WE OWN THE NIGHT - CALLING ALL LADIES.
Do you feel like there needs to be a race just for the girl crews and fast females in the UK? A short and sharp route, perhaps, with a festival vibe? A 10k in London in Spring? Maybe an evening race, you know, to be a bit different, so we can make a ‘thing’ of it? A race where fashion and fitness unite and unicorns line the sides of the route*? A run with a party atmosphere?
It’s happening. Nike UK and Elle UK have teamed up to cater to girl crews and ladies in lycra who want all of the above. (*fashion and fitness will be present, the unicorns, however, will not be).
Of course I’m down to be involved. I’ve been looking for a small race to train for, to keep my legs going, but one with no pressure for speed so I can just enjoy it. I would never have dreamed of an evening race (my preferred time to run) that is as much about enjoying the atmosphere as enjoying the run itself. But yeah, that’s what’s happening. I still kind of can’t believe it and I’m really looking forward to it (I know, ME, looking forward to running, SO LOLZ).
Rewind to a fortnight ago and Elle and Nike put an evening of cocktails, smoothies, photo shoots and race sign ups to get the ball rolling. I was invited to be involved and the photo above is one that was taken of me on the evening.
True to form, I haven’t started training yet, but with a month to go myself and my mini girl crew featuring Bwalya and Eman are tackling the miles as of next week. We’re the [Unofficial But So Official] Basketball Wives of Hackney (all three of our boyfriends run the court and, um, all live in Hackney).
The race is Saturday the 18th of May. I am bringing my girls and vibez to the start line. See you THERE.
Sign up here for the WE OWN THE NIGHT 10K race.
If you’re signing up but are worried about training, Nike and Elle are running classes leading up to the race. The Nike+ Run Club is every Monday evening at Niketown London and the Nike Training Club class is every Wednesday evening in Hyde Park. Check out: @NikeUK @ElleUK @ElleUKRunning for times and information. The sessions are free so just show up and get involved - I will be!
Today’s run done. 1.3 miles. Or something equally pathetic. However, it doesn’t matter how far I run, I just have to actually leave the house at a faster pace than a walk and return at some point over 5 minutes later.
I didn’t run this morning because I was busy (putting it off), so I had to run this evening. I did a loop from my boyfriend’s place which involved hills (one down and one up). I strategically planned it so that the steeper hill would be the one I ran down because I am smart (lazy).
I wore new trainers yesterday (the beautiful Curtis Kulig and Vans collaboration) which ripped up my feet and gave me lovely blisters on my heels. Nothing that Scholl blister plasters can’t remedy and they were even fine when I stepped out in four inch stiletto courts last night for my valentine’s date. While we’re on the subject of my fab stilettos, I actually forgot to wear the gel pads that protect the balls of your feet from getting bruised. I recall one guy (twat) last night asking if I was struggling as I tip-toed [in the four inches] over a cobbled road. I laughed and then said, ‘no, actually, I’m all good’, while I cursed the retarded choice of paving in my head. I digress.
Today I had actually remembered to pack a sports bra so I could run instead of shuffle very quickly like I did on Day 1 (who am I kidding?! it wasn’t even that quick) but I had to wear a Don’t Trust Anyone bright yellow tshirt, a yellowy-green windrunner, black leggings with a crimson stripe near the ankle and navy HUF weed socks. It was a mix of several wardrobes, not all my own. I looked ridiculous. I hate black and navy in the same outfit. I like to be comfortable when I run, but I’m even more comfortable when I’m not overly self-conscious that I look like a blind man styled me.
Basically, blisters on my heels, bruised feet (totally worth it) and donned in a non-Power Ranger-esque running kit, but I ran anyway. I yelled to my boyfriend on my way out of the door that I might need him to pick me up if either bruises or blisters rendered me a sobbing mess half a mile down the road. He said something back but I was already gone like the wind (LOL, yeah right).
Blah blah blah running running running. Only walked twice but ran on all the main roads so that to everyone sitting in traffic I looked like I was coping.
Got back and boyfriend says ‘oh, your stats are already on Twitter’.
ME: ‘Yeah, but it was only a mile and I had to do a lap around the square because I didn’t choose a long enough route’.
BOYF: *continues to read Twitter timeline* ‘Ah, my mate’s just “crushed a 9.8 mile run”, it looks like he uses the same app’.
BOYF: ‘Yeah, but he’s training for a triple marathon’.
ME: ‘FUCK MY ENTIRE EXISTENCE’. (sorry if you’re reading this, mum).
I sulked in the shower for 10 minutes and stood there with the Original Source Black Mint shower gel lathered all over me in a thick layer in a desperate attempt to cool down and stop sweating. FYI, don’t bother buying the Black Mint edition, it’s no different to the normal mint one except for the fact that it’s a really dark green as opposed to normal green. I thought it might smell vaguely cologne-y (I like cologne-y kind of smells), but it doesn’t.
All in all, disappointing on every level except for the Scholl blister plasters which both stayed intact.
Running and non-running.
