Tag Archives: Paris

Bonjour!

5 Mar

This weekend was my first major test. My first chance to show how my training was progressing. Really progressing.

The Paris half marathon.

What a weekend.

Me and Chris were up at 4am to get the 7am train to Paris. A mixture of excitement and nerves. Having never been to France before it was very exciting for so many reasons.

How am I so excited at 5.30am??

How am I so excited at 5.30am??

I decided to treat the run as just another training run but the reality was I wanted to run this non-stop, I wanted to pull in a good time and I wanted to feel like I’d won, this was never going to be “just another training run”.

We spent the Friday and Saturday doing some touristy bits and hanging with some of the Crew. Run Dem Crew love was major this weekend. RDC supports you at the best (and worst of times) but it was a whole other level this time. So many words of much-needed advice and love.

Hit up a party on Friday night. I bumped in to the gorgeous presenter, George Lamb.

I met George Lamb! Gorgeousness

I met George Lamb! Gorgeousness

Saturday we hit some of the tourist spots and generally tried to keep our creeping nerves at bay. There was a tension in the air, broken only by the fact that I had forgotten my jogging bottoms so bought some more but they in fact turned out to be mens long johns!! with that front pocket bit for easy access to the crown jewels. #fail!

We were in bed by 9pm on Saturday night, anxious to get enough sleep to leave us ready and refreshed for the morning.

we were up at 6.45 and outside the meeting point for 8.30 for the group photo and final words of support

The crew ready to roll

The crew ready to roll

Earlier that morning I had tweeted one word “nervous” and before we headed off to our “pens”, like lambs to the slaughter house, a few guys pulled me to one side, gave me hugs and whispered words of super encouragement. It really helped. You guys know who you are, so thank you!

So I dunno if French people time is like BMT but the race did not start at 10am. We were in our holding area until almost 11am. The time was passed with warm up exercises to universally annoying songs such as Gangnam Style. We had a ball!

Lots of hand waving

Lots of hand waving

My buddy during our time in the pen

My buddy, Tahirah and I during our time in the pen

Trying to hold back the nerves

Trying to hold back the nerves

And then we were off. The sun was shining and I was ripe and ready. I started with Tahirah and Charlie and as I passed the start line I had a real “oh Sh*t” moment but I was in it now.

I was determined not to start off too fast, but how did I know if too fast was too fast??? I’d soon find out.

We lost Tahirah after a couple of km. So Charlie and I ploughed on. Pushing each other and chatting when the silence got too much. Checking the other was ok. Too fast, let’s slow it down a bit.

I tried to take a couple of photos using the front facing camera on my phone but it didn’t work haha. I just have shots of my nose and the sky.

We hit 10k just after an hour. Doing pretty much 10min miles. We needed the loo. Found one but there was a slight queue, we didn’t to hang on so off we went again. A while down the road we saw a free toilet. We went for it. Watches paused. When it came to my turn, the door wouldn’t close. Charlie protected my modesty whilst I pee’d in the fastest time ever.

Off we went again. A hill. Nothing I hadn’t come across in training but it seemed to come from nowhere. It threw me for a moment but I pushed through. I was tired at the top. we dropped the pace just slightly and then pressed on.

11km, 12km, 13km and on and one, I know around 15km I was feeling very tired. But I just kept thinking at in 3km more I would be seeing my crew. Cheer Dem Squad are a vital part of RDC. Those who aren’t running, coming down to cheer you on and support you like you’ve never been supported before.

As we approached the 18km marker we talked about how much we needed those cheers. 18km was there, where were Cheer Dem!! OMG what if they had left us, but all of a sudden I could hear a mass of people calling my name, ringing cow bells and complete joy. They were here and they were cheering for us! Gun fingers in the air and smiling like lunatics we ran past the crew and it was alright again. Yes! we were so close now, we could do this!

Being given life by the Cheer Dem Crew

Being given life by the Cheer Dem Crew

We are winners!

