What a weekend!
Snow, D’angelo, Crepes, Hill running, Sex, Amazon shopping, Food….
So Linda finally got me into hill training.
Does this look like excitement to you?
“How is it?!” Linda asked as she whizzed past me
“Feels like I am giving birth through my ass!” I shouted after her
But jokes aside, I loved it. I immediately felt its effects and will do this every week (possibly twice!) until race day.
Starting with a 2mile jog (run! 7:49 PACE! I SEE YOUR TRICKS MADAME BYRNE!) and then a ‘pick n mix’ which consisted of hill runs, loops and sprints.
It was such a crisp morning that I didn’t have time to hate it. ANYTHING to stop my ovaries from freezing over.
It was nice to be in the company of people who all just wanted to push themselves just that bit harder and have a laugh while doing so.
Major props to Rahlou and Uncle Lawrence for making sure, I didn’t over do it and kept on keeping on!
Afterwards we ate crepes and joked it up in a wee crepe shop tucked away in deep east.
All in all an excellent way to break my Hill virginity!
Now lets talk about the snow. I am a black woman from South London with a thing for Rice Krispy squares and Charlotte Olympias. It’s a miracle that I run at all. There was no way in hell (which I am sure was frozen over) I was going to run in the snow.
I suffered quite a bit of peer pressure from those that had decided to brave it and quickly had to remind myself that, I do this on my terms. No one else’s. Ya’ll wanna ice skate? Go ‘head. I am not involved.
It is important to remember your boundaries. No matter what you spend your time doing. If you are uncomfortable with something, just say no and then stick by your decision.
“You must be very passionate about this running thing…” is usually sandwiched somewhere between “You are crazy” or “You have too much time on your hands. “
Passion. It’s such a word. Usually reserved for sexual trysts, one can’t be bothered to recall or that Mel Gibson movie about Jesus.
Yes, I love me some passion!
What am I passionate about?
Words. Talking, Writing, Reading, Copy, Type, Font, Structure, Paragraphs and all the . – ‘ “ : ? ; that bring them together.
I understand that what brings people to this space are my running rendezvous but it’s not long before we all realize that I am a writer who just happens to run. A Haruki Murakami of sorts, who, when pushed; will go and run for ten miles, when she knows there is work to be done.
Am I good at other things? Sure. I clean like my middle name is Dyson, bake like Jane Asher in World War II and can tell the difference between cerulean and aqua by scent alone. But all would be irrelevant if I were not able to communicate both, written and verbal, how I feel about such tasks. Jack of all trades but at heart, a sincere master of one, who will drop it all to help you pick the font and alignment on your wedding invites (dead serious)
Not wanting to bore the heads out of your pores, I leave you with a little video clip that myself and Dani made last week. Enjoy.
Yesterday in Camden, I stumbled across the incredibly talented Stephen Ridley. Quitely making a name for himself by being a very cool busker. His passion overrides everything, and I respect that.
And so, the long weekend runs are in full effect, and today I managed to do two things; zone out and find my marathon pace. I was secretly worried about both things.
26.2 miles. That’s like from here to the moon. Was I going to be able to ride some miles just coasting and thinking about world peace? Or was every step going to be a challenging effort?
Today proved that both my ‘zone’ & ‘pace’ depends on my attitude. I made sure to fill my mind with pleasurable thoughts. Kept pushing up hills I’d usually avoid. Even played the bus stop game* to get through harder times.
And it happened. I fell into a comfortable shuffle. Plod. Plod. Plod. No bursts of speed or egotistical sprints. Just a focus.
Good. I am not trying to quality for the Boston Marathon. I am trying to finish strong. I am taking my time. “Ain’t no rush girl, lets just pace it.” (shout out to Big Sean for that one) and so I have to turn a blind eye to everyone else’s stats and close my ears to ‘advice’ and concentrate on being as comfortable as I can. If you are training for your first full, I would suggest you do the same.
My worst nightmare, is being out on the race course, cursing the fact I didn’t do it my way. That would suck. So, I’m sticking to my guns. My way or the highway!
