Five things Friday #5. I am impressed that I am on number 5! I’m not always the best at keeping things going and I have had less time online this week. But here goes and I hope some of these are of interest to you. Let me know below.
Sharing FIVE things that I have been doing/using/found this week that I think are worthy of sharing.
If you have been following me for a while, you will know that finding a cure for Motor Neurone Disease is something close to my heart. I run often to raise money and awareness for the MNDA in the hope that one day there will be a cure.
Read more about the trials here. If you would like to donate, you can here.
Virtual Run – Bushfire Relief Run
The fires that are happening in Australia are awful. The photos and videos that are being shared on Social Media are heart-breaking. As usual, the running community has come together to try and raise funds with a virtual run.
A runner in Australia had teamed up with Strava to host a virtual run. Find out more information here. Be quick as the challenge starts today.
Nike Vapourfly Next%
If you have watched any marathon in the last year, you are bound to have seen that the leading group are almost certainly wearing the record-breaking Nike shoes. Well, an article in runner world says that they are likely to be banned. Read here.
So what do you think? Do you think that these should be banned? Or should other brands be stepping up to compete with Nike? They do appear to be giving huge gains to those that are wearing them!
Another blog to follow if you are running the Manchester Marathon and would like to read about someone else’s journey. This Chap Runs (Jack) took part in the Berlin Marathon last year and is now tackling his 2nd marathon training cycle.
If you missed my weekly recap last week from Manchester you can find it here. Better still, add your email to the subscription box on the right and never miss another post.
Surely EVERYONE has heard about Parkrun? They organise, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. You can run or walk them.
I was lucky enough to take part in a club takeover at Irchester Parkrun last weekend. This is where my club provides nearly all the volunteering roles. My role was to write the run report. If you would like to read, click here.
So that’s it for Five things Friday #5. Any articles that you think need sharing, please send them my way.
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Missed other Five Things Friday, click here to have a read.
Let me start this recap with my comedy moments from the weekend! Firstly, when I got out of the tube station at Tower Bridge, the heavens opened. I put my hood up and was sending a video to my friends asking them why they didn’t want to come to London. You may have already guessed, but my head was down I wasn’t looking where I was going, and I walked into a lamppost!! There were so many people around and I felt so stupid!
So that started the day and this to finish! Last year, Jordan – Project Marathon Girl had a great finishing photo, and she had shared it on Saturday on Instagram.
I messaged her, saying it was a great photo and that I was going to try to recreate it when I finished. So, as I approach the finish line, I put my arms out wide, but forget to check if anyone is next to me, and hit the poor lady next to me! What an absolute tool! She was lovely about it, and we ended up hugging at the finish line, but I dreaded the finish line photos coming out. I also received a message via Facebook saying someone had just seen me cross the finish line on the TV. My heart sank, I could just see that moment on replay! Luckily it was just my head on the TV!
Date: Sunday 10th March 2019
Weather: A bit of everything, sun, rain, hail stones, but mostly WIND!
Course: Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf and The Cutty Sark are all the highlights, between those sections the course is not that spectacular.
My race: Last year I had a bit of a nightmare at this race, so much so that when I tried to look for my race recap, I didn’t even write one! I started too fast, and ended up run/walking from 5k! This year, I was determined to not repeat that.
I was SO cold at the start of the race, I could not stop myself shivering. I was relieved when we started as I just wanted to warm up. I tried to settle into my running, but was surprised at how many people seemed to be over taking me. When my watched buzzed the first mile, I decided not to look at the pace and put my sleeve over my watch. I decided to just run on feel.
The start feels like it is mainly down hill, and the tunnel goes on forever! Canary Wharf was busy with support and sections were really windy. We were mostly protected by the buildings, but at one section a gust of wind came from between the buildings and pushed me sideways!
Running across Tower Bridge is always special, but it was SO windy, so quite hard work. Shortly after this, I felt myself questioning why I was doing this. I was running on my own (even though there were so many people around me) and I just wanted it to be over. As silly as this sounds, I felt bored! I kept plodding on, but at the 10 mile marker, I stopped to walk and give myself a talking too. I carried on, but now my foot started hurting. I had a feeling as though the outside of my left foot was bruised. It was bearable, but I ended up run/walking for the last 3 miles. It also started to rain as I approached the end, and I remember just laughing to myself, I just wanted it to be over!
