http://wp.me/p2QDtE-2k Do come and join me at the Do Something New Challenge
I’m super excited about my marathon challenge and new blog – feel free to have a look!
Hello Loyal Readers – I come with exciting news. I will be runnning the Virgin London Marathon in April and to celebrate have created a brand spanking new blog chronicling my journey, but with an added twist that promises daily fun – take a peek! http://dosomethingnewchallenge.wordpress.com/
Like the Marathon a few months ago, the Olympics have felt like a shot of positivity and good vibes shooting through this fair city. Being a sucker for sentimentality, I’ve been totally engrossed right from the Torch Relay, stalking it several times as it made its way to the Olympic Park.
I watched the whole opening ceremony with a group of friends, during which I learned of at least four countries I didn’t know existed before (Comoros anyone??) I have to say, the ceremony certainly was, erm, interesting… While the lighting of the cauldron and forging of the Olympic Rings were truly spectacular, for parts of it, I can’t help but think Danny Boyle spent a hefty chunk of the £27million budget smoking drugs! I also loved that it has been an excuse to make up some new words – Seb Coe slipped ‘Olympicality’ into his speech – I’m pretty sure that’s a made up word, but I like it 😉
I’ve already been to Old Trafford and Wembley to watch Team GB take on the footy and will be swinging by Beach Volleyball later on this week – seeing Horseguards Parade transformed into a beach is well worth a tenner! I’m kinda hoping watching lots of sports will translate into some vicarious Great North Run training since I’ve been super slack in my preparations. Not completely my fault since I’ve been struck down with the flu, but I really need to get back in the game. Until then, will continue to watch random Olympic sports from my sickbed (Handball is my favourite so far – brutal!)
GOOD LUCK TEAM GB!!!!
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…..
Someone would have to be living under a rock not to notice that this weekend celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. While I can’t call myself a huge royalist, I’m a sucker for nostalgia and being able to say ‘I was there when’…. Thus, my friends got dragged all round London this weekend as we soaked up the atmosphere
Union flags were everywhere and they seemed to make people happy.
This brass band started off my Saturday by playing the Muppet’s Theme Tune – is there REALLY any better way to kick start a bank holiday weekend???
Sunday saw the Thames River Pagent
Even though we got soaked to the skin and it took four hours to get home because London Transport in their wisdom kept a normal Sunday service despite over a million people flocking to the banks of the Thames (ok, enough ranting) it was pretty spectacular
Monday evening we headed to Hyde Park to watch the Diamond Jubilee concert. Ellie gets full brownie points for her themed picnic.
Finally this afternoon saw the Royal Family watch a fly past on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
We really are a nation that has a seemingly endless tolerance for queuing patiently. Some people had camped out for days to get prime viewing spots. While as I’ve confessed I’ve a soft spot for any big national event you can TAKE IT TOO FAR GUYS, ok.
Congrats Liz and thanks for the day off
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.
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…..
My usual sickeningly optimistic demeanor has been shaken. Some geniuses threw eggs at a friend and I as we walked home from a party this weekend. Just in case you’re wondering, it’s NOT fun to travel across London playing find the egg shell in your party clothes. The next day I was still fuming. Rather than stew in my own juices, I wondered how the situation could be transformed to a force for good. My solution
Using eggs in the best way I know – Banana Pancakes – a Hug on a Plate.
I also thought I would try a special weekend run. Purely by accident I came across some fantastic runs around central London on the Serpentine Running Club website. This one takes you the whole way would Hyde Park, St James’s Park and Green Park passing shameless London tourist spots on the way.
Head to Kensington Palace
Head back to Speakers Corner in Hyde Park past the Joy of Life Fountain
It was a very pretty, but very slow seven miles given the many stops I had to make to orient myself and sidestep tourists -btw, is there ANYTHING more annoying than a bunch of tourists with umbrellas. Even though I’ve lived in this great city for about 4 yrs now, there’s so much I haven’t seen – could be a good excuse to work through the whole website ……
Until Next Time