I will say that all previous training/races go out of the window. I have had to strip back and act as if i’ve never run before. To depend on previous experience would be presumptuous of me. I am a Virgin to the London Marathon. I intend to train and run it as such.
That is what 9miles of hilly graft looks like. Too bad this is not scratch and sniff. I would have straight killed some of ya’ll!
Although I said don’t listen to any advice, DO FOLLOW A TRAINING PLAN! For 10ks and halves you can (kind of) wing it, if you have a good level of fitness. There is no winging a marathon. I intend to follow the plan to the letter. Because second to my first fear is being out there thinking of all the times, I didn’t train. No sah. Just do it.
*Talking of swoosh, I counted 27 of these campaign ad’s today
There I am minding my own business. And every time I wanted to stop, Paula and her bully breadrins popped up with that #MakeItCount lark. As much as I cursed, it worked. Shout out to Nike for having another smashing idea. Head over to uncle Simons blog, where he discusses #MakeItCount in detail.
I’m off too R.I.C.E (google it!)
The internet is a funny old thing. I met Nathaniel within the land of fitblr Tumblr (i know, I know) I was gaining following and Natty happened to come into my life when I needed him most. I invited him down to RDC and I wanna say the rest is history, but it never quite works like that…
I remember meeting him for the first time at Mile End Stadium. Cute. Tall. Very tall. Smells good. Mmmmm. But apart from the blatant great aesthetics, he was was a hard worker who knew about setting targets and smashing ‘em outta the park.
Almost a year later, I count ColeWorld as a close friend who I can call on anytime (literally, have rang him at 3am chatting fraff) who supports my every endeavour.
I titled this post ‘The Believer’ because Natty has done nothing but believe in me. And I am humbled by his love.
Just so happens that we are both running VLM this year. Epic.
I turn over to the one and only ‘Runner Formerly Known As Nathaniel’
Hello readers! Lets get in to it…..
A couple of years ago, I was overweight and unfit. Fast forward to today and I live a healthy lifestyle and have been given the opportunity to do something that I have always wanted to do since I took the first heavy steps out running in my local park; run the London Marathon.
Right now, I’m working towards the day that’s going to become one of the most important in my life. I can see it now, on the 23rd April, I wake up in pain but with a smile on my face.
Training for the marathon started on Boxing day, so believe me when I say, I have had plenty of time to relax before then! But pain is having a rave in my body right now. Jumping from my right foot last week to my left knee this week. Yet, I push that pain aside as THAT Marathon date is not going to change regardless if my body is hurting.
I was told by a wise man that there are two types of training plans; The have no life plan and The have a life plan. I chose to have no life! I am training 6 days a week, mostly in the evenings.
I would love to say that training has been a breeze and that I am just plodding along the street, racking up the miles with ease. But I am not. Training is hard, running is hard. So why do I do it? It is simple. I graduated as Run Dem Crew Younger this summer. That experience taught me that nothing worth having come easy. I accept these things because I have already aquired the tools of discipline & success. I understand.
My outlook these days is that there are bigger things out there than me and my problems, my aches and pains, my lack of time to myself. Run The World is a perfect example of that. I am happy to be here. With the opportunity to participate in races and run regularly because there are too many people out there that I need to do this for because there’s no choice for them. I need to be the best I can be, for them. My races are a celebration of that.
All this training, plodding along London’s darkened streets and racking up the miles will ensure that I wake up on April 23rd in a lot of pain but with a smile on my face. I’m smiling because on that day, I wake up as a man who has ran the London Marathon.
And honestly, ain’t nothing better than that.
It has truly been one of those days that begins on the peak and slowly descends into a valley filled with vulgar language and angry letters.
AWAY! AWAY! AWAY!
In other news; above is a sneak peak of some of the footage Dani captured in Jamaica. I am not yet comfortable with being the ‘subject’ I probs need to work on that.
Do you like my A1 size marathon training plan? Look at all those juicy numbers. Yum.
