Start spreading the news! – Monday Motivation

Oh my word, i can barely contain my excitement!

I received confirmation that i have an automatic qualification place for the New York City marathon this November!?!?!?

YEAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!

It’s something that has not quite sunk in yet and probably won’t till i’m at the start line in New York.

It will be 12 months to the day after when i posted about my amazing Frankfurt marathon run, that i will be running New York. Such an amazing feeling i have right now and something that i feel so proud about.

Qualifying for a marathon major after just my second marathon race is an amazing achievement and to think i didn’t even know what a marathon major was till a short while ago. Now i want to run all six! Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York.

So if i’m going to start running marathon majors, why not start with the biggest one?

It just goes to show that neither age or ability need be a barrier. All i want to do, is go for a run.

Good luck to all those who have entered the ballot and maybe i will see you in New York and we can sing some Frank Sinatra together whilst eating some pizza?

No doubt you will hear more about this and right now i have a couple of half marathons and marathon to complete before New York.

Keeeeeeep running!

 

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Headphones or no headphones?

Since i have been running, i have never ran with headphones.

This has mainly started from a safety perspective as most of my training is in built up suburb areas, so i want to make sure i can hear everything around me to reduce risk of any accidents.

I have noticed both when i’m on my runs and on social media that many people do use headphones, so i posted on Social media the question of who runs with headphones and why?

The answers that came back were extremely varied.

The overriding answer was that headphones are worn to help motivate whilst running and helps them run at a certain pace.

Many answered saying they have the music on loud enough so they can’t hear themselves breathing, as hearing themselves panting, puts them off their running!

Maybe someone has already completed a full scientific review on the pros and cons of wearing headphones or not wearing headphones?

For me, i will continue to run sans headphones as i love to soak in the atmosphere and surroundings, especially on race days days. Hearing the crowds cheering you on is priceless!

Keeeeeep running!

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Born to Run – The Secrets of Kenyan Athletes

Oh how serendipity works.

After only having recently posted about Born to Run, i was sent a link to a documentary about the Kenyan secrets.

This is a fascinating documentary of how it seems one area in Kenya produces champion after champion.

I don’t think there is any secrets.

Have a look here, and see what you think?

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Born to Run

What a great song, Born to run.

We were born to run: nobody wins, unless everybody wins.

That is the intro Bruce Springstein gives for his song, Born to run, which you can enjoy in video below.

For me it is also a mantra for running. We can all win. It’s not about who comes first in a race, wins medals or gets new PB/PR.

It’s the taking part and the sheer joy of running.

That is why, we were born to run.

What are you waiting for?

 

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Marathon training for beginners

Having completed my first marathon this year in April at Brighton, one of my biggest worries was how much training should i do?

What kind of training should i do?

For me and what is beginning to be widely accepted, only three runs a week are needed. For some old school coaching and training, they may say you need to build up a lot of mileage each week to be able to complete the full 26.2 miles.

Why do i say only 3 runs?

The simple facts, as a beginner in particular, our bodies need time to recover.

Rather than running hundreds of miles each week and getting lots of injuries in process, why not run less and run smart?

The three runs can consist of sprint training session, hill running training and a long run.

There are a myriad of beginner marathon training plans you can download from the web. Find one that best suits your daily plans and adapt them to suit you.

For me the training has to be of top quality and intensity with a lot of rest and recovery time.

Below is the VLOG i made of my first ever marathon this year. Such great memories and all on just 3 training runs per week.

 

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1st Keyworth Scout Group Turkey Trot Half Marathon

Santa Claus is coming to town!

I think last Sunday i was the happiest runner in the world.

I was fortunate enough to take part in my first ever Keyworth Turkey Trot, which is a half marathon around the beautiful Nottinghamshire countryside. Little did i know how much i would have as i decided to run the race in full santa outfit. Beard and all!

The course profile is brutal with a 1300 ft ascent, so i had not plans on running my fastest half marathon simply because of the route, never mind being in a full santa outfit.

