home on Style for a Happy Home

What you’ll need:

  • Photo Frames I got mine from IKEA. They are the Ribba frames that fit a standard photo inside the mat board (4×6″)
  • Gift Wrap You can use gift wrap that you like that you already have or get some from a gift shop, supermarket or discount store that has a print you like. I used gift wrap from a gift I received and some I had from a previous mini makeover.
  • Patterned Tissue Paper You can get this from a gift store, etc or even from special purchases you made (if the tissue paper is in good condition – not ripped). I got these from two separate Kate Spade purchases. The stripes came in the shoe box with my flats and the 20th anniversary paper came from the carry bag that came with my handbag.
  • Scissors
  • Optional: Washi or Masking Tape for keeping the patterns straight in the frame

How to:

  1. First prepare the photo frames and the mat board by pulling up the back of the frame and then giving it a wipe over with a clean dry cloth and place it to one side. Then wipe the mat board and place to one side as well.
  2. Next take the cloth and carefully wipe the glass on the inside of the frame to pick up any particles that might be sitting on the glass. Do this whilst the frame with the glass in it is on a flat stable surface. Move it to one side
  3. Take your gift wrap or patterned tissue paper and your mat board and line the mat board up over the pattern that you’d like in your frame. Carefully cut your gift wrap or tissue paper so that the pattern you want to show will appear inside the mat board. Make sure to cut the gift wrap or tissue paper so that there is an overhang that you can attach to the back of the mat board.
  4. Lie the mat board face down on the flat surface and line the gift wrap or patterned tissue paper (also face down) over the cut out. Pick them both up to check that the alignment is correct and use a piece of washi tape (or masking tape) to affix it to the back of the mat board.
  5. Lay the mat board flat again and affix the gift wrap or tissue paper at the base also. Pick it up and check the face side looks good and add extra tape at the back if necessary
  6. Now add the mat board and ‘print’ to the glass frame and back with white paper if needed (I did this where the tissue paper was transparent).
  7. Holding the mat board and glass in, carefully pick up the frame and check which way is up for the print and place the top end away from you on the flat surface. Also check that there’s no stray crumbs or marks on the inside of the glass that will annoy you later.
  8. Now add the back of the frame in carefully, top facing away from you and once again hold it all together and check the mat board is still centred before placing it back on the flat surface and closing the hooks so that it doesn’t come apart.
  9. Repeat for as many frames as you like, and you’re ready to place or hang them!

Mini Makeover: Easy Framed Art for the Home (after) on Style for a Happy Home

Thoughts on the project:

This is a fun and simple project that can be done in less than an hour, depending on how many you want to do. These make great place holders whilst you’re looking for the perfect art piece and are also great for kids rooms. You could use special wrapping paper from gifts that had significant meaning or just a pattern that took your fancy.

The frames are inexpensive and easy to get a few matching ones in all different sizes. You could also use things from your travels or old road maps of places that mean something to you. You could even do this for special fabrics that you want to remember, like a scrap from the fabric that made your wedding dress or something like that.

You could also use Christmas gift wrap during the festive season to make your home feel a little more christmassy without you having to go all out. These will brighten my walls until the next cute patterns take my fancy and I’ll swap them over!

What would you frame in these?

If you do try this, I’d love to see a photo or hear about how it went! Tweet me your pics at: @danniellecresp or instagram me at: @dannielle with the hashtag: #styleforahappyhome