One rest day per week. God be with us.
Joy. And we are back. To our regular programming that is.
2012 came through with a hangover and an attitude but race season is about to be in full effect.
I’m a wee bit excited! It’s here. Just yesterday, I opened up the ballot confirmation
“2012. Plenty of time”
Oh the camouflage of lies one will tell, to maintain a sense of well being, is never too heavily invested. Let me tell you.
This year; amongst the quest for riches, true love and world domination, I search for joy. The chance to stop and marvel, while shoveling some macaroons (of my choice) into my gob. That would be sweet. Literally.
Returned to the training plan this morning and apart from this sunrise…
It was a loada bollocks.
My body (I can only speak for myself) is super quick to go back into lazy mode, if I do not train everyday. Yes, you heard right. Screw what the plan says, it’s ok to tick a ‘rest day’ with a light one mile jog. *disclaimer* I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL
I’ve blates been slacking and my body held me accountable for that.
*throws hands up in mock surrender*
Let me tell you, I am not the one. I refuse to be feeling one kind of way come April 22nd (tomorrow) for every painful step I will remember every time, I didn’t train. And that would be a complete tragedy.
Although I would only have myself to blame, I’m sure I’d make a fair few enemies based on the fact that, I would not be able to believe I had let myself down.
Todays run reminded me that I AM AS FIT A FIDDLE but, that is neither here nor there, if you are not going to put the miles in.
*sticks tongue out*
Best bloody get on with it then.
And so the end is near and we are all ready to let the ’11 kiss our asses and drunkenly dougie into what will be the ‘best year of our lives’
I don’t know about that. I endeavour to make it better than the one before. But none of that gassed talk that seems to be in superfluous rotation before the brussel sprouts have digested.
So what could possibly have been the most exciting, scary, humbling moment of 2011?
It was a cumbersome warm spring morning. I was already at Crystal Palace doing the rounds, when the news started to come through the Twitter feed.
Folk had received their confirmations or rejections regarding the London Marathon 2012.
I took a sharp intake of breath and closed my Twitter app.
Running home, I let the fact that everyone I knew and admired had been turned down. Surely, my fate lay in the same direction.
No one knew I had entered. It was my dirty little secret.
As I pushed the key in my front door, I held my breath.
Sure enough, face down, lay the article that would determine how I spent the quarter of the New Year.
I kicked it out of the way and ran to deactivate the alarm.
I turned towards it and counted the steps it took to realise how dumb I had been.
A marathon. I am such a rhatid ‘eedyat. I haven’t even done a half yet. Why am I so damn h’inna?
Continuing to grumble, I picked it up and carried it face down to the dining table, where I resolved that, what will be, will be and that is the end of that.
My memory being as selective as a prostitutes clients, I can’t remember what the front said. It was something stupid like;
Maybe it was
Whatever it said, I had to prop myself up on one of the head chairs.
This was not the way it was supposed to go. Everyone I knew who had years of experience in their field, had been shown a red card.
Why was I getting the go ahead?
Too many questions.
I rang my mentors, who assured me that there will be no backing out or failures of any kind. I would do the ting. Train hard, run easy, collect my medal and declare myself queen of everything.
I can smell the finish line. Months later, I’m still in shock. And scared. Very scared.
But also grateful. The london marathon is somewhat of a holy grail to those that tread the streets of this city. I have been given the chance to run it. In 2012. See you then
They say you ain’t tricking if you got it….
“I know you think you do it all by yourself…”
I don’t actually.
This post goes out to all the wingmen of the year. Obvs one of my fave things of 2011.
It would be most dishonest of me to sit here and take all the compliments for what has been a group effort.
This year I have been introduced to people that have allowed me to unlock my true potential. Not just in completing races that a year previous were beyond my wildest dreams (nightmares, actually) but in what others would describe as the boring state of their day to day lives.
My life is anything but. While I can’t always avoid ‘the shit’ I do seem to have a knack for turning up smelling of roses. With this ‘blog’ (grrr) you see the end product, me smiling, holding up a medal, excited to have added another piece of bling to the pile.
