Monday, December 31, 2012

Last run of 2012

Well what a year 2012 has been.

I started this year with a half marathon PB of 2:33 and a goal to get it to 2:15 - at the time I thought that was a far fetched goal but I am pleased to say that back at the St Neots Half  I managed to smash my target and got my PB down to 2:07.

I also had a target to get my 10k PB down from 1:09 to under the hour. Again not something I thought I could manage but today at the last possible opportunity I managed to get my 10k PB down to 56:22 so I am in a pretty good mood at the moment.

Todays run was the Ely NYE 10k. I entered this race the day it opened back in September - it didn't matter that I was in Dubai at the time. I was determined to get in as I had enjoyed it last year and it was a good job i didn't wait as it closed within the same day. It was a ridiculously windy day but I managed to plough on through and was very pleased to come out of it with a PB which is not something I expected when  I woke up this morning.

Not only that but this year was the year of the Ultra - I can now call myself an ULTRA RUNNER wahoooooooooo

Next year I plan to do the following;

1. Take my Half Marathon PB down to under 2 hours
2. Take my 10k PB down to 50 minutes
3. Take my Marathon PB down to 5 hours (or under if I can)
4. Complete the Ocean floor race without completley breaking myself
5. Complete the Adidas Thunder run 24 hour as a solo runner
6. Complete the Fat Feet Grimsthorpe Ultra Marathon (70 mile option) in one piece

As mentioned above one of my targets and my very next race is the Ocean Floor Ultra Marathon. I leave the UK for Egypt along with my good friend Sarah Gardner Hall on the 31st January. I can't beleive how fast this has come around and can only hope my mixed training will be enough to get me through the race along with my sheer determination to get to the end and raise as much money as I can for Mac Millan cancer support.

I only met Sarah a short while ago - after seeing her at the Thunder run this year a solo runner (her not me) I contacted her to see if she would like to run the Ocean floor race. I didn't expect her to run it with me at all but when she brought it up and said she would like to I was thankful but also slightly worried as she is a lot faster than me (with a 2 hour lead on my best marathon time) However these worries proved to be unfounded as Sarah has been a wonderful support in the lead up to the event and has become more like a big sister to me than just another person to run with.
She now knows not to talk to me in the morning as I am grumpy as hell, she knows she can tell me to shut up and stop whining when I am tired and I know we will work well together when we finally get out to the desert.
So thank you Sarah for putting up with me and Here is to an incredible 2013 -

BRING IT ON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 I would also like to say a massive thank you to all of our supporters for the Ocean floor race we couldn't do it without you and will be sure to send you photos of our treck when we get back :)

I would also like to say a big thank you to my mother who has been coming on several long runs with me in my training (as she is also training for her very own ultra) and my husband for putting up with all of my running and training and supporting me the whole way.

Also good luck to my Dad who will be completing his very first Marathon in Dubai in January - GO DAD !!

Happy new year everyone. See you on the other side

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Striders Edge - proving you CAN look good whilst excercising

A month or so ago I posted on here to say that Striders edge had very kindly agreed to help me out with some kit for the Ocean Floor Ultra Marathon in February.

I was so excited when I received the email from Kate ('Founder and Creative Director' ) to say she would love to help out and to let her know which bits of kit I thought I could use best.

I have to admit to being a little bit like a kid in a sweet shop - I must have chosen and re chosen a hundred times before I finally settled on the items I thought I could use best.

I then also decided to buy a few extra bits - well honestly trying to decide was so difficult and a few things just happened to fall in to the online basket there was nothing I could do about it ;)

The top below is one of my favourites it is the Endurance Insulite L/S - Crag Grey with Black not only is the fabric a dream to wear, so soft and stretchy it is also slimming with it's contrast black panels and also has the signature sports thumb through cuff - these are brilliantly designed. With most tops that have the thumb through cuffs if you choose not to wear it with your thumb through you can just see a big hole there - with the Striders Edge tops you don't it just looks like a smooth design.

Also in the above pictures I am wearing the Peak elements tights and I have to be completely honest - I hate it when I have to put these in the wash as you can really tell the difference in the cold weather when you don't have them on. The tights are antibacterial and they are windproof (which in England is a blessing) They are made with a supportive 4 way stretch fabric and the pockets are just perfect. As the pockets are on the front rather than the side or back they are easier to get to and the material they have used for the pockets means that you don't feel the items in the pockets as much as you would in other tights. I often use mine to stow my iphone in when I am on a long run and listening to a podcast. and I forget it is there. 

Pocket on Peak Elements Tights

One of the items I purchased from Striders edge was the Stride Lite run Jacket   shown below.I don't have a picture of myself in this yet but hope to get one up soon. This is possibly the most flattering jacket on the market at the moment. I would even consider wearing this when not running. It is so comfortable, light and again has the thumb through cuffs which are perfect for the cold weather and also means that wind is not able to go through the cuffs of the jacket. It has a stretch back panel to allow full freedom of movement and the hem of the jacket cinches to keep out the wind and also style in to a bomber effect. I am so pleased with this jacket and can say it was definitely a good purchase.

