Category Archives: Race

Pimp My Goodie Bag

So, I have been super slack at keeping this updated and a lot has happened in a month

(1) I did the Bupa London 10,000 on a day that was HOTTER THAN THE SUN. It was a beautiful route round the touristy bits of London. The race gets 10/10 for goody bag and amount of free stuff – I more than made up my entry fee in bottles of Lucozade Lite and complimentary massage  which really helped with the post race legs situation. It was 29 C though and the course had to put spray showers. No record breaking times, but a lot of fun



(2) The Great North Swim. My Beeeyatch Amy and I headed the the Lake District for the Great North Swim late June. In true British style, the weather for the whole weekend was shocking. It actually led to the first two days being cancelled due to the wind, cold and sideways rain. I sweet talked my way into the Sunday mile though and had an awesome time. My theme tune for the weekend was Wetsuit by the Vaccines which I thought was highly appropriate. I learned that weekend that swimmers are super friendly, Lake Windemere is filthy and you can’t beat some Kendal Mint Cake after a big swim. Impressive medal and t-shirt as well

 

(3) Today I joined 25,000 other people in running the British 10k. Again the route was all round famous bits of central London. I experimented with the binbag chic look at the pre-race warm up stage given the amazing British summer weather we are currently experiencing

 

I was super chuffed as I sneaked in at just under an hour, meeting my goal I set for the summer of running a sub hour 10k (yes, I use phrases like this now – Keeno??)

The route was spectacular – running across Westminster Bridge towards Beg Ben and the Houses of Parliament was pretty special. 0/10 for goodie bags and general organisation though – who wants some green tea bags and some plant seeds immediately after you have just ran six miles??

Race metal is racking up nicely though

Next stop is the Great North Run in September. I’m into the third week of my training programme for that which sees me running, swimming, cycling or pilates-ing every day for the next three months. It’s gonna be a good’un.

This month has highlighted my shallowness – Screw fitness – I want me some bling and free stuff! Organisers take note – a goodie bag can make or break a race.

I won’t leave it so long next time – promise…..

Until Then

Peace Out

xoxo

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Giraffes Are My Favourite

So my Beeeyatch Beth asked me a while ago if I fancied taking part in the Marwell Zoo 10k in Hampshire – Sure I said, why not. A little while later I took a look at the course map – it looked a little hilly but hey, no worries I thought  Then I noticed another stinger. As the course is on the open road and you need to listen out for marshals and – erm, tractors – they don’t allow you to wear any kind of headphone. This sent me into a panic. Hills AND no Rocky Theme Tune for distraction – eek!!
We road tripped to Hampshire with Beth, her husband John and her Dad Mike who was also running his first race. From the offset, there was a lovely vibe. Everything was really well organised – Just over a thousand runners in total and there was a great atmosphere in the pre-race area. We collected our chips, tried to work out how to attach them, then started our warm up lunges beside the Tapir and Cheetahs.

 

The fist kilometer or so went round the zoo – we got to say hello to the giraffes and monkeys then headed into the beautiful Hampshire countryside.

Well, it would have been beautiful except for the fact that the first half was ONE GREAT BIG MASSIVE HILL!! Fellow runners told survivors stories of the course – “oh yeah, this is a very challenging course – the hills are pretty steep and go on for a long time” – bloody hell! The marshals and people at the water stations were great and gave out Jelly Babies with love. Marshals were  super supportive in mostly a non annoying way. One though who I picked out as a definite Keeno was shouting “Looking Good Ladies” to every female that passed by hmmmm – the sight of a red faced, overweight woman struggling up a hill is hardly ‘a good look’ in my books.

Thankfully the last half was mostly downhill or flat. As no headphones were allowed, I was able to chat to those around me. I made lots of new friends including one dressed as a parrot and one as a zebra. I crossed the finish line in one hour three minutes. Beth and her Dad both killed it, beating me despite it being their first ever running race. Beth wins the award for funniest finish photo as she tried to listen out for her time on the iPhone strapped to her arm.

We were disappointed with the race bling, or more accurately, lack of it. Instead of getting a finishers medal we got a crappy badge

I have to say though that this was the only disappointment. The race was very well organised and everyone was super friendly. I’d definitely do it again. One additional bonus was being able to go round the zoo afterwards – it was very cool – giraffes are my favourite….


I’m doing another 10k next weekend – the Bupa London 10,000. It was a boost for the confidence knowing I can actually run perfectly well without the distraction of music and I can cope with monster hills without totally dying. I would love to finish a 10k this summer in under an hour. Amazing to think it’s a real possibility when this time last year I couldn’t run for 60 seconds… Good times

Rock on with the Summer Races…..

Peace Out

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The One Where I Go To The London Marathon

I spent today mostly looking like this

I know what you’re thinking – In the words of LMFAO – I’m Sexy And I Know It!!!

I was joining 200 other supporters with Macmillan Cancer at mile 25 cheering on runners of the 2012 London Marathon. I was joined by Team Awesome AKA my very good friends Ellie, Alan and Mickey and had a surprisingly fantastic day.