Barely 1 mile into the race, i could already feel the sweat pouring off me.

The crowd on the route were amazing with all cheering COME ON SANTA!

After getting over the first major hill at mile 3, i was feeling good, so i decided to start pushing the pace and even with all those hills, i managed to run my fastest ever half marathon with a time of 1:34.

Below is the VLOG of the race of which i would highly recommend. Great organisation, super support all around the course, and a great way to get ready for Christmas!

 

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Why am i not doing the Marcothon challenge?

Having been running for only 17 months, you may understand more why i’m not taking part in this challenge.

I first heard about this challenge on Instagram, like a lot of my running knowledge and experiences are from there.

When i Googled Marcothon, it came up with a lot of results and is quite inspirational, but it’s not for me. Running everyday for me would take out the fun that i enjoy with each run and looking forward to the hard training runs and also enjoying the rest days and cross-training days.

On Google i also found this blog post, about why the author of that post is also not taking part.

He goes into lot of depth how it all started and who created it. I will leave you to read that blog post and all the detail. But in summary, it was created by a guy who wanted to motivate HIMSELF to keep running and was already a TOP Ultra-marathon runner, so running 3 miles everyday for 1 month would of been like a stroll in the park for him.

To run everyday takes a lot of physical strength and i take my hat off to everyone who runs everyday for the month of December and thoroughly enjoys every minute, of every run, everyday.

And when you are done, maybe you can do a run movie trailer like the one below?

 

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Mainova Frankfurt Marathon – 2016

There have been many reasons why you haven’t seen many updates from myself since my first Parkrun back in June this year.

Sadly my beautiful mother suffered a stroke and passed away the following week.

For the past 5 months i have gone through many changes, which i had no control of whatsoever. Before the loss of my mother, i was already having to look for a new contract of work in a new location, all of which were having an impact on my training for only my second marathon since Brighton Marathon in April.

Frankfurt was to be my first ever big city marathon, this was a big deal for me.

The months of training we very enjoyable and often tough, especially getting up at 4am or 5am to complete my ‘short’ weekday training runs before getting into work. And as autumn approached the mornings were dark, which meant i needed to use a head torch to help me see where i’m going on footpaths and enable motorists to see me.

Over the summer months i had picked up a number of injuries to my feet, toes, achilles and left knee. The knee injury was caused by me falling off my bike, which meant i had a sharp pain on knee cap while training for the following 6 weeks. It seemed forever! One bump or bruise after another and also some back pains, which resulted in 3 visits to an osteopath, 2 visits to a sports physio and 2 podiatry appointments.

The second podiatry visit was where i had full foot and leg analysis to find one leg is longer than the other and both feet pronate, with one pronating 2 ways!

I wasn’t going to let any of this stop me, but instead, i embraced the changes needed. I was strengthening my glutes and learning to engage them whilst running, so putting less strain on other parts of my hips and legs.

So raceday arrived, Sunday 30th October, 2016 and it was very cold, for me, in the morning. Nonetheless perfect marathon conditions with virtually zero wind, clear blue skies and it warmed up to 12 degrees Celsius.

Whilst i had a clear race strategy with my coach at Running With Us, some things don’t often go to plan.

After about my third gel, i almost felt like throwing up and didn’t want to take anymore, but had the dilemma of my energy levels potentially dropping off. So i persisted with the gels.

Also, i knew i had to have a glass of water at each 5km point, but after the first 5km and having most of the content go all over my face, i had to stop and calmly drink my cup of water at every 5km point. Yes, it slowed me down, but i needed the water. It was also tough to get running again after each time i stopped. Maybe i need to train how to drink out of a cup whilst running?

I was determined to come in with a good time and made sure i did not look at my Garmin watch, i just ran to effort and listened to how my body felt. There were a number of points i was with some runners going at a 3:09 pace, but i could feel my legs saying slow down. So i did.

