RunThrough U.K. Newbury 10k

Saturday was everything. A REAL race, not virtual, around a real course, not my usual route, and with other runners/friends, not local walkers/runners/dog walkers/neighbour and her horses.

I honestly felt quite nervous during the drive, not to do with covid, but because it had been so long since I’d be in a race environment. I have to take my hat off to RunThrough U.K. for this event though, because they really did a great job with putting together such a fun day but also with the covid side of things. There was social distancing, monitoring of bathroom queues and keeping movement of start waves at a safe distance throughout the morning.

I was excited to run this course again because last time, it was freezing cold, the heavens opened half way with thunder and lighting, and by the time I got to the finish line, I was a drowned rat! This year, it was the total opposite! Beautiful blue skies, warm, the sun was shining and I’d regretted wearing my long sleeve top!

I arrived with a good amount of time and alongside Elisa, Charlie and Tam, we made our way to the event village to get ready for our 11am start. Charlie and Tam had a few miles to do before hand, so Elisa and I waved them off and went to wait for the warm up. A week before the race we had been sent out bib and chip tag in the post, so we didn’t have to worry about collecting on the day. After a fun warm up, full of some fun breakdance type moves, we shuffled ourselves over to the long line of cones spaced 2 metres apart, both length and width ways, ready to start.

Slowly moving our way to the start line, we set off in groups of 4 and not too quickly. I decided to hold back a bit with Charlie and Tam, as Elisa bolted off ahead of us. I wasn’t going for a time, I just wanted to have fun and see how the hip was going to hold up. As I warmed up, I pushed the pace a little and left Charlie and Tam, but I was happy with this. I continued the course on my own and had the best time. I was enjoying the moment, smiling at the volunteers, having the odd chat with other runners and soaking up the sunshine.

Before I knew it, I was being cheered towards the finish line by the most enthusiastic man, who really made me smile hard and feel good, and Elisa. I can’t tell you how great it felt to cross that finish, having that proud feeling of completing the race, run through me – a real runners high – which I feel I’m still riding now! I grabbed my medal and made my way to the sideline to stand with Elisa and cheer in Charlie and Tam.

A few photos taken and a quick catch up with Guillaume, a Brooks Run Happy team member, and then off we shot to find coffee and food!

As we were leaving I spotted this quote on the board, and it’s really stuck with me…

“Don’t measure your progress using someone else’s ruler” – RunThrough U.K.

I am sure I will go back to it over the next few weeks and months. It’s going to be a challenge for me to not compare myself, my (non) running etc to others, as I take a step back for surgery. I’m nervous to let go of what base I’ve built and have, but I also know how quick it’ll come back (I hope) and how amazing the body is. Positive thoughts and a positive mind, and I’ll be back crossing finish lines in no time…🤞🏼

A massive congratulations to everyone who ran this weekend, a special shout-out to Elisa – thank you for all the miles, laughs, smiles and fun this weekend and that you always being to our runs and walks, and last but not least, to RunThrough U.K. for making me feel safe and smile hard!

Have a great week everyone! Emma xx

Happenings 22.4.21

As always, inspired by the lovely lady, Heidi.

DOING: Sat on the kitchen table, in proper clothes, after a very wholesome week and weekend last week. Seeing friends I haven’t seen in months, alongside my birthday, was just the boost I needed.

HEARING: The birds singing outside and the radio.

DRINKING: Water with Nuun electrolytes in, as I’m feeling quite dehydrated and my favourite Pukka Turmeric tea. The warmer weather has taken me by surprise over the past week. I drink a lot, mainly water, but felt I needed the electrolytes.

EATING: Lentil crisps…I have a serious obsession with them, and so does Mungo…! Obviously sourdough bread, eggs and smoked salmon has reentered my life again. I’ve been loving making my own hummus, granola and roasting loads of veggies for salads.

WANTING: Time to slow down a little…can’t believe I’ve just said that. I feel right now that with my limited time, due to having a hip arthroscopy mid May, I’m trying to do as much as I comfortably can before I can’t.

LOOKING: Outside at the beautiful, sunny, blue sky. What a week of amazing weather its been, full of sunshine and warm temperatures! Heaven!

DECIDING: What loaf of dough/bread to make next. I got given a BEAUTIFUL bread book called ‘Tartine Bread’ for my birthday from a good friend, and it is dreamy! Full of SO many mouth watering photos and recipes, and some many different varieties of flour, that I can’t wait to try!

ENJOYING: Cycling. I never in a million years did I expect to be cycling as much, or as far, as I am right now. After my friend VERY kindly built me a bike, the adventures have been endless. I love the fact I can travel SO far and see so much and not feel entirely ruined (until the end anyway…!) I also joined in on my first group ride with a local cycling club, and loved it!!! I can’t wait to go back!

PLANNING: The next few weeks of fun, around work, with friends and family. Lots of runs, cycle rides, walks, meet ups have been planned and I’m looking forward to each and every one of them.