It’s never that easy.
Thankfully I have fallen into the arms of many an angel this year. Some have flown on to help others, most are now a permanent fixture in my life. I refer to these people as my ‘wingmen’
Every runner needs a wingman. Someone to train with when the nights get cold and thankless. Someone to split the cheeseboard with. Another soul who will have an hours phone call over the debut of a new running sock (guilty)
Word on the streets (ok, Twitter) is that I inspire people. That makes me laugh until I catch a stitch. On more than one occasion one of the lovely fellow below have had to drag (literally) me out of bed and remind me of the task at hand.
Tower2Tower run this past summer with Chazza, Georgina, Tahirah & Franny
The incomparable; Simon Freeman
Charisma & BANGS!
Tara & Bridge!
Not to get it twisted, not all of my wingmen run.
Confusing, I know.
But here is the thing; before I picked up the courage to hit the streets, I was just a standard girl.
Still am. And no matter what, it’s nice to return to bunch of friends who don’t give a damn how many races I’ve ran that past season, they still kick my ass on the monopoly board!
‘The luck I’ve had, could make a good man turn bad…’
Looking back, no complaints. Not one. For once in my life, I got everything I wanted. None of it without work but not the disabling graft one would assume need take place in order to achieve. Some, no, most things were simple. And for that I am tremendously grateful.
Between now and Dec 31′st, I’m going to look back on some of the awesomness that transpired in 2011. Because believe it or not, it’s all got something to do with running!
This past summer, Charlie Dark approached me to be a mentor to 16-21 year olds. The aim was to get them ‘From Sofa To Finish Line’ of the RunToTheBeat, Nike half marathon. In 12 weeks.
I was training for the race as part of teamBangsOnTheRun2 . I was busy. Overwhelmed infact. I did’nt even like young people. A mentor? Have you seen my life? This was sure to be a tragedy.
If you have had the pleasure of meeting Chazza, you will find that he is a disarming man who can casually bring out the best in people.
I thought about it.
And ignored it.
Then I met her.
The first time I ran with her, I knew she was gold.
Game set and match. I was in.
What unraveled was the most incredible experience. Those young people proved to more mature and intelligent than most twice their age. Not only did they cross the finish line, they crossed over into adulthood. And I could not have been more proud.
I am lost for words now…
Hiya! Candie here. A few weeks back I mentioned that this space would be developing. A by product of that idea is reading about the experiences of others.
Catherine is an original member of RDC and a absolute gorgeous woman. I remember her rocking up to RDC with the most perfect pregnant tummy and banging out the miles like it was nothing. In awe. I had to know more.
Knowing the fatigue/nausea/craziness brings, I wanted the 411 on how best to handle it when it was my turn. So now I hand over to Mama C and baby Remi as they let us know how it is to have a bump on the run!
How long have you been running and what made you begin?
It wasn’t until a friend told me to get off the treadmill and check out Run Dem Crew in Feb 2009 that I really got into running. From my first session out with them I was hooked. Running with a crew was totally different - a tough work out but also an amazing social and supportive group of people that would enable me to run a marathon 18 months later.
What were your average miles per week before falling pregnant?
I was gearing up for Paris half marathon and it was the hardest I’ve ever trained thanks to my running partner Linda. My week consisted of a long run, tempo run, track and hill sessions, which at its peak was about 23 miles per week. It was lot of running and the winter was freezing but it felt amazing being so fit; I felt like I could conquer anything. That’s what I want to get back to.
Upon confirming your pregnancy did you know that you wanted to continue you running?
I was just two minutes off my target for Paris at 1:42 but I had a great race, made all the better when I later discovered that I was already 3 ½ weeks pregnant at the time. I was high on running when I found out and not ready to give it up, so I was determined to find a way to continue running while staying safe.
Did you seek medical advice before continuing to run while pregnant?