I was so relieved to see the finish line, and when I looked at my watch and it said 2:13, I was disappointed. This disappointment was doubled when I received my text telling me my official time, as it had last years time above, and I was slower this year! WTAF!
Brighton two weeks ago had given me confidence, and I thought I would be able to go a little faster this time, so I think that’s why I was a little disappointed. On reflection, I think I had talked myself out of this race before it even started. I have a lot going on outside of running at the moment, and may be that is taking more out of me than I realise. Also, when I did 3 half marathons in 4 weeks last year, that was off the back of a solid training block from New York. This year I have trained, but not as hard, so I may just have to cut myself some slack. I have Bath half this weekend with lots of my club mates, so hopefully I will get to run with someone and just enjoy the moment.
Lesson learned: Finish lines, not finish times!
London Marathon Events are always very well organised.
The support around London is amazing.
Very nice finishers t-shirt.
The race photographs were by sportograf, and I have to give them a big shout out, as it cost £19.99 for all photos, which I think is very reasonable.
I HATE running in the wind.
I wasn’t so keen on my 5am alarm!
I just don’t seem to be able to pace myself well at this race! Oh well, suppose that means i’ll be back again next year – 3rd time lucky!
What weather conditions do you hate running in the most?
It’s been a while since I last blogged, but as it’s half term, so I thought I’d post! If you follow me on social media, you will have seen the hashtag #MNDAD70, and hopefully you will know what it is about. But just in case this blog reaches people that are not following me, let me explain.
So my dad died in 2010 of Motor Neurone Disease. – for those that are not sure what this is, if I said Ice Bucket Challenge or Stephen Hawkins, you probably have heard of it at some point. It is the most horrendous disease that attacks the motor neurones.
I still find it heart breaking that there is no cure. I remember my dad taking part in trials to help find a cure, yet we are 9 years on from his death and people are still being diagnosed with this, knowing that they will never be cured!
January 30th 2019, should have been my fathers 70th birthday, so I had this crazy idea that to celebrate his life and raise funds and awareness, in hope that one day a cure would be found, I would try to run 70 raffles throughout the year.
SEVENTY is a massive number, and I know that it is going to be hard work to get that many prizes, but I will keep going, just like my dad did. I would love to see a cure in my lifetime, and know that I played a little part in helping, but mostly to know that anyone who is diagnosed has a chance to fight and be cured.
Even if the prize that is offered doesn’t interest you, please spread the word about the raffles, as the more people that know about it, that’s more people that are aware of MNDA, and potentially more money raised.
If anyone is aware of any businesses that may be able to donate prizes to my 70, please comment below, or email.
My RunMND family has been taking part in this race for many years, and I remember watching it on the TV looking for them, and it looked lovely, so a few months ago, I looked at booking it. I remember thinking it was expensive for a 10 mile race and kept putting it off. Then someone shared a competition to win a place, so I stuck my name in, and I was lucky enough to win a place, so thank you SimplyHealth and GreatRun.
By the time I found out I was running it, a lot of the hotels in the surrounding area were already full or were asking £200+ for one night, so I didn’t book accommodation. I then fell ill, and to be honest didn’t really think about the race and the logistics of it all. I didn’t even know if I would make the start line.
Whilst being below par, my husband took charge and booked a camper van for a couple of days, so we booked a camp site just outside Fareham! Just to make this clear, I am not a fan of camping, yet it seems to keep happening! hehe The first night (well and second) I hardly slept at all, but this seems to be a tradition pre race now, as that’s what happened at my last race, read here!! (I DO NOT recommend it ZZZzzzz)
Date: Sunday 21st October 2018
Time: I was in the white wave which started at 10:52, although I got to the start for 9am!
Weather: Bright sunshine, with a light breeze, although when running it felt quite hot. I even laughed at supporters wearing jumpers and coats, yet the moment I stopped running, I needed my jumper!