Hi. My name is Sarah Mei and I hate running.
I have always hated running. Mainly because I am not very good at it and my self-discipline is not strong (non-existent) when it comes to pain thresholds. I am what you call a ‘fassy’.
However, about a year and a half ago, I started actual running as being lazy wasn’t fun anymore. I ran on and off, but mostly on (a credit to myself [gold star for me]) for about a year, usually with Run Dem Crew but, every now and again, on my own (another gold star for me).
And then I stopped.
Months went by and occasionally I’d run but I couldn’t enjoy it anymore. (I kind of never enjoyed it, but there’s something about running with a huge group of people that feels exhilarating). Right now I’m definitely back in the I HATE RUNNING zone.
I set up this blog in 2011 expecting it to last until the Berlin half marathon on the 1st of April last year. But I didn’t stop running after that race and the responses to my honest take on running and my injuries were so positive so I kept posting on here. (FYI, I love the messages and emails I get from other people in the I HATE RUNNING zone. I feel like we should start a club, guys).
So much changed for me as I got caught up in the running movement. I have met people who have changed my life and those who have helped develop my perspective. I have travelled so much and have been lucky enough to experience unforgettable hospitality from Nike, Graviteam, Patta, Bridge Runners and Black Roses. I have met people from all over the world, I’ve reached out and made contacts with interesting individuals, I’ve found friends I’ll never get enough of, I’ve found myself on important radars and been overwhelmed that my opinion sometimes matters. It’s not often that things like this happen for a twenty-something year old girl from London who hates running.
So this, even though I’m crap at it and I hate it, is why I’m reluctant to not run. There are people who support me and I will never not appreciate this.
I’m a creature of habit who has accepted that change is often the best thing, so, in the spirit of change, I’m giving up non-running for Lent.
I am not remotely religious (bar a few Chinese superstitions), but forty days of running is a good idea (credit to Bridget Minamore [@bridgetminamore], OG Run Dem Crew Younger, poetic extraordinaire and a funnier-than-you-wish-you-were young lady). Forty days is not a lot (by day three it will feel like forEVER, no doubt), but I cannot expect to enjoy change unless I put it into motion myself.
Today is day 1 out of 40. I ran 1 kilometer. 1. One. Not even a mile. In fact, the main reason I ran was to get hair serum from Boots on the high street because I’ve run out and can’t wash and dry my hair without it (don’t judge me, my hair stylist says I have amazing hair and she knows everything about hair). Tomorrow I think I’m going to run for donuts (my local Tesco has FINALLY started stocking Krispey Kremes and this is worth a celebration).
1 kilometer is better than no kilometers. Well done me.
The shoot I did for Nike UK before Christmas has been up since the new year and the images are on the Nike store homepage and on the Facebook page for Nike Running.
Darkz, Jamie, Venetia, Lina, Orsi, Elle, Petra and lots of Nike Fitness Club trainers spent a day doing drills (HELL) and sprints (MORE HELL) in East London for the Make It Count campaign. Anything I do with Run Dem Crew is fun. Never a dull moment. The drills were worth it for the laughs we had.
Still hate the word “banter” though…
I found the other pics on the Nike Facebook page. The photos of my brother, Chris, were from the Nike+ Run Club New Year’s Day Make It Count run from Niketown London. He’s one of the pacers for Nike+ Run Club when he’s not at uni and he came straight from the airport to join in on the run and enjoy the three free breakfasts. What a winner (div).
Paris Running Club (@Paris_RC) do it with such finesse. I guess it helps that they’re such a beautiful group of runners.
Nice colourway. Nice detailing, I love the Swoosh. Now, show me the front of the shoe and we can talk…
Post-Tuesday-night-run. If I had more energy, I’d be angry.
This is my excited face.
I’m excited for several reasons:
1) My compression socks arrived in the post this morning. Please see above image. Please ignore crazy hair. The cat says hello.
1.5) I haven’t had pains in my calves and shins for nearly 2 weeks.
2) I am currently blasting The Spice Girls - Greatest Hits at a very high volume. It is Girl Power Season in my house.
3) I am seeing a physio tomorrow morning who is going to help me pinpoint what I’m doing wrong when I run. By this time tomorrow, I’ll know how to run without injuring myself again.
All of this (bar the Girl Power Season section) means that I can start running again soon. I can get into training for Amsterdam. Which is, above all else, a huge weight off my mind. Less stress. More running.
FIT AND HEALTHY SARAH MEI IS ON THE WAY! YAAAY!
Two week’s worth…
I feel like, having trained for a half marathon and now beginning my training for the next, I have now developed perhaps an inkling of an understanding of what these Olympic athletes have been through in the years of training to arrive on the start line in Stratford this year. The cycling and track and field events have caught my attention in particular and it has been nothing short of motivating watching other human beings break world records. At times I’ve never felt more patriotic or proud of the athletes that I support when watching heats, sprints and determined successes. My tear ducts have been very well exercised (it’s so bloody EMOTIONAL!) and I’ve spent hours in front of the TV or poaching wifi in restaurants and screaming at large screens in public places, watching the events in London.