We are winners!

So on we went. rejuvenated by love. Between 18km and 20km it seemed to really drag. Like, come on now, surely I’ve run far enough.

20km to 21km got really interesting… What’s that in the distance. Balloons!! it must be the finish……NO! Someone had the bright idea to make an arch of balloons about 400m from the finish. So confusing but I’m glad I didn’t do my sprint finish.

100m to the finish and yet more Run Dem Crew cheering us on. Those who had already finished had come back to see us through. And see us through they did. The end was there… Time for the sprint, lets finish strong! and we were off! Booom, across the finish line like a G!

Couldn't have done it without you Charlie

Couldn’t have done it without you Charlie

Check the bling!!!

Check the bling!!!

Did I really just do this? Half a Marathon, like a race. Not for practice with breaks at traffic lights or a little sit down at 10k.  I ran a whole half marathon.

I’ll admit it, I had a little tear up! high fives and hugs with my running partner. I was so lucky to have her!

my watch time was 2hours 17 mins and 58 seconds, the official time (sadly not taking in to account my wee break) was 2 hours, 21mins and 25secs. I’m happy either way!! Very, very happy.

Job not done though, I still had my Chris to see through the finish line. I had to be there to cheer him on and I definitely had to run him through the finish line.

Seeing him approaching in the distance, I have never felt such love or pride for someone. It was clear he was in pain having had issues with his knees for so long but knowing that he went on and did da ting was just amazing. Lesser people would have quit. Not my king!

A couple that runs together....

A couple that runs together….

Never happier!

Job done, I passed the halfway part of the journey, half marathon race under my belt, time to up that mileage and get ready to run this marathon. 6 weeks to go! Lets do this! Thinking back, it was hard, but at no point did I feel like I really couldn’t go on. I’m ready to keep going. It weren’t easy but it was so doable. Training works maaaaan.

You can watch a video of me going through different check points here. See if you can spot my (trademark) pink headband.

That night, we linked up with all the other crews who are part of the Bridge the Gap family, the guys who just like RDC are a movement in their cities. Paris Running Club hosted an epic party for us.

I’ve met some seriously fantastic people. I have to thank Charlie Dark and all the Run Dem Crew for the amazing support. Cheer Dem Crew, including Clare and Araba for super cheering!  And my King for being so, so inspirational. We did it babe.

This weekend will forever stay in my memory.

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Halfway point!

26 Feb

Well, it’s been a while. I had a little blogging break. Had a bit of brain freeze and wasn’t really sure what to put in this space.

First things first, I want to say thank you to everyone who commented and emailed me and checked up on my after my last blog post. It really means a lot too me.

I want you to all know that I’m fine. That post was exactly what this blog is about, me getting my thoughts, fears, happiness, anxiety and realisations out to you all.

My journey is long and hard, it’s about health, weight loss, running and most importantly, succeeding.

Over the past few weeks since my last post I’ve achieved a lot! My fundraising is going epically well. But that’s a separate post for you all.

On Saturday 3rd February, I actually ran half marathon distance. Say whaaaat?

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A small group of us headed out from Blackheath, across the Thames to East London up to Tower Bridge and back down the other side. It was meant to be 12 miles but by the end we just thought, “what the hey” and carried on.

2hours and 26mins later I had done it.

Now, no matter what, I know I can take on Paris and win! There is no doubt.

My times are getting faster. On the 12th February I ran my fastest mile. 9mins 40seconds.
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I honestly couldn’t see myself running under 10min miles. But that night two of my miles were under 10mins and the rest (bar one) were all faster than any previous run.

I cried when I got back to the RDC HQ. it was a tough week. I had fallen out with a friend, I was feeling unwell and that run broke the emotional barrier for me.

Sometimes things happen which make you ask “what’s the point?” I didn’t want to run that night, but I knew it would do me good. And Good it did.

