Wokingham Half Marathon Recap

Sunday morning, the wind (again!) is blowing a gale and it’s raining. Yet another storm is beating us but after a good nights sleep I’m feeling rested and ready to run. It’s been a drop back week, and I have really enjoyed/needed it! 13 miles, easy, let’s do this!

I turned up at Peter, my friends house, just before 8am. We jumped into the car and made our way to his friends house, who live opposite the start line, so we were able to keep warm, dry and take full advantage of a nice toilet!!!! The race didn’t start until 10am but I hadn’t registered, so we had to make our way over a little earlier. We ended up hanging around for a bit longer than expected, and I’d wished I’d bought a foil wrap or bin bag as I felt very cold and quite miserable. Nevertheless, we chatted and soon it was time to start.

The race had a whopping 3,000+ runners taking part, and the start line was packed. Not helped by the fact we started on a small footpath and I was wedged on the edge of the grassy slope, trying not to slide down. I’d also missed the chance to use the toilet again, and I really needed to go….with no time, the gun sounded and we slowly started to filter our way over the start line. I felt mentally ready and prepared for this supposedly flat course, and enjoy some easy miles.

With 3 miles under my belt, I came across the first incline, over one of the main roads. It wasn’t too bad, over the top and down the other side, I continued, feeling good but going a little too fast…thankfully the rain had stopped but the wind was still quite strong. Then around mile 5, I had a huge strop. The wind was strong and we were running right into it. I was swearing quite loudly, and I think the guy running next to me was having a good giggle, but he then offered to run in front and shield me from the wind. I’m so thankful for his kindness and around mile 6.5 waved him off. The next 6.5 miles were a mental battle and all I wanted to do was finish.

The course had started to double back now and continuing at a faster than normal pace, my legs felt ok. I did try to slow my pace but I was desperate to get the run over and done with, I carried on and tempted to try and get a PB. That soon went out of the window at mile 12 when I hit one of the last hills over the road bridge and up towards the finish area. Keeping my eyes on the field where everyone was, I kept my mind occupied by watching those running past me, spectators and thinking how close I was to being done. As I turned the corner, I saw Peter, I ran hard and over the finish line. Crossing with a time of 1:53:25, not a PB, but I was damn happy and so glad.

I grabbed my medal, some water and wondered over to a patch of grass to take a breath and register what just happened. I was proud of my perseverance, my battle against a very unhappy mind and legs that felt so jelly like towards the end, I wasn’t sure if they were still with me! I soon found Peter, we grabbed our bags and headed back to the car. As we were passing the finish line, I saw Jez, a fellow Brooks Run Happy Team member crossing as I passed. I shouted his name and was able to snap a quick photo before parting ways! HOW he runs in this stormtrooper outfit, I don’t know, but I take my hat off to him!

Back at the car, we were both glad to be sat down and home we headed. I felt wiped and sore. I won’t lie, I actually hated that race. I did NOT expect the hills and I still can’t get my head around it being a PB course – even though I know a few people who got PB’s….!!!

Although I didn’t enjoy the race, I do want to say a massive thank you to everyone who volunteered and helped run a very smooth and well organised race. The bag drop was extremely well managed, there were constant updates and people around to ask questions.

A massive well done to everyone who ran last weekend in the horrid weather and it looks like we are in for another battering this weekend! Stay positive and good luck!

Emma xx

My first RunThrough race!

Sunday morning, the wind is howling outside and I think I can hear rain pattering on my bedroom window. Storm Ciara is in full swing and I’m feeling smug for getting my long run in yesterday with a friend, so we didn’t have to face this horrific weather!

That said, I was signed up to run my first RunThrough race, with Laura and the LPPT team, at Newbury race course. There were three distances – half marathon, 10k and 5k. I had signed up for the 10k and everyone else signed up for the 5k. After a rare slow morning, it was time to face weather, and the racecourse! There was quite a lot of us taking part and for some it was their first 5k, which I was extremely excited about!

We gathered in one of the event rooms that had been set up for the morning, where we could safely leave bags, use the bathrooms, and take shelter from the rain pouring down and wind blowing a gale, outside. If we didn’t have this, the event would have been cancelled. We arrived a little before 10.30, enough time to collect our bibs and sort ourselves out, before warming up and setting off at 11am.

I was also super lucky to meet one of my fellow Brooks Run Happy team members – Guillaume! His wife was running the 5k and he was spectating!

We started off on time, the rain and wind had settled slightly and I felt good! This was purely 6 shake out miles after my long run the day before. The course took us around the grounds and out on a stone covered part of the racecourse. I initially thought we were doing laps of the actual course, but was nicely surprised with the route they’d planned.

