Be A Star Gift Provider

The Boyf and I don’t really tend to go big on the birthday, Christmas and Valentine’s Day present front because we are more of a see it and buy it family. Neither of us see the point in waiting for an arbitrary date or day in the year to share a gift that we think the other will love. It seems such a shame to make someone wait when part of the excitement is the giving and seeing them enjoy the thought you have put into the gift. Not because it’s their “one more rotation around the sun” day, or a day that society says you need to show your love on…but because you saw something you thought they would love, and snapped it up to show them that you love them.

I recently came across such an opportunity and I am excited to share this collaborative post. I worked with the team at Star-Name-Registry.Com to put together the best surprise for the Boyf. All views are my own (and a bit of his too!).

Star-Name-Registry.ComStar Name Registry.Com give you a number of ways to share your love with friends and family, by naming a star after them (or giving it a name that means something to them). They take care of everything from the updating of the star name in the official registry, to sending out a presentation pack to the recipient, with the full details of their star.

There is a lot of choice available to you…in fact it took me a few days of pondering before I pulled together everything I wanted to incorporate into the Boyf’s gift.

First of all you have to choose the type of star that you want. Standard and Extra Bright are both options that give you one star that is visible in the UK, Binary allows you to choose 2 stars (so perfect for an anniversary gift or even a unique wedding gift).

I went for an Extra Bright star, and also chose the Extra Bright Star Gift Package. In addition to the basic information and star certificate this set included the certificate in a frame, star atlases and in a lovely touch, some blue wooden roses which really add to the presentation of the gift (they do red ones too if you are buying for a woman, or someone who prefers red).

Then it was on to choosing the star itself. This is were it can get tricky….there is a lot of choice, and so you can really tailor the gift. Especially if the person you are buying for is into astrology, you can easily tie it in with their star-sign. In addition to the 12 astrological constellations related to birth there are plenty of other options. There is an additional charge for specifying the constellation that your star appears in, but in my view it is well worth it. If you have a unicorn lover in the family then you can get a star in Monocerous, a belt lover…why not go for Orion!Star-Name-Registry.Com

In the end I went for Libra, because the Boyf and I bring balance to each other. At times we can be very different in our approach and ways of dealing with things (and we often clash because of it), but in the end everything settles down because we know that together we are better than apart!

When ordering, you chose your start package, add the name you would like the star called and then select the constellation you want it in (if you want this extra). You also get the chance to add a short personalise message that is added to the certificate (I chose to comment on the balance aspect of Libra). You can also choose a meaningful date. This could easily be tied in to a birthday, wedding date or even just an “I got you a gift Friday” date. So this truly is a chance to personalise the gift as much as you would like so that it really means something.And that’s it, the order goes in and a few days later your gorgeous gift arrives! Ours was in a silver gift box and was nicely presented with tissue paper and the roses. The Boyf was really surprised and pleased, although of course he thinks I am a bit soppy….but hey, it’s OK to be soppy when you’re in love!Star-Name-Registry.Com

This was a really fun present and will give us a good excuse to head to a decent Dark Sky area one day to see if we can see his star!

Do you like the idea of having your own star? Or naming one after someone else?

Keep your eyes peeled as I’ll be running a competition for you to win your own Star in the not too distant future.

Feed me!

image text - Feed me! Easy smoothies

The Boyf and I thought it would be good to share some of the food related creations he comes up with, as I know people often struggle for ideas for smoothies, healthy snacks and recovery food.  I’ll be posting these up on my @iamkatruns Instagram as and when he makes them, but will also try and do a regular round-up on here for those of you who don’t do Instagram or miss them in the daily flow of random stuff!

So here you go!  I hope this gives you some good ideas.

 

Competition: Join me on LEJOG

Image wording - win: bronze level entry to Conqueror Events LEJOG challenge

#LETJOGFor the last 3 years I have participated in a Facebook challenge to cover the distance from Lands End to John O’Groats via my training runs and races (thanks @Loudmouthman for the intro).  I fell short in 2014, but in 2015 I smashed it and look to do so again in 2016 assuming I can stay injury free.  I currently have 89km to go!