An article in the Evening Standard called the London Marathon a ‘ pure force for good’ with serious hundreds of millions of pounds being raised for various charideees over the years.  It did seem like the whole atmosphere was pumped full of positive vibes. Cheers were raised for the elite wheelchair athletes, then elite women and men – mind boggling how fast they go and how they’re able to maintain it for over 26 miles….

Then came the normal runners. Anyone from Macmillan, anyone with an unusual name, or anyone with a particularly inventive outfit got an extra loud cheer. My favourite was the dude dressed as an asthma inhaler – different, although I think it’s fair to say the 65 year old dressed in a mankini was less appreciated. It was one of those times when conventional British anti-social rules definitely didn’t apply – we chatted along with other spectators and cheered their loved ones – ‘Go Ed for Lifeboats’ and talked to elated marathoners on the tube home about their race experience.


Later I wandered near the finish line. It was genuinely touching to see people have medals put round their neck and to see how they would look upon them so lovingly – it was obvious how much that lump of metal meant to people. Also to see runners reunited with their friends and families – tears, hugs and love all round – nearly as  sickening my blog post last month.
Even if the thought of running makes you break out in spots, I would highly recommend going along to cheer – you’ll probably get given a t shirt as cool as mine and some inflatable sticks that you can play pretend fencing with if you get bored.

It’s all getting me excited about my next race – a less impressive 10K at Marwell Zoo in a few weeks – Bring It On!!

Until  next time Sportsfans

Over and Out
Xoxo

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Swimming Ettiquette

I’ve been looking a lot like this lately in preparation for the Great North Swim in June

Last post I promised twisted and cynical, and here it is. I really do love swimming, always have, but there are a few pet peeves which are garanteed to push my buttons and transform me from a happy soul into a grumpy old woman. In my defence, these rules only apply when the pool is marked off for lane swimming so these are for people who have come specifically to do lengths, not to just mess around.

(1) Poolside Stop And Chats

When swimming lengths, THE most annoying thing is when two or more people commandeer the end of each  lane for chatter meaning you can’t swim the whole length of the pool and push off from the  edge. If you want to gossip love, feck off to the the cafe upstairs – a swimming pool’s for swimming, not discussing. Will do a passive aggressive ‘I’m displeased’ death stare at Stop and Chatters, but I think it loses effect through my pink tinted swimming goggles lenses.

(2) People Who Make Up Their Own Swimming Stroke

These people are usually also excessive splashers. The most unusual bespoke swimming style I’ve seen recently can only be described as ‘The Turtle’, a painfully slow flapping of arms and legs resulting in virtually  no momentum forward and a plethora of splashage. Particularly annoying one to get stuck behind

(3) People Positioning Themselves In The Inappropriate Swimming Lane

If you’re not a fast swimmer, there is absolutely no shame in sticking to the slow lane – none at all. What is not ok though, is kidding yourself that the fast lane is for you. People who do this are also likely to be Stop and Chatters – all manner of wrong. As an aside, I aspire one day to be good enough to go in the fast lane.

If you find yourself guilty of any of the offences above, be rest assured that that your other swimmers DO notice and they DO mind!

Until Next Time

Peace Out

xoxo

PS. Oh, and Happy Easter

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Foot Watch – The Sequel

Whenever I’ve seen friends over the past couple of weeks, before we even get to the hello stage, I invariably get asked the question – How are your feet?? This is followed up quickly with “By the way dude, your feet are gross – Who even puts pictures of their feet on the internet” What can I say – bite me… Three weeks post race and here’s how they’re shaping up

Extra cushioning for future races I suppose.

Life after completing such a big milestone is weird – you can’t help but feel there’s a bit of a void.  I’ve made a real effort to keep up with running 3 times and cross-training a couple of times every week. I’ve been going to a few of my local parkruns and can’t say enough about how good they are – free 5k races every Saturday all round the UK – super friendly people with absolutely all levels of running ability. I’m also seeing my 5k time come down nicely 😉 I’ve put my Half Marathon medal on the bedroom mirror – still smile every time I see it!

Next race is the Sport Relief Mile down The Mall in London which should be a lot of fun. 25th March baby – see ya there

Peace Out

xoxo

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Foot Watch

If you’re squemish, you probably shouldn’t read this post.

One week since the Brighton Half Marathon. My legs are recovered, I’m feeling smug. There’s only one problem – My feet are Fuct.

I mean seriously

*WARNING – Grossness Alert*

I got properly fitted for running shoes on that running machine where they take a video of your feet and you watch it back with popcorn AND I got fancy running socks AND I even wore preventative blister plasters before I ran but as you can see, that didn’t work.

Wanna see another one

This is a direct quotation from one of the people I live with “Please don’t make me look at them again”

I’ve been advised a hot bath with Epsom salts is the way forward, but does anyone else have any top tips for dealing with blisters? It’s been a week now, they won’t go away and they hurt!!