Steve and I stuck together for the first 5k and I waved him off as he finished, and as I started my second lap. I really enjoy running with him, he keeps a great pace and conversation 🙂

After waving him off, I continued to feel good and ready to take on the last 3 miles. As I passed the entrance and made my way on to the racecourse itself, I noticed the wind and rain had picked up. To my right, out of the corner of my eye, I could see very dark skies and a few minutes later, a flash of lighting and rumble of thunder. I knew this wasn’t good, so I picked up my pace as the rain got heavier. It then started hailing. I continued to keep a fast pace and as I headed back towards the finish, the head wind, rain and hail was getting worse. I was using my arm to shield my face and at one point started walking, just to see if it made any difference. It didn’t! I had no choice but to keep running, I was so close to finishing now and the volunteers were wonderful at cheering us all on.

As I came round the corner, past the event room, to my surprise Laura and the rest of the team were there waiting to cheer me in. I was beaming with happiness and felt so grateful to all of them for standing out in the pouring rain! I ran as fast as I could, through the finish line and was immediately hugged by Laura! I was absolutely soaked but smiling so unbelievably hard! I grabbed my medal and we made our way inside.

Photos taken and flapjack consumed, we changed out of half of our rain soaked clothes and made our way back to the cars. Despite the weather, I am extremely proud of every single one of these guys. They all did amazingly well and should wear/hang that medal with pride!

Being together and part of this team is truly wonderful and we have so much fun together – both inside and out of the hub!

Home, via the costa drive through to get coffee and hot chocolates – skinny ones I might add 😉, I climbed into the bath to warm myself up.

My first experience of a RunThrough race was a brilliant one. All the volunteers and organisers were so supportive and informative. I want to send a hug thank you for not cancelling and putting together a safe and fun event – I’ll definitely be signing up for more!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Emma xx

Happenings 17.1.20

Hello Friends! Happy New Year!! A little later into January than I had planned, but its not February – so that’s a plus!!! Here’s a happenings post to start the year, happy reading!

Doing: Sat in one of my favourite cafes eating breakfast and drinking coffee after a run with a friend.

Hearing: The sound of the coffee machine buzzing away and the couple chatting with an old friend next to me.

Drinking: The most delicious soya flat white!

Eating + Cooking: Eating a LOT! Marathon hunger has smacked me in the face and I have an appetite of a horse. I’m quite glad, as I struggled last training cycle with hardly any appetite, and I’m hoping this time, it stays! I’m making sure I get a lot of iron into my diet too, as it really helps with tiredness, that seems to be quite bad at the moment.
Cooking wise, I’ve not done a lot recently, except for the girls who I nanny for. I am very lucky in the fact that I come home from work and my mum has supper waiting for me. I’m very spoilt but equally feel very guilty that I don’t contribute to cooking. However, I certainly make up for it on my day off and at the weekend!
As a household, we meal plan for the week ahead, at the weekend and generally cook a lot of veggie and fish recipes, from cookbooks, weekly recipes in The Times Magazine and a lot from people I follow on social media. I’ve been really craving all the fresh, steamed vegetables and baked fish as well as cold fruit! Very random, I know!

Wanting: Payday and January to be over…WHY is it such a long month after Christmas, total torture if you ask me!!

Looking: forward to a lie in and a quiet weekend. I haven’t had one since Christmas, and after being ill over the festive period, I feel I need a slow and quiet few days to catch up with myself and enjoy not rushing around.

Deciding: What food and drink to serve at my 30th birthday party!

Enjoying: Time to just sit and slowly eat and drink my warm coffee without any disruptions!

Watching: Silent Witness (oh Jack!!!), White House Farm (based on a true story) on ITV and Call the Midwife! TV at the moment is brilliant, especially because I save it for the end of the week/weekend to watch after my long run!!

Wearing: All the active wear! Ha! Currently in my favourite and super cozy Sarah Marie Design jumper, that I have had so many comments on!

Buying: Not a lot. As always, trying to save as much as I can.

Planning: My 30th birthday party. Hoping to finalise the plans this weekend!

Craving: Chocolate Chip Cookies!! Haha, and I have a friend who’s on the case!!!!

Loving: Running with friends! It definitely makes the miles more enjoyable and go quicker! I really struggled last week with getting my miles in and at one point really questioned what I was doing but I am super thankful to Yasmin for joining me for most of my long run and listening to me ramble!

Playing: Catch up…with life admin, sleep, tv and myself!

Savouring: The puppy fun! As full on and crazy as Mungo can be, I know this stage is short, but fun and enjoying seeing him experience the little things in life.

Feeling: Content and relaxed. I’ve felt quite anxious and tense the past couple of weeks, especially about my training. I wasn’t sure how I would mentally feel with juggling the runs, work etc and how my body would take to having the miles ramped back up. Admittedly I was very nervous, and despite a little niggle on my shin, all seems well at the moment.

This post was inspired by Heidi.

Hope you enjoyed reading and have a lovely weekend!

Emma xx

A wrap on 2019

“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.” Vern McLellan.

As 2019 comes to an end, I can’t help but sit here and think of what another amazing year of fun, laughter, opportunities, experiences, new friends, good food and coffee, it has bought. Yes, there have been more rocky areas than I imagined, but that’s life, right?! Instead of rambling on, I’ve decided to do a year review in photos for you.

 

Spent time with friends at the beginning of the year. There is now another addition to our group <3

 

Together again after all the fun in NYC!