WATCHING: The new series of Call the Midwife! I absolutely love this programme – its what Sunday evenings are all about! Also Line of Duty, Keeping Faith, Grey’s Anatomy, Unforgotten (which has now finished but I HIGHLY recommend!) And for when my concentration levels are basically 0, ‘Friends’, on Netflix.

READING: Not much at the moment. If I’m honest, I’ve abandoned my book recently, as I just climb into bed and fall fast asleep. I’m not complaining, but I would like to read more. Something I’m sure I’ll have lots of time to get back into in the next few weeks.

WEARING: Leggings, tunics, spring colours and obviously all the active wear…!

BUYING: From small and local/independent shops, cafes and restaurants. Be it vegetables, fruit, eggs, gifts, I’m trying to do my part and help them all get back on their feet. Otherwise, not a great deal.

CRAVING: Cold fruit…random I know!

LOVING: This sunny, warm weather we are currently experiencing. Here in the U.K. we are in our second week of easing out of our third lockdown. Non essential shops have opened, we can go to the hairdresser and get our nails done, and meet with friends, eat, drink outside at restaurants, cafes and pubs. I think the weather is definitely showing how happy we all feel about the easing!

PLAYING: Survive the next 3 weeks of work and save all the money I can. I won’t lie, I’m feeling pretty exhausted, but the show must go on!

SAVOURING: These next 3 weeks of running and cycling with friends, walking(!) and being mobile/able to drive and be out and about before I can’t be.

FEELING: Tired. Always tired. Nervous, full of fear, overwhelmed. Equally, I am happy, grateful and thankful for so very much. For my family and my wonderful friends. And you. Whoever you are reading this, thank you for reading, following and your support.

As always, thank you for reading! I hope you are well and enjoying a little bit of normality now that we are able to do more!

Emma xx

Hello!

Well hello there friends! I want to start by apologising for not posting until now. Only 2 months into 2021 and what a year it’s been already. I guess you could say this is a bit of a life update, with some exciting happenings included, so that’s what we’ll go with!

The year, as you may know if you follow me on social media, didn’t quite start off on the right foot. I found out I need hip surgery and another lockdown started. Unfortunately I expected the hip surgery, as I’ve had the same done on the right hand side a few years ago. The symptoms started mid spring last year and I shrugged it off, until I decided to nip whatever was going on, in the butt early. An MRI and consult later, keyhole surgery is on the table but I’m still unsure of when because of Covid causing some delays. I’m still running and doing what I can, and am comfortable doing, which I plan to continue to do until I can’t. Alongside that and like everyone, this lockdown is getting to a point of being quite boring and repetitive, but with many vaccines being rolled out everyday, there is a small glimmer of hope that we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope anyway.

I feel extremely grateful and truly thankful to be of this team. Not only is running a massive part of my life, more than just putting one foot in front of the other and to stay fit and healthy, but to also know some of the kindest, supportive, funniest, friendliest people I have met and call them my friends. Some I have yet to meet, and some I am lucky to meet in person in the week, they are all so supportive and I miss them a lot!

Now onto some exciting news, again as many of you may know from following me, I’m excited to announce that I am part of the Brooks Run Happy Team for 2021! After a rather different, than planned, 2020, I’m hopeful we’ll be able to spend this year together in person, rather than on zoom! Big fingers crossed for this, and to be amongst other running/friends and family again!

Last week, we received our first kit drop of 2021 and what a fun, and as always creative one, it was!

Inside I received my favourite Brooks shoes – the Adrenaline GTS 21 – THE comfiest and most supportive shoe I have ever ran in! I love wearing them for my long (er) runs and have ran all my marathons and ultras in them! I can’t recommend enough! Alongside the shoes was a super snuggly jumper and buff – both very handy in the very chilly weather we’ve been having!

Last Sunday, I took the shoes out for a spin – admittedly not on my long run, but a lovely 4 mile plod alongside my favourite podcast. It felt great and can I just say what a lovely, spring colour these are!! Definitely helping brighten up these dull, winter lockdown days!

As always, I am extremely thankful to Brooks for gifting me all of the amazing shoes and kit!

So there we have it, unfortunately nothing else to report on just yet. No planning is being done, taking everyday/week as it comes and trying to stay positive. Looking for something in everyday to keep me going and smiling, something the whole team is helping me with.

Sending much love and virtual hugs to you all. Not long, I hope, until we will hopefully be out of this, but until we are, know that my inbox is always open to each and every single one of you!

Stay well, and warm, and care of yourself!

Emma xx

Brooks Bedlam 3 and Ghost 13 Review

Originally I thought of splitting this review and giving each shoe its own post, but seeing as I was kindly gifted both pairs in our recent kit drop, I decided to keep them together!

Bedlam 3

When my eyes caught sight of these in the box, I was instantly excited about them! My first thoughts were those are a great looking, stylish pair of trainers! Little did I know how much that excitement would excel when I put them on…

Moving on from the Bedlam 2, these are 20% lighter, have been updated with a GuideRail support system that focuses not only on the feet, but an area some runners suffer more with than most, the knees! They’ve also been made with a more breathable material that is lighter, softer and fits like a sock.