In other news,  I’ve had a few requests to keep this blog going even though the half marathon is finished and I’m only too happy to oblige! I’ve realised that booking into organised stuff is the best way to keep me focussed and keep this fitness malarky going. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to turn into a Keeno (Click here to discover why I NEVER want to be a Keeno) but I’m feeling well, have had a blast over the past few months, so it would be silly not to keep it going. So, over the next few months, I have booked myself into

The Sport Relief Mile in March

The Bupa London 10,000 in May

The Great North Swim in June

The London 10k in July

and

The Great North Run in September which is the worlds BIGGEST Half Marathon (super excited about that one)

It’s gonna be great. I’m gonna get me so much free stuff!!

So until next time, Peace Out – next time I’ll try not to write something that’ll make you vom.

xoxo

 

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Mission Acomplished

Every now and again, the universe pulls its finger out and things come together to make a near perfect day.

Perfect weather, a beautiful route, a city alive with supporters and my very own fan club made for an awesome, awesome day. I was running with my very good friend Amy and we both made it across the finish line. There was some controversy after the race finished – it transpired that someone put a cone in the wrong place during a turn around and we actually ran half a mile more than the 13.1 miles we were supposed to! Our times were adjusted so I managed it in 2hours 27 mins which isn’t exactly breaking any records, but I was chuffed nonetheless.

I heard of a really nice idea which Amy, and I tried out – we dedicated each mile to a different person(s) I’ve asked Amy to be a guest contributer on this post – I can’t guarantee that these are perfectly in order, but here’s a run down of our race….

Mile One –  We dedicated the first mile to each other – so mile one goes to Amy who was running her second half marathon and killed it despite being unwell all last week – we did it dude!!

Amy – Yooooouuu! Very proud of one of my favourite people and her new found running talents! I was very happy to share the day with you – and well done on your victory!

Mile Two – To Stephen who I work with who told me his Mum lived with Alzheimer’s before her death a few years ago

Amy – To your Nan – all the pain and hard work inspired by her, to a great cause too.

Mile Three – To Ellie – one of my top 3 favourite people – to her resilience for coping with a really tough year and her 100% enthusiasm and encouragement for this crazy idea I had last winter

Amy To Geoff – my favourite boy, thanks for the support despite knowing my lack of training. Wouldn’t have been the same without your shouts at various time points, and of course the kiss at mile 6

Mile Four – To Barcardi Ali my crazy Auntie who put on an event in her home bringing in hundreds of pounds and who is recovering from a nasty operation this week

Amy – To Mummy and Daddy – for all their support in my daft escapades and always checking I’m alive and well at the end

Mile Five – To Chloe who let me stay with her and the family all weekend in Brighton and made me a good luck hot water bottle the night before. Also one of my most favourite people on the planet and who I won’t see for months as she’s traveling with work 😦

Amy – To Grandma Love – what a rubbish couple of years and dedicating this warm up to the Great North Run which I am doing to raise money for the Stroke Association.

Mile Six – To Mum – the best role model a young woman could wish for – shining example of always putting family first

Amy – To Grandpa Love – for being a wonderful Grandfather and for all he does to look after a wonderful Grandmother

Mile Seven – To Grampa ‘The Don’ – this guy could write a book about the things he’s experienced. One of the most loving, gentle, charismatic people you could ever meet – plus, he’s 87 and can txt – legend!

Amy – To my legs! 2 miles of sheer torture followed this point – I should also raise a glass to lucozade and glucose at this stage!!

Mile Eight – To Dad who really excitedly got behind this whole endevour and for a whole host of reasons is truly a Dad in a Million!

Amy To Philip – my wonderful baby brother!

Mile Nine – This is where things really started to hurt! This mile was for Granny – a remarkable woman who is living with this bloody awful condition of Alzhiemers with such dignity and grace

Amy  – To Lisa – my favourite little sister in law

Mile Ten – To my brother Dee – the most genuine person I know. Great Dad, great brother, great bloke!

Amy – To Stevie B – my wonderful big brother, for all of his big brotherly love and guidance

Mile Eleven – To Trevor – a guy I’ve never actually met but who is a friend of my aunt. His father has Alzheimer’s and gave me £100 for this cause

Amy – To Katie – My favourite big sister in law

Mile Twelve – To my sister Caroline who has raised a little star in the form of my niece Hannah. Don’t know how you find the time to do all you do sis – ’nuff respect.

Amy – To Grandad & memory of Grandma Baraniak – what wonderful Grandparents, Grandma is still very much missed

Mile Thirteen –  I ran out of miles to fit everyone I wanted to in, so the last one was for my whole family – I’m incredibly privileged to have grown up with such cool people around who only want the best for me – I’m truly blessed. At this point, I started crying like a baby and continued until the finish line

Amy To Auntie Linda – well what can I say about her…for the laughter she brings to my life and her love of Lily the little border collie! Mile last .2 which was really a sneaky .7 … my fellow runners on the day who had to keep their legs going that extra half a mile!!


Additional good things about the day

(1) Beating Katie Price

(2) So. Much. Free. Stuff.

Was in a wall of pain the next day and have two feet full of blisters, but honestly, it was worth every last step.

Overwhelmed by the support I’ve received and will let you all know the final total in a few weeks time, but the Just Giving page is still open here if you want to drop by

Could probably write so much more, but for now, that is all.

Until next time

Peace Out

xoxo


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