I never thought I’d be this interested in sport, but watching Bolt jog 200 metres makes me want to head to the nearest track and start pumping out sprints. I just want to run really fast and WIN something, you know?!
I feel nothing short of GALVANISED.
Robin flew into London and once again left instagram in a whirlwind and took the city by storm. I love her company and nearly lost my shit when I realised that the “basketball event for women” she had invited myself and Bangs to was actually a real life, actual OLYMPIC EVENT at the OLYMPIC PARK. OMG. OMG. OMG. AND it was to watch TWO heats, INCLUDING Team USA, featuring real life, actual WNBA players. OMAG.
It was incredible to watch four teams of closely bonded women dominate the court and play on an international (not to mention Olympic-) scale. There were a few players on each team, like Seimone Augustus (Team USA) and Antonija Misura (Croatia), that I found myself impressed with for their beauty, their strength and the beauty IN their strength.
I have a thing for strong women. Strength that is physical or mental, or both. I always feel drawn to learn from them and I actively seek their advice.
Many of the women in my life are like this and have been phenomenal role models. I learn about hard graft, generosity and modesty from my mum; a sense of self, mental strength, confidence, grace, business-thinking and professionalism from Malee; motivation, perseverance, realistic goal-setting and prioritising from Bangs; determination and not accepting bullshit from Anjelica; physical strength and loyalty from Gabriella; and patience and consistancy from Laurel. This is like the tiniest list in the world, realistically speaking, as there are so many attributes to each of these women. I’m just highlighting those attributes that I love and feel that I have absorbed, or that maybe I already had but have developed to make me more successful in my actions. In short, they help me to learn more about me. Meeting women like Jessie, Robin, Crystal, Anna, Mali and Lynette from NY has added to this list in a more physical way, and I have found these connections invaluable in regards to my own attitude to health and being active.
Each of these women have been dynamic in my life, some of whom have known me since I was born, one since we were both 13 and rolling our skirts as high as possible in secondary school and some that I’ve met in the last 2 or 3 years. I think the existence of identified role models in your life makes it easier to set goals and therefore easier to achieve ambitions. I wanted to cross the finish line of a half marathon and Bangs got me there, contributing to that success a hell of a lot more than she is probably aware of. Jessie and Robin make me want to be a better athlete, which, if I’m perfectly honest, is the most remarkable turnaround for someone like me who previously would not bother to leave the sofa unless it was for a change of environment (moving to sit in front of a computer screen).
What this year’s Olympics has made me realise is the invaluable presence of women like Jessica Ennis, Paula Radcliffe and Victoria Pendleton to name but a few. In the last few years, in the build up to these international competitions, I have noticed a phenomenal shift in regards to women’s participation in sport. Sports Luxe has been all shouty (yet often in a very dignified manner) on catwalks for several seasons now, contributing to sportswear being ‘cool’ for women again. For someone like myself, who is NEVER out of trainers and menswear, I’ve always noticed other girls in sports shoes, and in the last few years there has been a huge surge of girls and women wearing trainers for fashion. The Evening Standard asked me my opinion on this once (not as random as you’d think, my friend Emma McCarthy - yet another tenacious and talented woman - writes for their fashion segment). Now, hopefully, after this summer’s events, the trainers will be put to use and they will be ran in, trained in, danced in and perhaps competed in.
I’m definitely acting on this current wave of motivation.
I’d also like to give props to the male mentor figures in my life, of which, of course, there are just as many and are obvz just as important. in particular, my dad’s generosity is second-to-none(-other-than-my-mum) and, for such an impatient man, I sometimes marvel at his great patience over the years. My brother, Chris, is way better than you at anything you ever hoped to be good at (by you, I mean me), and continuously (infuriatingly) strives to better every action. More than anything though, for such a young person, he is a brilliant teacher (although he’s pretty impatient too, come to think of it) and he’s really funny (which is tres important in life). Also featuring in my male-role-model-mini-list is Charlie Dark. More awesome than newspaper articles lead you to believe, he has quietly, yet effectively, helped me hone my perception over the past year and has, therefore, changed my life. His opinion, to me, is worth more than gold.
Current running-related anxiety…
I’m so anxious to be running.
I still have shin splints. I still need to REST.
I have a cold right now after a hectic week.
I haven’t properly run in over two months.
I know my fitness is going to take a hefty kick up the arse to get back to where I was, post-Berlin, so that I can train to improve my running and make Amsterdam half marathon a fun race.
OMG I’M SO STRESSED ABOUT THIS.
After a talk with Knox Robinson about my worries, the best solution seems to be to jump in a pool and gain strength and to purchase a bike to work on my fitness and develop the muscles in my legs while I’m not running, especially my weaker glutes and hamstrings.
I somehow need to find the funds to buy a bike so that I can cycle more regularly… Anyone know where to start looking for an affordable road bike? Any recommendations are welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Anyone selling or looking to give away a bike also very welcome).