Week 5’s mantra has been “breathe” and I am pretty sure that thanks to focusing on my breathing when I am struggling on my runs, I am finally starting to see some improvements on my endurance and my speed!

training week 5 - 1

Since I’ve gone back to Run Dem Crew on Tuesday evenings my training schedule has changed slightly, basically swapping Tues & Weds around, and last week my friend Fleur helped me push through the speed barrier in my head as we ran to Piccadilly Circus and back with our hardcore hares. It was very hard at times, so I tried to focus on cancelling out all thoughts and feelings, and just focus on my breathing.

training week 5 - 2

The speed and the breathing kind of stuck with me all week and the next day I managed to complete my first 3 miles in under 9:45min/mile in a very long time! It was stormy and I was overheated by too many layers, but I kept with it and really focused, and somehow I managed to do it!

training week 5 - 3

I accidentally sped up the following day as well (not very good at keeping a slow and steady pace without Cata!) and I miraculously powered through a super difficult run by just focusing on my breathing. It felt like my legs were going to fall off during some points but I tried to focus all my thoughts on how I filled my lungs with the cold evening air and it helped.

training week 5 - 4

I ran my first double digit distance on Sunday, trying out my new marathon shoes that I bought this week. They suprisingly made me super speedy and the first 2 miles on my own I managed to run 8:45-9:00 minute miles! At the 2 mile mark I was joined by Cata and we did 8 miles together in the sunshine.

My shoes felt a bit odd at first and I lost the feeling in my right foot for about a mile. But then I rearranged the laces and it went much better from there.

I was super warm throughout most of the run and it just reaffirmed that I really need to find some sort of thin running gilet! The run overall went well and despite being super tired and having jelly legs at the end of it, I felt like I had a lot of energy left and strong legs.

I tried out some running jelly babies as well and it worked much better than the gel the previous week so Im going to try to train with those for now.

The whole thing of focusing on my breathing really helped me this week when I was struggling, so I am going try to improve that technique as it seems to help me cancel out all negative thoughts and feelings (like pain and wanting to give up) during my runs.

This week looks like it will be the last “easy week” – then it is full steam ahead until I am tapering in May!


TUE: Strength training & 5 milesNo strength but ran 5.5 miles
WED: 3 miles DONE
THU: Strength training & 3 miles Strength done, no running
FRI: RESTRan 3 miles
SAT: Swimming DONE
SUN: 7 miles DONE

Building on last weeks new found confidence I felt much stronger and overall much better during my week 4 runs.

training week 4 - 1

Tuesday saw my return to Run Dem Crew – and despite being the slowest runner at the session, I had a fantastic time with my small but mighty “hardcore hares” group :) We banked around 4.5 miles in total, running from Shoreditch to the Tate Modern, via my favourite bridge to run over at night time – Millenium Bridge.

training week 4 - 2

On Wednesday I set out to run for food (quite literally!) as I ran up from Wapping to Haggerston to celebrate Food&Lycra‘s 1st year anniversary. The girls threw one helluva party and on my way home I stopped by the launch party of Like The Wind Magazine – a new non-profit running magazine that presents a collection of stories about running, from the track, trail and road.

training week 4 - 3

The weather has been absolutely mental the last few weeks and on Thursday I went out in the torrential rain to do 3 miles. Not very nice if Im honest,  but I managed to do another 3 miles without stopping so I felt pretty pleased with myself. (although you can’t really tell in the picture!)

training week 4 - 4

On Saturday morning Cata convinced me to go and swim with her. I was a bit reluctant as I haven’t really been swimming in public pools since my younger days when I trained 7 days a week & competed.

Im so thankful that she dragged my sorry ass with her though because it felt great to be back in the water after more than 12 years! It really helped to energise and revitalise my legs after an intense couple of weeks with a painful left shin and calf and I’m thinking of going 2 days a week starting March.

training week 4 - 5

I had 9 miles scheduled for my long run on Sunday and since Cata had been such a great help the previous weeks in keeping a steady pace, I decided to join her once again as she did a steady 7 miles from her marathon plan, with 2 miles at the end on my own.

The first 2 miles felt pretty shit. The wind was strong and it kept blowing away the clouds, letting the sun shine through.

Usually I love the sunshine, but wearing a black thermal running jacket, I thought I would collapse of heat stroke whilst running around Peckham common.

Once the sun went away I felt much better, and we managed to do a decent 5 miles at a very consistent pace – despite the wind almost blowing us off the road a few times!

The last 2 miles on my own were much harder. I decided to try a gel at 7 miles to see how I would react to it, and of course my stomach rejected it straight away and I thought I would shhhh myself.

Not a nice feeling and I had a little sob when I had around 0.5 miles left.

But I managed to hold myself (thankfully!) and I was surprised how relatively good I felt when I was done.

Fingers crossed this good feeling continues as I add on more miles to my training this week!


MON: REST – Done
TUE: Strength training & 3 miles – Done, but I ran 6 miles
WED: 5 miles – Done but  I ran 3 miles
THU: Strength training & 3 miles – Done without strength training
FRI: REST – Done
SAT: Swimming – Done
SUN: 10 miles – Done

Orsii health journey

I wasn’t born fat, but looking back on my life I would say I’ve spent around 15 years having a messed up relationship with food and exercise, which meant I wasn’t just overweight but also unhappy.

Why am I saying this?

Well, it’s because of a thought that hit me during one of my runs this year that I can’t get out of my head…

As most of you know I moved to London in 2005, the same year I started this blog, and I thought I had it all figured out. But going through the archives I can’t help but to shake my head in disagreement.

I have changed so much since 2005, not just physically but mentally too. And during my runs this year when I have been struggling the most, I’ve been trying to dig deep and discover why I’m actually training for this marathon. I mean, it’s not like I’m getting paid to do it!


First I thought it might be for the sense of accomplishment – but I quickly realised that it was just a by-product.

Then I thought ‘Maybe it’s because I will get in shape and lose weight’ – it has been one of the main reasons since I started running 2 years ago, but again, considering how much exercise goes into marathon training, getting fitter and leaner is at this point also just a by-product of it all, not a main reason.

The deeper I kept digging, the more I started to realise that this time around, I wanted to train hard and run this race because of the positive effects it will have on my future self.

Sound a bit confusing? Let me explain:

For the first time in my life I am noticing that my body isn’t changing and recovering as fast and as easy as it used to. I know it’s a fucking cliché and I could never relate to it when my mum used to complain about it when I was younger, but I finally get it now.

Trying to get back into shape this time around hasn’t been as easy as before – my body hasn’t adjusted as quick and as easy, and I can tell that I am getting older and that things are slowing down a bit.

Peckham 10 DONE

I know I know, I am pretty young in the grand scheme of things, BUT! It really made me think about my attitude towards myself and life in general, and how my body will (most likely) gradually deteriorate with time whilst my mind will (most likely) do the opposite.

And it makes me sad that I used to take my body for granted.

I regret not treating it better and I am fascinated by the fact that when my mind wasn’t “mature enough”, my body (technically) had such great potential. And now, the more my mind develops and matures over time, the more my body will deteriorate – especially if I don’t take care of it.

So, despite the fact that this marathon training will have a lot of positive impact on my current life, my main goal with it is not to “just be able to run a marathon” and then go back to my old behaviour.

I think actually, the main goal of all of this is to stop taking my body for granted and to work towards leading a life that is filled with healthier habits, a happier mind and a stronger body.