2 Days to go and it will all be fine!

As long as I don’t fall over…….

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On Easter  Monday I’ll be running Boston Marathon UK for the second time. This time last year I was feeling very confident, after months of training, a plan followed nearly 100% and a good diet, nothing could go wrong, the ultimate training goal of sub 3:45 and a ‘good for age’ time was going to be mine, as long as I didn’t fall over I’d be fine!

Famous last words………

I’m a big fan of small and friendly local races and Boston, being not too far away is ideal. Great contact via email, so you feel well-informed, plenty off loos at the start, a must for the pre race nervous wee, and friendly marshals.

On the start line last year I was near the front, the race began I went over the tag mats and the unthinkable happened, a faster runner clipped my heels accidentally and I was sent sprawling straight on my face, on the start line, in front of cameras, spectators and all!

To be far to Mr Speedy, I think he did apologise as from the floor I watched him disappearing in front, runners around me were great checking I was okay, including the confused face of my running partner, ‘where did you go?’

So I got up, carried on, in a bit of a daze, but unfortunately, confidence gone, that illusive 3:45 time was not to be. I finished bleeding a bit, pride wounded, after walking about 8 times in total and feeling rather sorry for myself.

So why on earth are you doing it again? I’ve asked this question quite a bit in the last few weeks, especially after struggling at Hull 20.

I’m running it again because of my daughter, she’s leaving school this year and continues to make me proud on a daily basis, but never has she made me so proud as she did nearly 6 years ago.

It was a school cross-country race, my daughter is very sporty, what you’d call a good all-rounder, though by her own confession, not a runner. Asked to join the team by her teacher as although not ‘fast’ she was reliable and he knew she would finish and gain valuable points. Finish she did, last and a bit upset about it, and kids can be cruel.

However the following week was another cross county and she was asked by her teacher to run again, and run she did, she wasn’t last this time, and she finished with a huge smile on her face.

I was in floods of tears, she is my inspiration, and she continues to inspire me. Because of her perseverance and determination I will run Boston again, I may fall again, I may be slower, but hopefully I as long as I keep thinking of my daughter, I will not give up.

#makeithappen

There’s no place like home.

My favourite race…….

As a runner I’ve found being able to run a race in my home town gives the most incredible mixed feelings of pride, joy and happiness thanks to the overwhelming support of local crowd, many of whom I know, mingled with the slight pressure of wanting to do my best and not let anyone down.

This year I will be running the local race that I love so much, North Linc Half Marathon. Enjoying the many benefits that come with it, including jelly babies, cake and live entertainment to name a few. Helping others to hopefully achieve their goals by pacing (keeping a steady pace advertised on my flag for the whole race.) Something I’ve been passionate about since first pacing my local parkrun 3 years ago .

On Saturday I posed with my fellow pacers for our introduction pic, complete with my flag and my brand new @_teamvolt kit. I then popped the flag away for safekeeping and ran Scunthorpe parkrun in my volt kit.

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I was a little nervous unveiling the kit if I’m honest, as it’s something at team volt we’ve discussed at length, its been a none negotiable we wanted just right. The feedback so far has been really good.

So now I’m looking forward to pacing my favourite half marathon- the only question is do I wear the pink or the green team volt shorts with my pacer top.

A massive thank you to @GLYNSPARKS
for bringing our design to life, and @northlincshalf for allowing us to be part of the day.

“When life sucks, run!”

(But be careful……) 

I’ve only been, what I would class as ‘a runner’ for the last few years. Before that football was where I got my fitness but once I decided to hang up my boots and make the swap I quickly wished I had been pounding the pavements years earlier. You see, one of the well-known benefits to exercise, especially running, is the mental release that you get from being out there clocking up the miles. The “runners high” as it is often referred to. It’s quite addictive.
To give you some context, 2017 has sucked. Really sucked. There have been lots of personal challenges to deal with. Following the unexpected loss of my father at the end of January my mind has been elsewhere. The days have felt darker, the motivation has been hard to find at times and being in social environments has been immensely difficult. One of the few times I have felt at ease is when I have been out running. Sometimes on my own and sometimes with one or two very trusted friends. Without a doubt, it has been a huge help and has provided an opportunity to clear my head and gain clarity. Indeed, over the last month or two, I feel as though I have got into the best shape that I have been in and the test of this will come on Easter Monday where I chase an elusive sub 1:30 half marathon time at Boston.
Whilst being tough, I have found solace in focusing intently on my fitness. The 5:45 am alarms to complete a 3 miler and a set of circuits. A healthier diet and then a second evening run on many days with more miles and more speed. It has all helped.
Until yesterday ……..
Call it a ‘wobble’. A ‘bump in the road’. Or a ‘blip’. Whatever it was, the last 24 hours has not been good and I found myself worried that I wasn’t going to get my runs and my new routine completed. What was planned for a 10 miler last night got chopped at 5 miles (followed by a long walk back). A lack of sleep, with all sorts going around the mind, then occurred meaning that this morning’s 5:45 am call was a lot tougher than usual.
Did I run this morning? No.
Did I feel guilty about it? Yes.
That was until I remembered where I had come from to where I am today. At the minute, feelings are low, but later today the sun will set and it will rise again tomorrow and we will do it all again. For me? Well, I am not going to get hung up about missing a run and tomorrow I won’t set the alarm and I will have a full rest day from exercise. And do you know what…..it will be ok because sometimes you just have to give yourself a break when it just doesn’t quite happen, regroup, and go again.
“Everything will be ok in the end, and if it isn’t ok, it’s not the end” – John Lennon

#runsomewheredifferent

Because a change of scenery is good…..

