I’ve got pains in my lower legs that I need to get checked out. Everyone is saying shin splints. If everyone is right then I’m going to cry. Regardless, I’m not running for the next two or three weeks because, ultimately, you can’t really go wrong with resting aching limbs.
The thing is, now that I shouldn’t be running, that’s pretty much all I want to do.
I’m going to stay off twitter because everyone’s Sunday runs are making me jealous :(
It’s been a week since I put on running shoes to run in. I’ve just been wearing my new LunarEclipse+ 2 trainers around like they’re just a normal Sportswear trainer, wearing them at every opportunity. Other than Frees and LunarRacers, these are the first running model in the last few years that I’ve really, REALLY loved. I kind of don’t want to run in them so they don’t get dirty, I just want to wear them with jeans or shorts. They’re so summery!
ANYWAY. I digress. I haven’t done any running since last week at Run Dem. It’s not like I rack up much more mileage in between RDC sessions, but I’ve been wanting to. Last week I managed to hurt my legs. Real life hurt with real life pain. I have no idea what I did, but throughout the run (and the whole of the next two days) my lower legs were in agony. I don’t think it was shin splints as my calves were just as painful, but I’ve been taking it easy nonetheless.
It’s frustrating because since Berlin I’ve wanted to up my running game and enjoy this “summer” (WHEN IT STOPS BLOODY RAINING) at a considerable pace. The aim is to run the Amsterdam half marathon in October in less than 2 and a half hours. I’m pretty sure I can do this. With a few track sessions and (perhaps a couple of bridge running sessions in New York some time soon) I might be able to get it down to something below 2 hours and 15 minutes. Whatever. I’m not getting too ahead of myself. I just really want to be able to run strong enough to keep up with my friends.
On the plus side, over the past few weeks I’ve been trying out a new yoga class, stretching and breathing like a rhino while Denis and Jeggi stretch somewhere behind me, melting like AZN sorbets. I’ve also managed to FINALLY find a place to live and I’ve moved all my stuff and I’m settling in fabulously. I’m proper chuffed. After the stress of house-hunting and all the other crap that I waded through at the beginning of this year, I feel like I deserve living in such a nice flat. AND I’ve seen a(n amazing) physio about my knee pain. Barbara stuck me on a treadmill and then told me that my knees hurt because I run funny because I have a weak core. She gave me a bunch of exercises to do that I only remember once I’m at work and in no position to be planking and thrusting around in a studio full of bewildered people. I’m going to sign off and go and do some core work now.
That’s the update. Nothing wildly remotely exciting, but I thought you should know. It was meant to be short and sweet, but that kind of failed once I started waffling. Soz. I also wanted to show you my new trainers. Best (looking) investment I’ve made this year so far.
Hi Sarah, it's Nikki from VLM and Nike Store. Thanks for the mention on your site. Wasn't sure how to post anything so thought I would let you know that we all finished safe .. Me in 4.32, Claire in 4.54 and Emma in 5.09. We saw and heard your crew at mile 21 but didn't see you but the support was amazing .. Only sad thing was, of course the death of the poor young girl during the race. Tragic. It was great to meet you and wish you the best of luck With your projects x
Congratulations to all three of you for such amazing race times! I’m in AWE! Sorry I missed you, but I’m really glad you enjoyed the Run Dem Crew support ^___^
Thank you for your kind words. Enjoy the Air Max 2011s when they arrive! xxx
I think you should all know that I just ran my fastest ever mile. Yes, I’m aware that I started my run at 11pm but I’ve been restless all day, wanting to run all week and couldn’t get a bloody Boris Bike earlier to cycle home from work. Someone on the other side of the ocean suggested I try and get a quick 3km in the bag. So I ran.
I’ve been trying to get below the 10 minute mile mark for WEEKS but tonight, running over London Bridge the Nike+ lady on my Nike+ GPS app said I ran the first mile at 9 minutes and 2 seconds.
Let’s just pause for a dance break…
I know Bangs is going to be super proud. Look, Mama Runner, no hands!
If you’re running the marathon tomorrow, firstly, GOOD LUCK! Secondly, look out for the Run Dem Crew stations at mile 17 and 24 and the main station at mile 21 on Commercial Road.
Thank you for reading this blog, I really appreciate it and I’ll be cheering for you tomorrow!
Please email or tweet me if you see the Run Dem Crew family tomorrow. We’re going to be out in force to support every runner and if that’s you, we hope you feel the love.
