My First Half Marathon – Henley Half

It seems like months and months ago that I signed up for the Henley Half and I can’t actually believe its over. I’m still buzzing, 4 days on!!

Its 7.30am on Sunday morning, race day. ANOTHER bowl of porridge in front of me, topped with a banana and almond butter, my phone, scrolling through Instagram in one hand, and a glass of water in the other. To say I was feeling nervous, is an understatement, I was s**ting a brick…I’d pee’d about a thousand times, and I hadn’t even arrived at the start, let alone changed into my running gear! After I’d munched my breakfast, I quickly got changed, said goodbye to my parents and off I set.

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I arrived to a very busy rugby field, already filling up with cars, and headed to the start where everyone was gathering. It was freezing, and I had to leave everything except what I was racing in, in the car. However, the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky – what perfect weather for running!
Now, little did anyone know, that Laura, the awesome lady and trainer, who runs bootcamp with, was running the race too. Crazy lady, is all I have to say! With about a weeks worth of “training”, she decided to enter and bloody hell I give her credit for it! We met at her studio and kept warm until we decided to head to the start. As we were waiting, one of the local reporters from the Henley Standard approached us and asked if he could interview us!! WHAT are the chances?! After we had been interviewed, it was time to line up. The 10k took off before us and we followed shortly behind. There was no turning back now, for either of us…!

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Pre-race interview with Laura! 

I wished Laura good luck, plugged my headphones in and we were off. The route was really quite beautiful. We ran through the town, over Henley bridge and along a lane that looped round and back along the river. Dog walkers, rowers and people in their boats cheered and waved us on as we all ran past. Now, in my mind, that was the easy part. A very flat route and safe, until we headed back towards the start and along the road…this is where I started to feel anxious. The course took us through a local business park grounds, where a water station was waiting, and then we met the hill…Icehouse lane, or known to locals as ‘the bitch of Henley’…A mile and a half of gradual incline/hell, and this is where I lost my mental motivation. I had to walk a lot of it, because at this point my lungs were giving up. A lot of people I was around, ran up it and I have to say I’m super impressed. I think this is where I went wrong in my training, I didn’t run up and down many hills, in fact I avoided them like the plague. However, once at the top, marshals were there cheering us on and off I set again. Another water station, phew, I grabbed a cup and took a sip then carried on.

On the home stretch…Down hill we went through a small hamlet, along the road into Henley and back round to finish at the rugby club. I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it to the end. I felt sick and wanted to stop, but I when I saw my parents standing at the corner of the road, cheering me on, I used that and every last ounce of energy I had, to get to that finish line.

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Sooo not glamorous!

A real sense of achievement overcame me when I crossed the line and was handed a medal. At this point all I wanted was water and a huge hug from my parents, which I got moments later! I started crying and so did my mum, wow, I’d just run my first half marathon and under the 2 hour mark – woohoo! When Laura rang me to say she had completed it in under 2 and a half hours, I was extremely proud of her! I raced to meet her at the finish line and gave her a huge well done hug! Way to go my new running buddy 😉

I really, really enjoyed running this half, and to have friends and family there with me, made it a thousand times better. Yes, the training was stressful at times and intense, but all that hard work totally paid off and I wouldn’t have changed the past few months for the world.

I wanted to thank everyone who donated to my chosen charity, Millie’s Dream. I couldn’t have done it without all of support, encouragement and generous donations – thank you!

Hope you enjoyed reading.

Emma xx

 

Henley Highwayman 5k

Last Sunday I took part in the Henley Highwayman 5k run. This sprint run is something new they introduced this year, alongside three other options ranging in different km’s. The event is spread across the weekend, with the cycling on a Saturday and running on a Sunday.

I decided to take part in this, to raise funds for the local Sue Ryder Hospice and because the course took you on part of the Henley Half route, which included a pretty horrendous hill…! I have to say, I am slightly glad I ran it, as I now know what to expect, but I’m not looking forward to doing it again!!!

To my surprise, there weren’t many people who signed up. I thought it would have been a bigger event, as it was well advertised, but clearly not to everyones taste! We set off from the town centre, along the main road to the rugby club and up in to the woods. This is where we met the monster hill….it seemed to go on for ages and when you finally reached the top, the flat land was very welcoming! Across the field we ran, past a group of backpackers, doing their Duke of Edinburgh, and turning down the hill, back through the woods, onto the road and back to the rugby club finish line. A nice route, wet and slippy, but scenic and different, which always helps! I came 3rd and ran in a comfortable time. Wasn’t looking for a PB, just to experience the route and prepare myself for the half.