#runsomewheredifferent 

It was a simple idea (& most of the times the best ideas are!) that instead of pounding the same pavements, in the same towns, on the same days we would simply ‘run somewhere different’.

This began with the local villages, off road etc. But then it evolved. It evolved into a challenge between us to post a run wherever we could. The bar had been raised!

 

Holidays in Ibiza and Majorca were no longer for relaxing, they were a way to ‘run somewhere different’. Running the sea front on the South Coast or tackling the climbs of Whitby? Of course. Getting a sneaky 5k in around the Lagoon after work or exploring the streets of Edinburgh during lunch break?  Why not?

 

You see, not only does it keep running fun and exciting, you also find yourself being accountable to someone else and so on the days when you may not fancy getting out there, you end up rising to the challenge. Win-win. (Today’s stretch was 7.5 miles in the capital.)

 

This concept has developed and so every weekend some team volt athletes like to challenge themselves at a different parkrun. Keep an eye out for us and come and say “hi”.

 

#runsomewheredifferent

#makeithappen

Hull 20 race review

A great event…..but not every race quite goes to plan….

Sometimes everything comes together, months of training, nutrition, the weather, a bit of luck and you run the perfect race.
Today for me this was not the case.
A 20 miler. A marathon warm up. A race that was not enjoyed last year – but this year I was ready! I’d put in the graft- I’d nailed the pace in a training run just a few weeks ago- bring it on!
Unfortunately, a week off work and too many overconfident miles resulted in a hamstring strain 3 weeks ago, I thought I was over it this morning. Still feeling confident.
Starting right at the back ( after the necessary nervous wee, in the not too horrendous portaloo!) was actually a good thing, thanks to chip timing it helped me relax, and passing a few slower runners I gained confidence.
I hit 9 miles still feeling good- last year’s nemesis mile, yay.
Then 11.5 miles in the headwind started. At first I coped – still managing brief moments of conversation with fellow runners just. Taking a painkiller mid-run, choking on it only to have to spit it out mid choking fit was possibly the first  (unfortunately not the last) real low point!
Then mile 14….. possibly the worst 4 miles of running followed, head wind with no shelter, just the view of runners stretched out in front of me with no let-up – turning me into a mess of mardy tantrums aimed towards my running partner- yes I did actually cry at one point. I didn’t think I’d even finish- had it not been for his words of encouragement I would definitely have given up!
Mile 18.5 back in civilisation, I literally had nothing left in the tank and the knowledge from last year of the final hill I had to climb around the next turn, but another girl struggling reminded me – “I can do this” – I’ve come this far. I think I blurted out, “we can do this – it’s less than a parkrun!”
I did it- I got up the hill 32 seconds slower than last year and having discovered for the second time in my life,  20 mile races are just not my thing.
But I did it, and do you know what – it’s okay because I’m not giving up on my dream marathon time. The weather will be better, my hamstring will be better and I will run another race!
#makeithappen

Seize the day…

The sun is out and so grab those trainers

Happiness is driving to work in the sunshine, this morning was one of those day’s I literally wanted to pull over, get out and my car and just run. This feeling of slight frustration stayed with me until 5 o clock finally came!
I parked up at one of my favourite spots.  If you squint slightly at the manmade lagoon, you forget you’re on the edge of an industrial estate in Scunthorpe, (made famous for ‘Skint’ on channel 4 and a reference in Tinie Tempah’s, ‘Pass Out’,) It really is quite a beautiful place to run.
Abandoning my car, massive headphones on I sprinted off quite ambitiously round the lagoon. The fact I have a slight hamstring injury pushed to the back of my mind today, today I am going to enjoy the moment, today I am going to enjoy my music, enjoy the sunshine and just run!
Okay, so it was a mile, just one mile, but a mile without pain, something after having to pull out of the cross country just last weekend I didn’t see happening anytime soon.  I just have to keep that up for another 19 miles on Sunday no problem.
Feeling much more positive about the race after today’s sunny mile!
#makeithappen

It started as an idea over coffee…..

Making it happen…

What seemed like one of those conversations that probably wouldn’t lead to anything, suddenly – 4 months later – here we are. team volt is ‘active’ and things are moving fast…!

Not only are logos being professionally designed, the kit being ordered, and athletes recruited, but team volt are proud to be one of the sponsors for this year’s North Lincolnshire Half Marathon (http://tape2tape.co.uk/events/north-lincolnshire-half-marathon/). How exciting (and official..) is that ????

The management team have always wanted team volt to represent the core values discussed in that coffee shop back in 2016 with one being that we provide an environment which helps its athletes achieve their goals. It is this ethos that we ourselves have embraced and the pace that we are moving at is down to the great teamwork and support that we provide for each other. ‘Inspiring’ is probably the word that sums each member up.

Keep checking in with us along our journey. And don’t forget: #makeithappen