It’s no surprise that when I found out about the Conqueror Events virtual LEJOG that I got involved straight away.  This is a virtual event that allows you to input your runs, bike rides etc (basically any forward motion) and race your way through LEJOG.  Keep reading and I’ll give you the opportunity to win a Bronze level entry (you can top up to Gold if you want to).

What makes this different from what I have been doing up to know is that you get an added virtual environment, no more will I just tick off the kilometres with no real concept of distance and location….now I will be able to “see” where I have been running as the app and website let’s me check out the actual route via Google Streetview.  I’ll also be able to share my virtual journey by sending online progress postcards.

You can sign-up as a team, or an individual and chose how long you are going to take to cover the 1084 miles (from 3 months to 1 year).  I’ve going to be solo-ing and have given myself a year to do it. As you know I am focused on training smart, not hard and so don’t want to put pressure on myself to do the distance in 9 months just in case my plans change and my training volume drops.

Image - t-shirt and medalSo who fancies joining me?  I’m giving away a free entry at Bronze level which gives you access to the challenge, use of the app and website and a prize draw entry.  You also get a downloadable certificate once you have finished LEJOG.  If you fancy getting a great t-shirt, or a medal (along with extra prize draw entries) then you can pay a little top-up to the Silver or Gold entry level.

You can read all about it on the website, use my affiliate link and you’ll get £5/$7 off the entry price.

Why not get a group of friends together and enter as a team?  Use it as a way to motivate your Coach to 5 km group, or be crazy like me and commit to going it alone!

All you need to do to enter is provide me with your email address using the entry form below (how else am I going to tell you you have won?), you can also gain extra entries by following Tailfish on Twitter, or visiting the Tailfish Blog Facebook page.  What are you waiting for?  Get Clicking! And if you can’t see the form below then go here instead.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Entries will close in plenty of time to let those of you who weren’t lucky enough to win a chance to sign up via https://www.theconqueror.events/go/tailfish.

How to be an ultra-runner

Title image - how to be an ultra-runner

Posts are pending, 2 marathons completed, 2 marathons that aborted at the halfway point and a giant mosquito blister have all occurred and I will write them up soon.
In the meantime enjoy this video from Trail and Ultra Running on how to be an ultra-runner…..thanks to the Boyf for spotting and sharing this with me on Facebook.

I am off to count my hand-helds and hunt down a book on animal tracks!

Race Review: Spitfire Scramble

Image - UK Fitness bloggers spitfire scramble results

5 days on and the mosquito bites on my legs have just about stopped itching…..the sunburn on my calves is still providing comedy value for my colleagues though!

Last weekend was spent in a field at Hornchurch Country Park in Essex. I blame Helen….although I am sure the Boyf blames her more! She had suggested that some of the UK Fitness Bloggers crew should enter the Spitfire Scramble 24 hour race as a team in 2016, things rapidly spiralled out of control and not only were we signed up as a team of 8 to run in 2015 but somehow I had signed the Boyf to run it solo!

A few team member changes occurred over the period before sign-up as people broke & couldn’t recover in time but our merry band of 8 UK Fitness Bloggers (@Helsieboo, @knittingpenguin, @nairobiny, @plustenner, @PtMollie, @CoreyLearn & @lifemychallenge) plus associated families and friends converged in the aforementioned field. Some lucky people arrived on Friday in the rain (perfect British camping weather) but a hectic time at work (and the need for the Boyf to get a good night’s sleep) meant that we rocked up on the Saturday morning just as some of our intrepid crew headed off to do parkrun as a nice little 5km warm-up. Just what you need when you are planning on running a further 30ish km over the course of the weekend (each lap was about 9.5km).

#foodtentWe managed to get our tents pitched…..food tent for the Boyf rated as easy (it expanded out as I opened the bag) but the main tent was a bit trickier. I am really glad we didn’t have to pitch it in the dark or rain! Thanks Sabine for helping us get it sorted.   It was really great to meet everyone in person as I had only met Alma before in real life. I think we were all a mix of nervousness and eagerness not only to put faces to names but also to get racing. Helen had prepped a race-order list with expected run times to keep us on track and over the course of the day we kept this updated with actual times so that everyone had a good idea of when to get prepped for their next lap. Corey completing lap 1Corey had got us all some great headbands to wear and these really helped us stand out….regular readers will already know I have a love of bright colours as they can been seen from a distance and these meant you could spot your team-mate easily as they ran round the field to the handover point. They also helped the Boyf recognise people as they passed him on their laps once the race was underway. As a solo runner he was taking things at a steady pace whilst we were all bombing round at high-speed (it’s nice knowing you have 8 hours to recover between laps) but it meant he could spot friendly faces at a glance!