The last 10km was oh so tough and i dug deep and kept going. With 7 km to go, we were back in the final loop in Frankfurt downtown and at 40km was where some official pace setters with balloons of 3:14 passed, that was the moment i knew i had run a brilliant race, but had to finish strong.

I came in with a time of 3:15:44 and i was full of great joy and elation at the finish.

It was the race of my life and loved every kilometre and to all the people who cheered me on around the course, it was simply amazing.

With that finish time and my age, based on current qualification times, i now could qualify for the 6 World Marathon majors. Which with Frankfurt Marathon only being my second marathon, running for just a little over 16 months, for a non-athlete like myself, is nothing short of remarkable.

I really do have to pinch myself as i’m still thinking this is all a dream.

Below is my Frankfurt marathon race VLOG. It is raw and emotional. That’s my style and the only music you hear is me singing along to sound tracks along the route. I do hope you have enjoyed reading this and enjoy watching the VLOG and would love you to leave positive comments and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Thank you!

 

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My first Parkrun – Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham UK

For those of you that have been following my running journey, will know that this week marks my first anniversary since I started running and what a 12 months it has been!

I certainly did not love it at first. I hated it. It would hurt so much, but I persisted as I had made a commitment to my friend to run a half marathon for his charity.

I often have to pinch myself to see what I have achieved in such a short period of time. Some of you have followed me from almost when I started and some have just arrived in last few days. To all of you, I thank you for you support.

You will know I don’t set any goals or have any dreams. All I do is get up every morning and do my best, because that is all I can do each day. It doesn’t mean that you should not have goals and dreams, I am just sharing what works for me.

So to help celebrate my first anniversary, I thought I would do a Parkrun as so many people had mentioned how good they are and how much they enjoy the whole ethos. Saturday mornings are not normally a good time for me, so I had to make sure I had everything planned to ensure I could get to one and I was not disappointed. It was epic!

When I ran my first ever timed 5k last Saturday at my first ever Parkrun , I didn’t have a goal time, I just wanted to run as fast as I could. And I did. And coming in at sub 20 minutes was the icing on the cake!

A BIG thank you to all the volunteers at the Parkrun’s who help make these events all over the world happen!

When you watch my latest VLOG of that run below, you will see I give it my all. That’s what I aim to do everyday. When we do our best, no one can ask anymore of us.

If you enjoy the video please do subscribe and also share with all you know and who knows, it may inspire someone you know to have a go at running too!

 

 

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A new 10k world record!

Mo Farah may be current European, World and Olympic 10k Gold medallist, but it’s time to look at this distance from a new perspective…

After completing my first marathon in April, I have been keeping my body ticking over with some regular training runs and a couple of races.

One of those races was the London 10000 on the day before my birthday.

As it was a short 10k run for me, I thought I would do something different to spice it up, make it more of a challenge for me and also raise some more money for charity.

So I decided to run in the Cancer Research shoe, aka Shoe Barker!

Rachel Speight-McGregor

Rachel Speight-McGregor

Above is a picture of an amazing lady who I met at the Manchester 10k, and has raised tens of thousands of pounds running in this shoe.

The London 10000 is a fabulous race around the best parts of London that you would see during London marathon without having to run the full 42km marathon!

As you can imagine, being dressed as a shoe, gets you lots of attention. The support during the race was amazing as you will see from the VLOG below. I also got to meet some amazing people, some whom had ran in the shoe before and one guy getting a record for 10k of 59:59. I thought it would be amazing if I could also run the distance in under an hour, but had no idea what to do as I had only tried the shoe on once for size and never walked in it before, never mind running!

Somehow I managed to come in with a time of 52:33, which is a new unofficial world record in the shoe. Apparently Guinness Book of records do not recognise 10k as a long enough race to record. Hence unofficial record.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me during my amazing marathon journey and beyond! You can still sponsor me here>>

Hope you enjoy my VLOG of the race below and Subscribe and share it amongst your friends and family!

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