I then headed home for a much needed shower, second breakfast, coffee and joined my parents for a dog walk! Fun Sunday and enjoyed meeting/talking to new people and of course, the run!

Now, with only 2 weeks until the half, I’m starting to get nervous about whether I can complete it or not, but excited! Family and friends will be there to cheer me on and I have a week off to look forward to and recover after – perfect!

Hope you are all well and enjoying your weekend. Thanks for reading 🙂

Emma x

Life Recently

So life recently has consisted of work and running….as a few of you know, I am running the Henley Half Marathon in October, with a few friends, and I’ve been training for the past couple of months. Admittedly its taken up most of my life and don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed every second of it, but I am really looking forward to it all slowing down!

Race day is just around the corner and I’m getting really excited. I have decided to run it for an organization my aunt set up, called Millie’s Dream. The aim of the organization is to put defibrillators in all schools around Henley and eventually globally in the UK. If you would like to donate, we would really appreciate it, the link can be found here. Thank you <3

Apart from running and work, I’ve enjoyed some time off to spend with friends and family at weekends, which alway seem to be busy! Life continues to surprise me in good and bad ways, and remain eventful, but I wouldn’t change it. I’ve definitely become aware of how much my parents, especially my mum, do for me and am forever thankful for them. As well as my amazingly supportive friends, you all know who you are!

This weekend, I’m running the Henley Highwayman 5k, a weekend event, including cycling, to raise money for the local Sue Ryder Hospice, in Nettlebed. No doubt I’ll be blogging about that run, so look out for another post soon 😉 If you are around, do come down and cheer everyone on, lets hope the weather is good!!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, whatever you are up to, and enjoy the change of season that is upon us.

Emma  x

Review: Liebes Bircher Muesli

When I started my blog, I never planned on writing reviews. However, I’ve found the ones I’ve read on other blogs, really helpful and useful, so thought I’d do one every now and again!

This review is for a friend, who I ‘met’ on Instagram and had the pleasure of meeting in person last year. Ariana, a beautiful and sweet girl from Germany, recently set up her own business producing and selling bircher muesli in easily portable pots, that taste amazing!

After recently stocking them at all Revital stores, I jumped at the chance to grab one from the in the town I work. I was quite excited, as I’ve only seen them on instagram or dotted around London.
The packaging is very clear and descriptive, providing ingredients and allergy advice. As well as easily portable and spill proof!
Now to the taste…it was delicious!  Anyone who knows me, knows I am not a coconut or chia fan, and as I wasn’t keen on the other flavors, I decided to give this a go! I was pleasantly surprised that it hardly tasted of coconut – major win – and you could barely notice the chia!! All of that aside, I munched away and really enjoyed it. I’ll definitely be going back for more!

Hope you have enjoyed reading and if you have a Revital store near you or you live in London, do pick one up for a delicious, easy and healthy breakfast on the go!

Emma xx

RXBar Review

I am a big Instagram user, as many of you know! I’ve made many new friends and even had the privilege of meeting some of them both here in the UK and overseas. Social networking really is incredible these days and I’m not quite sure what I’d do without it!
Having lived in America, I use it to keep in touch with friends I have out there, otherwise I’d be reliant on a good old fashion pen and paper – something I’m not at all adversed to by any means!

Now for the review…It was thanks to a couple of ladies on instagram, that I came across these RX Bars, which I have decided to do a little review on.
Firstly, they are an American brand/protein bar currently only sold online and in some Whole Foods stores dotted around the States. I had looked into buying them and having them shipped here, however the cost of the shipping was the same amount as the product, something I couldn’t justify! Luckily, one evening, my father mentioned that his colleague was visiting from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and asked if we wanted him to bring anything over. I jumped at the chance to order some to be delivered to his house for him to bring.
A week later and ‘the family’ arrived home in my fathers backpack one evening. I was like a child in a candy shop, itching to get my hands on one!!! I had training the following day, so thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try one…and I wasn’t disappointed!

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Of course, I picked the peanut butter, my favorite flavor in just about anything or eating it out of the jar with a spoon! The ingredients were 3 egg whites, 2 dates and 14 peanuts. That’s it. All natural ingredients and full of 12g of protein! The texture was very much like a Larabar, again an American product, very chewy and crunchy but not too sweet or sickly. Along with the taste and texture, the packaging is pretty impressive too. Clear description of ingredients and those all important macros, plus attractive and most importantly portable.

Overall, I was very impressed and can’t wait to try the other flavors! I don’t think they will hang around for long, thats for sure!!!

Emma xx