Course: The one thing I remember of the course, is that it’s flat, and congested in places. We started in Southsea and ran through the docklands, which although it had a cobbled road, was actually really nice. I can’t remember much about the rest of the course. There were some section, where there were faster runners on the other side of the road to watch, which I love. We passed the finish area around mile 6 I think, and then I remember the 2 mile long stretch at the end along the sea. I love running by the sea, I just wished I had worn my sun glasses, as the sun was so bright and low, that it gave me a bit of a headache squinting all the way to the finish line. If you want a PB on this course, you would need to be at the start of your wave, as it was congested in places, especially when the road narrowed. There were a few bands and singers on the course, which always gives you a boost. Water stations were pretty frequent after 3 miles too.
My race: I have said previously, I have not been too well, so training has been a bit hit or miss. The last time that I ran 10 miles, was back in July! I knew I could cover the distance, but I just knew that I may have had to walk sections and I wouldn’t be able to run at any kind of fast pace. I wasn’t bothered about this, I just wanted to go and be part of TeamMND and enjoy running in an event.
I was so lucky to start with Sarah and Ness, events are always so much more fun with people. I actually stayed with Sarah for the entire run. The race started as every race does; with me frantically checking my pace, trying to avoid going off too fast. Also, having that feeling of how is it possible that I have forgotten how to run, why is this so hard?
Even with the checking of pace, I still managed to go off too fast! Around mile 2, myself and Sarah managed to get caught on the tv! We just kept telling each other that we would be fine as soon as we got to mile 3, and to be honest this must have been the case, as I don’t remember much of mile 2 to 4, and I only remember mile 4, as I decided to instastory, and kind of forgot about the people in front of me and nearly ended on my backside. The video is highly amusing!
Around mile 6, I was a caught by one of my club mates Dem, and that gave me a boost. I could feel my pace was slowing, but I really didn’t mind as this race was not about a time, and it was really quite warm. I picked up water around mile 8 and decided to walk whilst drinking. It was the best decision, as after my walk break and walk, I felt so much better.
The last two miles along the sea front feel more like three miles! We were lucky that the weather was nice, as I have heard in the past, the wind can be bad, but we only had to contend with really bright sun in our eyes. This helped me just put my head down and concentrate in finishing strong. I finished in 1:42:53, not a great time, but also not bad.
Lesson learned: Sometimes you just have to put yourself on the start line, and enjoy the event!
Free entry – who doesn’t love a free race – running is not a free sport!
Well organised, flat course. I was lucky that MNDA had a tent at the event, so I didn’t use the bag drop, and when the toilet queue was HUGE, we had a local (thanks Ness) who found some toilets that had a queue of about 3 people! Bonus!
Meeting new people. #TeamMND #RunMND include some of the most amazing people, and each race I get to meet more.
Linked to the above, running the entire race with Sarah!
The last 2 miles feeling like 3 hehehe
As I said above, it is a congested course in places, so if you wanted a PB start at the front of your wave.
Hotels are expensive in Portsmouth, especially as it is half term too, but to be honest that’s the same for all the places that hold big races.
I have to finish this post with massive shout to RunMND. Phil Rossall used to be a keen runner, but now has MND and is wheelchair bound, and some of the amazing group pushed Phil around the course, so that he could take part in the event for potentially the last time. MND is a devastating disease that I don’t think you ever appreciate this fully, until you are affected by it, and some of the AWESOME people in the RunMND do everything they can to help make life that little bit ‘normal’ and special for those living with this disease. I am not going to name them, as I worry that I may miss someone, but I hope they know I am writing this about them. They are very special people who I am proud to call my friends.
Lots of my RunMND group was signing up for Silverstone half marathon, but for some reason, I didn’t. I think I had entered lots of races in a short space of time, and my bank balance was telling me no! Then I got an email from the MNDA that said that I could have one of their places for a drastically reduced price. At the same time, I saw how many MND runners were going, so I signed up. It’s always so much nicer to run events with friends!
Silverstone was turned blue and orange!
My training plan said that I needed to run 18 miles the same day as Silverstone, so I planned to get there early to run 5 miles. I thought this meant a very early start, so was shocked when I read on twitter that the race didn’t start until noon!