My doctor said it was fine to run, she didn’t have much advice apart from not to overdo it. The best info I got was from Runner’s World Guide to Running and Pregnancy –written by and for runners, it understood my need to keep running and gave heaps of advice on how to stay safe.
In which trimester did you have the most/least energy?
The first was tough – felt tired and nauseous and because I couldn’t tell people yet, I had to fake a knee injury to explain why I needed to run slower. The second was the best – tonnes of energy and was able to go and run 10k no problem.
Do you believe you were able to avoid certain ailments normally suffered by expectant mothers, through the powers of running?
Before I was pregnant I found that running helped me stay fit, positive, confident and healthy. Thankfully it helped me feel the same when I was pregnant. I had a fantastic pregnancy and only really felt weighed down by it in the last couple of weeks.
Would you recommend running as a good way to shed ‘baby weight’
I won’t lie to you, childbirth and the first few weeks of motherhood have left my body feeling wrecked and I feel a shadow of my former self due to lack of sleep, breastfeeding etc etc. I was lucky that I didn’t put on much weight when pregnant but I am looking forward to is building up muscle-tone and feeling fit again.
How long are you going to wait until you get back into running again?
I can’t wait to get back to running - unfortunately though, I had a caesarean so it’s going to take a bit longer before I return and because of the severity of the operation I really do have to follow medical advice to avoid injury. Hoping to start back in March. I am taking inspiration from athlete Jo Pavey – she had a c section but now she’s crazy fit again and on course for some 2012 medals.
What advice would you have for runners who are about to have a ‘ baby on board’?
Make sure you eat and drink enough, be extra careful where you tread and when crossing roads particularly as you get bigger and less nimble, run with people or take a phone and most importantly listen to your body as it definitely knows best.
What are your goals for 2012 in both motherhood and running?
I’m already scouting ebay for running pushchairs so that I can get out and run in spring. As well as getting me fit, it will be a great way for us both to get out in the fresh air and around the parks. I’m also looking forward to running with my crew again and will hopefully sign up to a race in autumn.
Do you hope that your baby boy will have a similar love for running?
We already have a Run Dem Crew playsuit for him, which I am very excited about and Santa will hopefully bring some mini Lunar Glides, soI’m really hoping he will.
We will have him running in no time!
*walks off smiling & feeling very broody*
Experienced runners know that the run up (cheap ass pun) to a race gets you higher than a kite.
Unfortunately, what goes up must come down and the inevitable marathon low has not evaded me. Best believe.
How does one get over running in the best race the universe has to offer?
Dive head first into training for the London Marathon (and NYC, Scottish Ultra and RTW halves of course)
Well that was the plan. No, this was:
And that lil sucker was supposed to start today. With the nice 10k and then hill training with linda’s InclineAccelerators (it’s as scary as it sounds!) But guess who went out last night? Guess who stumbled at the first hurdle? OHMYGODWILLIEVERGETBETTER?!
Fear not. Contingency plans have been drawn up. That plan is on my fridge/mirror/pphone and forehead. I am not willing to give up my life. The two have to coincide. So I have made the decision to shift all long runs to Sunday. I am allowed. I am the boss of this journey. But I am going to let you guys hold me accountable too. This is a group effort. I have a time in mind. And although everyone is saying “just finish” the fact that Oprah finished in 4:15, irks me just a little!
The year is soon out and I’ve been thinking about what I haven’t achieved (pessimist til the casket drops) and got in a proper tizz and beat myself up about it. But then these (found an awesome medal display over at www.medalhangers.com ) caught my eye:
And I humbled myself.
I did not acquire any of those through fate nor accident. I earned them. Like children, I cannot pick a favourite. They all have their own personalities and all those races taught me something. If I’ve done anything this year, it’s put the miles in and cross the finish line in style (usually in just my bra but hey, it could have been worse!)
Talking of style
I KNOW. I KNOW. YOU AINT GOTTA HOLLA, I KNOW!
Copped these at the Reggae Marathon expo. I am in love. We are going to have babies. Their hair will be just as colourful.