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I haven’t run since then. The little head cold turned into a full blown viral infection. Anti-biotics for an ear, throat and sinus infection. I barely got out of bed for 5 days, the following 7 days after that I had such a sticky cough that walking up stairs killed me.

I had to reach in to my faith pocket that I’d be well this week before Paris and after a successful 4hour Zumba marathon, I can say I feel I’m back on form.

I really missed running but I knew I had to have this week of rest or I just wouldn’t feel healthy.

So here we are at the halfway point of my marathon journey and I feel right on track!

So now me and the mister in are in super excited “Paris here we come” mode. I keep googling the area and looking at the Paris Semi website to see what we need to do, where we pick up our bibs.

Medical certificate signed off (legitly) I am on my way folks!!

Update of the race on Monday or Tuesday next week, pics and all!

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December

8 Dec

Yo!

Here we are in December, almost a year since I restarted my weightloss journey.

I’m not going into all the amazing achievements I’ve had this year. That’ll be a new year blog post.

Today’s post is a quick update really and some pics haha yay.

After my terrible run a couple of weeks ago I feel I’ve come back even bigger and better.

I’m seeing my running improvements every single time I hit the road.

Running at work at lunch time I’ve found myself doing over 3miles each time and in less than the 3mins I give myself to get it done.

I’ve gone from feeling like I’m a 11/12min mile girl to pulling in the miles in under 10mins.

This, coupled with feeling like I’m not really pushing myself hard enough on my Monday and Tuesday runs has led me to decide to go up a group on Tuesdays. So as of this Tuesday I’m going to try the Fast Hares group. Push push push.

For the Monday runs defo time to try and push up the pace too but as we don’t tend to run in defined groups it will be about me pushing to keep up with those ahead of me.

This morning I pushed. I’ve never ever run further than 10k. Even though I know I can go further, I never do. Well this week I thought “no more” no more will I feel fear as I reach that 10k mark. I won’t stop. I’ll keep going.

So I planned to wake up early and do my home to London bridge run, this time with a difference. I’m gonna run back!!!! Whaaaaat? That’s right, run back again.

I really wanted someone to run with because I didn’t trust myself to actually run back. But alas people have lives and I don’t have a pack of people who are at my beck and call. So I set of a 9.30am on the dot and hit the roads.

My plan was to not tire myself out and to take it nice and slow. Harder than you think. I’ve gotten used to starting at a certain pace so going slower was really hard.

One shop stop for some skittles, loo break and a quick run by the river I reach the big L Bridge.

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Self taken shot at the big boat and then I was off on my way back again. I did have a quick thought of “lemme just jump on the train back”. But since I’d told the whole of twitter I was doing this run I couldn’t let my people down. I actually picked up the pace slightly. I wasn’t tired at all. But for me this was all about getting it in.

The run to L.Bridge wasn’t hard and neither was the journey back but by the time I got to deptford I was really feeling it. I didn’t walk any of the journey but took a little pitstop and when I started again my legs felt sooooo heavy. But knowing I was so close to home, onwards I went. I had no choice, no direct bus to home meant I had to move anyway.

I made it back into lewisham. 10.81miles, 2hours2mins later and the run was done.

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I can do it. I can put in serious distance.

I’m a winner! Whoop.

I had energy left so I’m sure that I can do the full half marathon distance.

Roll on March.

There is this 80milemonth challenge going on at the moment. Created over at the spikes and heels blog (found here). The idea is that you clock up 80running miles over the month of December. Sounds impossible right? I’m giving it a go anyway.

I’ve clocked up 20miles since the beginning of the month.

It will be a great way to keep me on track during the festive period, since I’ve already started on the quality streets at work.

I put on 1.5lbs this week. Back up to 15st4lbs. Oops.
I expected it to be honest, but it would be nice to be under 15st by the new year so no time to slack really.

Here are some funny pics.

See ya later 🙂

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