We were lucky enough to have some goodies to test whilst we were racing and for my first lap I wore the wicking t-shirt from Trespass. I’ve had Trespass clothing before for snowboarding and it’s been good quality and value for money. This shirt was no different. It was comfortable to wear and given the heat I felt that the wicking action worked really well. I was wearing my x-bionic Fennec top underneath as I like to have something compressiony on when I run but even with a dual-layer I didn’t cook. I was really impressed. I’m definitely going to make this one of my gym shirts as not only is it light but it has a zipped pocket in the side which will be perfect for holding my gym pass and my Techno-key for the machines.

I spent the day chilling with the team and flitting back and forth to the food tent to crew for the Boyf. It was great to see fellow parkrun friends as well. Neferpus popped over with Abradypus after their spot of voluntourism and Urglecom was there running as part of another team. Abradypus actually stayed for the entire weekend, looking after the Boyf in the darkest hours of the night whilst I was out running and it was marvellous knowing he was in safe hands when I wasn’t able to be there for him. All the team were so supportive of him and his solo efforts and I know we both really appreciated it. I also managed to keep myself hydrated with my Sistema Wave twist-top water bottle. This is now my water bottle for work because as long as I remember to close the twist top it reduces the risk of me spilling it over my laptop when I get a bit arm-wavey on my conference calls.

Helen had arranged the plan so that I did my 2nd & 3rd laps together in the dark. This really helped me with my prep for future races as I have a couple of night ultras coming up and then my big 100 miler in July next year. I used my Trespass lamp as a secondary light whilst crewing the Boyf but it wouldn’t have been strong enough for my run. The course was not lit except for the water station and there wasn’t much ambient light either (especially not in the wooded section) so I was glad to have my LED Lenser 7 with me. That lamp is amazing, it is so bright and the great thing is it takes 3 AAA batteries or the battery block that it comes with. This means if you are running all the way through the night you can easily swap power source if you need to. I also had my bargain 100 lumen mini handheld torch as well. I didn’t have to use it but it meant I had an extra method of blinding any non-runners should they choose to sneak up on me (thankfully no one did, but when you are running in the dark at 2am it’s better to be prepared!).

Shortly after my laps were finished the Boyf decided that after 12 laps he needed a break, so we headed to the tent and crashed for about 40 minutes. Then it was coffee time and a walk to the results tent to check how everyone was doing. My Spitfire Scramble lap times

It was so cool having live updates throughout the course of the race. There was a screen showing live updates of times and positions of all the teams, pairs and solo runners which if you were part of a fast team meant you could keep track of your placings (we were slightly more relaxed about that side of things than some teams were!). You could also check lap times based on someone’s race number, this as great for me as it meant I could check the Boyf’s pace and progress each time he finished a lap. This was a huge help for me, especially for the laps when we were both out running and I wasn’t at the crew point.

He had pretty much decided to call it a day with 12 laps in the bag but Mike convinced us we might as well walk a lap with our coffees, there was still 6 hours left to go on the clock so off we went. We took it nice and steady but decided that 13 laps was more than enough. There was no real benefit in death-marching it to the end so instead we slept a bit more and supported my team as they finished off the race. I am so glad I had done all my running as it was really tough for everyone else pulling out a 3rd lap after another 8 hour break! Well done Teamies, you were amazing!

In the end we finished 31st out of 42 teams in the mixed 6-8 group. 23 laps in 24:15:55! This was my first 24 hour race and I loved it….thanks Helen for coming up with the idea and to everyone else for jumping on board and making it a really fun weekend!  I had a great time and I am really pleased with the times I ran my laps in.

Thanks also to those who supported me with free stuff to use as part of the race, despite this the views in the post are honest, open and my own.

If you want to read some of the other team members views of their time at Spitfire Scramble then here are some links for you:

Alma

Andrew

Cassie

Corey

Helen

Molly

Sabine

My Garmin Stats:

Lap 1

Lap 2 & Lap 3 (night double)