I really should read race packs – just found out via Twitter, that #silverstonehalf starts at noon! At least that=a lie in hehe #ukrunchat
My preparation for the race was not ideal, as my husband and I had tickets to a theatre show in London on the Saturday night. So my fuelling and nutrition was not brilliant the day before, and then our train was cancelled on the way home, so I didn’t end up getting to bed until 1:15am! I was relieved for the noon start now.
I left early as planned and parked up at 9:30am. I was surprised how many people were there that early. I wasn’t sure where to run, and when greeted by dense fog, I decided to walk to the start to try to get my bearings.
I couldn’t even see the road in front of me!
Suffice to say, when I got to the MNDA charity tent, and met up with friends the 5 miles did not happen! I used the main toilets, and there was no queue. I wasn’t sure if this was because I was so early or there were lots. There were vans where you could get hot drinks, and food if you wanted. It was cold, but we were lucky the charity stand was inside and had a single toilet next to them, which we could all use! We also didn’t need to use the baggage drop, as MNDA let us leave our bags with them.
By the time we had to make our way to the start, the fog had lifted and the sun was shining. Lots of people were stripping off, but I still found the wind very cold! Even though, there were lots of people taking part, it didn’t feel crowded at the start.
I started towards the back with other RunMND runners, and it took us about 8 minutes to cross the start line. I really wanted to run a slow/steady pace and then put in some marathon pace miles, but at present my pace seems to be out the window. I am really struggling to run the pace I want too. My first mile started with a 9:xx, which was what I didn’t want to do! I was consciously trying to slow myself down, but it felt hard. Considering how many other people I knew there, I ended up running from mile 3 on my own! I found the course bizarre, as I really didn’t know where I was. At times there were people running on both sides of me, yet I didn’t have a clue if they were ahead or behind me! I had been told it was much more hilly than most people realise, and there were some bridges to go over, but I didn’t mind that too much. It was a very quiet half marathon, not only are there not supporters all round the course, the runners were actually quite quiet too. I am used to chatting away to people in the first few miles, but this just didn’t happen. I finished in 2:12, but felt disappointed, as the race felt much harder than I wanted it too. I wasn’t running too fast, it wasn’t hilly, but I think my poor nutrition, hydration, lack of sleep and the heat, was making me pay.
I thought about doing the extra 5 at the end, by I was shattered and again didn’t!
Huge amount of parking.
Easy access to toilets. For anyone that worries about toilets on the course, there were lots!
Being part of a huge team.
Meeting up with my friends I have made through RunMND, and meeting new people who have joined the group.
Raising awareness for MNDA
The support and encouragement from MNDA
Runners world paces were available if you were going for a time. I think the 2:29 pacer was quite pleasing on the eye too, according to some of the other runners!!
The start was totally stress free.
My favourite Protein nuts from Graze in my goody bag.
I have to put this in here, as she would be very upset if I didn’t – JOSIE!
Noon start – I know I have put it in both as I like the lie in, but I was very hungry by mile 10!
Long stretches without any support.
Quiet race, almost eery at times.
Not completing my 18 miles, as the plan said.
I know that you should expect this when running on a F1 racecourse, but you did feel like you were going around in circles. I was totally disoriented for most of the race.
Queues to get out of the car park at the end of the race. (I know this can’t be helped when so many people take part, but I think it took me 45 minutes to get out of the car park!)
A cotton T-shirt given at the finish. When a race is sponsored by Adidas, I at least expected a technical t-shirt.
Race photographs are so expensive. £19.95 for a single download seems ALOT!
The goody bag at the end of the race contained nuts – for me I like this, as they were my favourite, but another runner raised the point that for others who have a nut allergy that could have been dangerous.
So, would I do it again? The course did not inspire me, but the amazing feeling you get from being part of such an amazing team might just persuade me again.
So, I’ve finally got round to setting up a Facebook page for this blog. It just means I can keep everyone updated a little bit quicker, if I don’t have a time to write a full blog post. Also, I think it might save my none running friends on FB, from all my running posts!
So, if you have a Facebook account and want to follow, click the like button, and please feel free to share. As I was told recently, ‘sharing is caring 😉