Today I designed a great pair of trainers with a woman called Nikki who is running the marathon with two of her friends. Now that I’ve made it through a half marathon, I actually have something to say to runners. We have something in common at last! So it was really lovely chatting to these three women, asking what they’ll be wearing and how they were feeling.
I wish you the best of luck ladies, and most of all I hope you enjoy it! I’ll be looking out for you.
This weekend the Virgin London Marathon will mean that roads will be blocked and crowds will be cheering for strangers. Tens of thousands of runners will be pushing through mental barriers and the 26.2 mile route of city asphalt. Having (kind of) trained and then having (kind of) ran my first half marathon a few weeks ago, my experience and understanding of the commitment an individual has to go through in order to turn up at the start line has been a valuable lesson. My respect for these people has increased dramatically - I’m not in the position where I would even contemplate running a whole marathon. But I’ll never say never. I do, however, have several friends and acquaintances that have been training for weeks and will be pummelling London’s roads this Sunday. I’d just like to say that I am immensely proud of you, excited for you and mostly in utter awe of your determination. Much respect to you all. Your words of encouragement throughout training for my first race were and are invaluable. I learned so much about running and attitude from each of you, whether you know it or not, so I thank you wholeheartedly. Do da ting and I can’t wait to cheer you on!
Run Dem Crew members will be out in force, including some of the following: Candice @candicebrownb Darren @redfella Kimberly @planetkimbo Nathaniel @mrfatchance Shameek @shameek_ldn
A very, very special big up to Jez who is running to be badass. And to also raise money for charity, because he’s nice like that. Jez @jezwelham
And for Dommy and Linda smashing records in Manchester this weekend to qualify for the Boston Marathon, wishing you the best of love and luck. Fingers crossed, gun fingers raised and hats off to you both. @dmyrcr @alphabet_byrne
Last but not least, hold tight all the bandit runners. You don’t get named shout outs, but you know who you are and you have my support. Be careful, take it easy and have fun!
This weekend is shaping up to be an emotional one. Who wants to bet me and Orsi end up crying again?
A week after my first half marathon in Berlin I’m on a train back in Europe, with someone for whom running has quite vastly changed their life and perspective in the last three years for the better. My life is coloured by friends, some of them relatively new, who share the same view and this has definitely had a positive impact on the way that I view running and fitness. I also feel that it’s largely due to a big turn within the fashion and beauty industries where there has been a subconscious (or maybe not) shift from female attractiveness derived from the skinny and hungry looks to the well-toned physiques I now see everywhere. Looking and being genuinely healthy is tres fashionable now. Who knew?! Having said that, because I’m not modelling so much anymore and my interests have always been in casual trends, sportswear and beautiful people, maybe this isn’t so circumstantial…
Regardless, my point is that my perspective has changed over the past few months and I find myself wanting to move and be active. I want to tone up and be able to run miles without passing out. I have no interest in dieting in order to stay a certain size, but I do believe that just because you’re slim, it doesn’t mean you’re healthy and I would much rather have nice arms - firm, not massive, obvz - than triceps the consistency of Angel Delight. I don’t eat (a lot of) junk food, I don’t smoke and I don’t drink. I’m pretty boring actually. My vices are cake, dessert, tea and biscuits. I’m a really cheap date. Unless we’re eating steak, in which case I like good quality, beautiful cuts of medium-rare meat, if that’s alright with you.
This might just be my half-marathon high talking. I still haven’t come down yet and I kind of wanted to leave this post to be written when I was grounded and back to my usual grumpy self. I’m not entirely sure why, but I have had a week of wanting to run and be surrounded by runners. I haven’t actually DONE any running - I should probably make that clear, because I’m sure that means something - but where there’s a will, there’s a way. I work for a company that does everything it can to make things better for the athlete, professional or not, and this has been a very large contributing factor in my attitude to running. Add to this the past few weeks with Run Dem and Bangs and I’ve realised that running is very likely to remain a prevalent activity in my life, for the next few months at the very least, whether I work for Cadbury’s or the Prime Minister.
There is nothing like running a half marathon (except for maybe a whole marathon, but I’ve never done one of those, and my pain threshold is pretty pathetic so comparing my half-mara experiences to other peoples’ marathon stories kind of just sounds the same). Firstly, I can now finally see why people do these things for fun. When I say ‘fun’, I just mean that they do it without having a barrel pressed between their shoulder blades, forcing them to move (except I do now know people who do this kind of thing for fun). The sense of achievement you feel when you (finally) cross the finish line is incomparable. The achievement only really appears to me in waves as the predominant feeling for me was relief, but it’s the sense that I’ve done a whole three miles on foot without hijacking someone’s car (and believe me, in certain areas of Berlin I was often reminded of Jason Bourne and wanted to parkour over a few taxis onto a tram) that makes me think wow, I just did a half-marathon and I only cried once (technically the other three times were post-race).