Showing the Stretch back panel

Striders edge is a luxury women's sportswear brand. Their clothing is not only beautiful to look at - with non of that Garish fluorescent pink, it is also beautiful to wear. They are well cut and designed with the female body in mind (Kates Muse is a Bond Girl) and prove that you really can look good and get sweaty at the same time. I don't think it will be too long before I am making a few more 'Christmas present to myself' purchases. Keep and eye out for the reviews on my other items of clothing coming soon.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Training and Christmas shopping

It is always harder to find the time to train when it comes to the Christmas season. I have been a bit slack with my blog lately becasue of this - one thing had to go and it was either running or this.

On the 23rd November I held a pamper evening to help raise money for Macmillan cancer support and also to help raise funds for the Ocean floor race. I had done one of these previously and it had been very succesful so I thought I would do another. This one wasn't as busy as last time which was a real shame as we had some wonderful stalls there and I felt really bad that it wasn't as busy but it was still a successful evening all the same raising £180 for Macmillan Cancer support - as soon as I have paid this in to the bank I will update the fundraising page to reflect this.

What made the evening more special was that Sarah came down to  support the event as well along with her husband Ben. We had planned on spending the Saturday looking around running shops and getting Sarahs V02 Max test done (Kindly offered to us free by Advanced performance in Cambridge) and then running the Hereward relay as an ultra on the Sunday.

Unfortunatly as you know, the weather was truly awful that weekend and this resulted in the race being cancelled due to part of the route at the beginning being under 4ft of water and rising the day before and the Welney wash being flooded meaning the last section was also not runnable. It was such a shame.

So instead on Saturday we went off to Cambridge - Sarah had her V02 max test done and was classed as Exceptional (I think that was it and if I don't get the same she will never let me live it down) to make this more fun for me I decided to take a picture of Sarah looking beautful with her mask on :)

As I mentioned earlier this V02 test was provided for us free of charge by Advanced Performance for which we are very grateful. I haven't booked in for mine yet but as soon as I have it I will post some suitably embarrasing photos of myself as well :)

After out little outing to check Sarahs V02 we decided to head off to have a look around Cambridge and keep out of the house for a bit as my husband was working all day at home so we didn't want to get in the way. Then that evening we went out for dinner, it was actually really nice to enjoy our meal without having to worry about getting up so early for the run in the morning.

I have to say the race organisers from the March Athletics club were superb in letting us know the race was cancelled, they emailed me and when they couldn't reach me on one number they also called me on my second number just to make sure I was aware along with Sarah. They are looking at re arranging rhe race for late Feb but unfortunatly that will be a bit late for us as we have the Ocean floor race at the beginning of February and I intend on resting for the remainder of the month after this one :)

Instead myself and Sarah decided to still go on a run just not as long a run - it was early Sunday morning we learned that we are going to have to be careful in the desert - I am NOT a morning person - my husband knows that speaking to me first thing before I have done my work out or had a shower is not the best of ideas. I usally just role out of bed chuck on my workout kit and do my Insanity work out in the front room (I will blog more about this another time) and after that I am fully awake - I challenge anyone not to be - and I am once more human and ready to face the day. Sarah however is an entirely diffent story - she is chatty and bubbly and full of beans first thing in the morning and I kept snapping at her - Sarah if it is any consolation I do feel bad :) but consider it a warning ;)

Once we got out the door and started running I instantly began to calm down and felt much better. We took a new route from my house which I have never done before and arranged for the men to meet us in March at 13 miles. We had intended to run a bit longer but decided instead to go home once they met us and get some much needed planning done for the Ocean floor - making to do lists and planning which kit we would need to take with us.

On this note we would both like to say a MASSIVE thank you to our new sponsors;
Hope have donated a headtorch to each of us - I plan on doing a review on this shortly so watch this space
Feetures have provided myself and Sarah with several pairs of socks to wear for training and in the race.

As you can see they have been more than kind to us. Feetures are an American company but they are also online so you can of course buy their wonderful products using the link above. Sarah has been to see them at the Expo for the Las Vegas Half Marathon (she is running this tonight so All the best Sarah if you read this before hand) I hope to also do a review on these socks in the near future and have a perfect weekend in mind.

Another new sponsor is that of Bloc Sunglasses. I wrote to them a few weeks back in the hope that they might be able to help us out with a pair of glasses each for the run to help protect our eyes from the sand and the sun (with the idea that we could change to clear lenses at night and use our buffs to help protect as well) and Colin Pickering from their head office kindly sent us each Three - yes three pairs. I couldn't beleive it when I recieved the email from him saying he was sending them out and we are both truly thankful. I have yet to decide which pair I will take with me but am going to try them out ona few day runs here to make sure I am confortable wearing them and to give me the time to alter the fit if needed.

I am going to sign off for now - I have Christmas lights to put up and after my 16 mile run this morning I should probable give my husband some attention. :) Thank you again to all of our wonderful sponsors and to everyone who is supporting myself and Sarah especially to friends and family who are putting up with the long runs and turned down invitations - I promise service will return to normal after the run :)