I would definitely recommend this shoe for any runner who needs the support not only for the foot, but for more of the body, and fits snug enough with room to breathe!

Ghost 13

Now, I’ve never owned or run in a pair of Ghosts…I know, BUT that has now changed because I was more than impressed with this shoe!

A cushioned, neutral road running shoe with the right amount of cushioning! I’ve always run in the Adrenaline, because they are equally cushioned well and provide the support I need. However, having ran in the Ghost 13, I’m impressed by the cushioning it provided without it being as support focused. Something I am happy and feel comfortable running in!

The Ghost 13 were also part of the recent Run Visible Collection launch, that included a range of kit for both men and women, made with high-visibility features that is enough to keep you seen, and safe, on those dark early morning or evening runs!

A massive thank you to Brooks for kindly gifting me the kit and shoes!

Let me know if any of you buy them and what you think, as I’d love to hear!

Hope everyone is well and surviving Lockdown 2.0. Thinking of you all.

Emma xx

Virtual London Marathon

Well, this is a tad later than I expected, BUT I figured it would be something for you all to enjoy and relive (for those who ran it) again!

The week leading up to ‘race day’ was very much a hit the ground running situation! I’d just finished my first 2 weeks in my new nanny rota job, Cortney was visiting and we had so much fun things planned from coffee and cake to brunch dates and a few easy runs in between.

On Friday afternoon we packed up my car and heading down to Portsmouth to stay with Anna and Kyle for the weekend. It felt so good to see them again, be together and catch up.

On Saturday morning we got up slowly and ran to brunch. We went to a new cafe that Anna had stumbled upon along the seafront. It was cute, the coffee was good and so was the food. Unfortunately it was a pretty grim and wet day, so the views weren’t the greatest, but still a lovely morning!

The rest of the day was spent doing a spot of shopping and legs up resting on the sofa. We went over the route, that Anna had kindly planned for us, a couple of times and got ourselves sorted. After a solid meal of pasta it was up to bed for an early night with a big prayer that the rain would stop…!

Sunday morning rolled around and I got up early to eat my porridge and put the tv on to watch the start of the Elites, who were racing in London. The rain was coming down, it was dull and pretty grey but I focused on the task in hand and was excited to get going!

We started at 8am and Anna went ahead with bottles full of flour, to mark out our route. I’d also downloaded it onto my watch and had Cortney by my side. Two laps of 13 miles, around Portsmouth, and what a pretty route it was. The first lap was a lot better than the second! It felt like the rain had died down a little, Cortney and I took it easy and the amount of other runners that passed us, with their bibs on was really lovely and motivating! We cheered each other on as we passed.

Ready to go!

Around mile 10, Cortney and I decided to split, and I went on ahead. My goal was to run most of the first lap with her to make sure we both didn’t get lost and enjoy the experience together, and I’m so glad we did! At mile 13, I met Anna to change my jacket, which was soaked through. The rain and wind had picked up again but I felt great and ready to get my head down for the final lap. Down to the seafront I headed and boy was it rough. The waves were lapping over the side of the seawall, the spray was coating me and I could taste the salt in my mouth. I, stupidly, decided I would run 6 miles down to the seafront and 6 miles back to Anna’s house. Well, what a stupid idea that was. As I turned around, the wind smacked me in the face, I could barely run less than 10 minute mile. I passed Cortney as I was heading back, which was really nice and gave me a boost to carry on. Back up towards Anna’s I went and with 3 miles to go, there out of the corner of my eye, I saw Kyle, Anna and Alfie on the other side of the road, cheering me on!

Soaked to the bone, I proudly finished just as I reached Anna’s house. She was there with Kyle waiting for me, cheering me in, and boy did it feel amazing to be finished! It definitely hadn’t registered that I’d ran a marathon! Trying not to soak Anna’s floor, I stripped my wet trainers and socks off. It was so toasty and warm in their house, and I headed up to jump in the warm shower. Now we were on Cortney watch, ready to cheer her in and welcome her back!

With everyone back and dry, we headed out into the rain, again, for coffee and cake!!!! It was worth getting slightly damp again, we quickly ordered and were back on the sofa watching the women’s elite race from the morning! Feeling extremely content, happy, proud and inspired, we didn’t move from the sofa for the rest of the afternoon/evening!

Vegan chocolate cake from The Tenth Hole

On Monday morning we all got up slowly, and took our weary legs out for a dog walk to find coffee. Sadly the coffee shop was closed but it felt good to move and the sun was shining in the blue sky! We said our goodbyes to Kyle and Anna, feeling so grateful to them both for letting us stay, being amazing hosts, running miles and cheering us on in the pouring rain. It was so nice to be back together especially as we didn’t know when we would see each other again.

Again, I want to congratulate everyone who ran the virtual London marathon on that extremely wet and vile day. The conditions were FAR from ideal but we did it and I hope every single one of you feels proud. I enjoyed wearing my medal for a large part of the day!!

Emma xx