The nervous energy that built up last Sunday morning had me nearly losing my nut when I couldn’t find the bar where Run Dem Crew were holding fort, pre-race, with the Bridge Runners, NBRO, Graviteam, Precinct 5, RC8K, Harbour Runners and the Paris Running Club guys. I was scared I would miss Charlie’s Run Dem mantra, which delivers a dose of adrenaline to my bloodstream and fire to my resilience. It was a packed bar and the vibes were electric. My nerves were soothed and the smiles and hugs made my pre-race prep a whole lot easier. Waiting in the pens with my brother, Marcus and John from the NY Bridge Runners was a laugh. Rachel, Dani and Christiana were just behind and I ended up dancing because I felt so restless and nervous. It felt like a very serious and badly themed carnival.
The race started well. I managed over two miles before I slowed down to walk, a personal best. Nothing remotely glamorous, but a private victory. I then ran and walked my way through the city. Making sure I was running past all the drum bands banging out battle beats. If I wasn’t running, I was dancing - I was adamant that I would make some parts of the journey fun. It didn’t take long for me to get bored. The constant stream of inappropriate jokes from Chris helped immensely though – as did the tea, which I thought was beer at first sight. That tea, in fact, was like a syrupy hug at times. Loaded with honey and lemon, it got the bad taste out of my mouth and distracted me for a minute or two each time I slowed down for a re-up.
So, basically, I ran and walked the race. I was doing 12 minute miles on average so I did alright. I got to 12.5 miles and cried though. I couldn’t help it. I knew the finish line was close and it made me feel a sudden burst of confused emotions that were expressed through awful and embarrassing childlike tears. I had to cover my face. I was so pissed off that I was STILL on the road and that it had taken so long. I was very aware that I was testing my brother’s patience and I was trying not to let him down. I was also aware that I had very nearly finished a whole race without giving up. I was watching finished and happy racers walking back along the pavements. I was tired. I was embarrassed. I was looking forward to hugs from everyone. I was annoyed that I didn’t train hard enough, that I couldn’t commit (for whatever reasons). I was overwhelmed by the new experience and the sheer relief that it was nearly over. There was so MUCH running through my mind that I cried very loudly for about a minute. And then I was fine. I literally just needed the physical cathartic release in order to break free from the bad mood and sprint. Then my brother pointed out a big white archway, which I was pretty sure was just a sponsorship thingy, but I pegged it anyway. I even picked up speed when two guys stretched big plastic streamers across the road and I sprinted through them because I thought it was the finish line and then nearly doubled and pummelled their faces when I realised that they were being idiots as it wasn’t the finish line.
I rounded the final corner and saw the real end in sight. My brother pulled out his phone and moved ahead to film me finishing the race. I ran. I saw Candice screaming madly from the sideline, waving a Run Dem Crew cowbell, with a wide berth around her. She was bursting ear drums of other supporters and I nearly burst into fresh tears when she yelled my name (God, I’m PATHETIC!). I went over the finish line with my arms waving triumphantly (haphazardly) in the air and then immediately started crying again. The lady who gave me my medal hugged me, slightly overwhelmed by my overwhelmedness. Poor thing, I think I scared her.
Bar Babette was rammed when I walked back in to grab my bag. A million faces smiled at me and a spabillion arms grabbed me and hugged me. I got upstairs to see Charlie and thank him for getting me to the start line and over the finish line and ended up crying again. I definitely scared Charlie, Mark and Wayne and had to explain they were happy tears. I sat down to stretch and saw Bangs climbing over RDC runners to get to me. I cried again. Then Orsi came over and she cried too. There’s a drought in the UK because Orsi and I took all the water and cried it all over Berlin. We’re sorry.
I spent the afternoon trying and failing to relax and then spent the night dancing until my running-related knee pain became a dancing-related one, then took myself home. If you want to know what happened at the after party, ask someone else – this post is already of mammoth proportions. All I’ll say is that I sweated more in the club than I did on the streets that morning. Half-marathons are hard yo, but challenge me to dance all night at an after-party and I’ll win every medal there is. My marathons are on the dancefloor.