Lucky to be part of the launch of the Westin Running Club!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We said goodbye to our 12 year old boy <3

Got absolutely soaked at a local 10k with this awesome gang!

FINALLY got to meet this awesome guy!!!! At Reading Half where I got a new half PB!

PB’d at a local 10k!

 

Almost died to heat exhaustion at this Easter 10 miler but wonderful to see Steph and have Cortney stay!

 

FINALLY got to Harry Potter World!

 

Most amazing experience was volunteering at the London Marathon!

 

FINALLY met these 2 awesome ladies!

 

Enjoyed MANY running adventures with my favourite running friend!

 

FINALLY learnt how to make sourdough bread with mum and our amazing friend/teacher, Laura!

 

Took up bike riding for all of 1 day…and got burnt to shreds!!!

 

Came first lady at my local 5k!

 

Escaped to my favourite country, USA, to stay with a friend, and FINALLY met this wonderful and hugely inspiring lady!

 

Dragged Alex to a SoulCycle class…..! Bribed her with bagels and cookies!

 

Caught up with my best friend, who I miss dearly!

 

Spent summer days, in matching clothes, by the beach with this wonderful person!

 

PB’d in Chicago, all thanks to Charlie and met some wonderful people!

 

Died on this half marathon course but had the best company!

 

Escaped to the beach for the day with a friend. Packed a picnic and people watched all afternoon!

 

Ran a local half marathon with this beautiful lady!\

Enjoyed MANY 6am PT sessions with the one and only PT I trust!

 

Celebrated a year of fun and love with my goddaughter!

 

Ran another marathon!

 

Celebrated a big birthday for my dad, at a dreamy location, with friends!

 

Made a new running friend 🙂

 

Spent Christmas day as a family, which hardly happens now, and it was wonderful! Sinus infection in tow!

 

All I can say is I am content where I am now, but not completely happy. There is change on the horizon, and I am excited for what 2020 is going to bring. London Marathon, my 30th birthday and so much more and I can’t wait to take you on my journey with me!

Thank you to all my wonderful friends, and family, for making another year so much fun!

Emma xx

LPPT FitHub aka my second home!

I’ve been saving this post for a while now because it deserves the time and passion, just like Laura has and gives to all her clients and classes. I can’t quite believe it’s been four years since I rocked up to the Henley Rugby club AstroTurf, with a friend, to Laura’s Bootcamp and have never looked back!

To be honest, and from what I can remember, I definitely wasn’t sure what I was about to get myself into but it clearly didn’t put me off. I was welcomed with open arms by Laura and a lovely group of ladies. Every Saturday morning at 9am, rain, ice, frost or sun, we would be out flipping a tractor tyre, running up and down the turf with bags on our backs, doing rounds of burpees, oh the list goes on! Now, not all her classes were outside. She had a small studio, where she held evening weekday classes as well as PT during the day. I attended at least one a week and absolutely loved them. Alongside my running, which I’d only just picked up, I was enjoying being part of this great team 🙂

A few months later, and my mum started joining us on Saturday morning. She really enjoyed it and also started coming to the weekly evening classes. We’d made some lovely friends and even bought friends with us to trial the classes. I could feel myself getting stronger and was really enjoying the sessions.

Fast forward a few years and Laura breaks the news that she has to move from her building. Now for us, it was a plus, as she was moving closer to where we lived but outside of Henley. Unfortunately for some, the journey was going to be too far, meaning they could no longer come. Sad to say goodbye but we’ve not lost contact.

With one door closing, another one opened, bringing more opportunities for Laura and her growing business. The building she’s moved into is bigger, FitHub became the new name, word quickly spread and more people started attending her awesomely hard sessions. She had increased her weekly classes and now holds two on Saturday morning, providing everyone with options to exercise and fitting it in around families and general life.

Now, not all the fun happens at the Hub. Although she hates to admit/do it, Laura has joined and even organised quite a few runs. At first we would head to some of the local 5k and sometimes 10k, races together, shortly followed by few more friends joining us. Soon groups were being formed and now a both Race for Life Pretty Muddy 5k and Tough Mudder, have become yearly events! And we can’t forget the social side of things, outside the hub including brunches and an annual night out!

Rewinding back a bit, I approached Laura about her being my PT. I’d unfortunately had to say goodbye to my PT in Oxford at the end of the summer last year and couldn’t think of anyone else I’d rather have, or trust, to keep me strong and injury free. I was thrilled when she said yes, and over a year, 2 ultras and 2 marathons later, I have a lot to owe her. Not only has she changed me for the better but she’s been one of my biggest supporters and I can’t thank her enough.

So, Laura, thank you for another wonderful, hard, sweaty, fun and awesome year of friendship, laughter, smiles and fun. Its been wonderful to see both you, and your business grow so much and it’s been a privilege to be part of the journey! Here’s to 2020, I can’t wait to have you by my side as I take on London Marathon again (not literally) plus everything else that it may hold!

Much love and thanks, always, Emma xx