Over a week ago I’ve got a email newsletter from NYRR with the email subject of ‘ The Virtual Marathon is back ‘ .
This is the second year that NYRR offers this option to get into next year’s marathon.
They have 500 spots for the virtual race, it’s cost $150, and you’ll need to run a marathon between the 31st of October and 3rd of November to get your guaranteed 2020 spot.
Hmmmm…. I wasn’t really sure if I want to apply for it or not. I mean I already ran the race back in 2017. But I LOVE New York , I loved living / working there in 2010, then when we went back with Luke in 2017 it was an awesome holiday. Do I really need this ?
I mean after Boston I said I won’t ever want to see a marathon start line ever again.
But no matter how much I love swimming and cycling, and do want to concentrate on triathlons more, I always be a runner. I love running, I love the freedom, and just love getting the miles in. You know all that I’m far from being fast, but I still do love running. Running helps me to clear my head and just to concentrate on myself. Think about all that crazy weird things, and just simply to get my ‘me time’. I’ve met so many amazing people all thanks to my 6 Star journey and I’m so grateful for that.
The virtual race registration went live this past Wednesday at 5pm UK time ( 12pm NY time) , I thought I’ll give it a try. I mean I really have nothing to lose. I don’t have any pressure on me to get a spot, if I get in I’ll be happy, if I wont get in I wont be upset.
This was the website for the sign up https://www.nyrr.org/races/tcsnewyorkcitymarathonvirtual262m
After filling out my information, and selecting the correct option, filled out the Strava questionnaire , NYRR server died.
This happened at 17.08pm, so I really thought I’m out. Because lets be clear 500 spots are really not many. Probably 1000s of people tried to register and the website just kept crashing.
At the end I’ve got my confrontation at 17.15pm. I was IN.
My Strava got updated straight away, and it showing my upcoming challenge.
A friend of mine ( Robert ), keeps calling me the MacGyver of the race registrations. I’ve registered to Boston in 20 seconds after the applications opened, and now I managed to get one of the virtual spots for NY.
What’s next? Ohh I just need to run a marathon, to get my spot for New York. You’d say ohh it can’t be that hard for you, you already done 6 marathons. Yes, that’s correct. But I never in my life run 26.2 miles not during a race. So now the planning starts. Where can I run this distance? One thing for sure, I definitely wont run it on the track, I can’t handle 105 laps .
I mean I’ll need refreshments, some support would be good too, or at least just someone there to tell me to keep going. I NEED something flat ! Got a suggestion that I should ask my fellow Savage team mates if they fancy running with me a few miles, at least I won’t be alone and the time would go quicker. Just a casual Saturday morning run. Will see 🙂
So I’m half way in New York 2020, which will be the 50th New York marathon. Wow. I do hope that they will have a nice medal. I’m the biggest sucker of the fancy medals.
So now I’ll have London in April 2020 and hopefully New York in November 2020. World marathon majors round 2, here I come , haha.
Going back to New York alone, will be hard. But when I lived there I was also alone, and I managed. So I should be all okey. The only hard part is not having anyone cheer me on during the race in person. But life’s not always easy, so I’ll need to tackle this.
Boston. Where should I start? What should I say? One thing for sure that it will be long. So if you stick around it’s better to get a cup of tea.
Let’s start at the beginning.
31st of March – Luke and I were planning the final sightseeing plans for Boston. Everything was perfect.
1st of April – Luke died. Everything turned upside down.
We were supposed to fly out to Boston on the 12th. I had no idea what to do or what am I supposed to do. This trip was supposed to be a happy trip with a massive celebration. I mean finishing all 6 World Marathon Majors is a big deal. Before Boston there were only 6 Hungarians, so not many of us. I know I always moaned about the training load and how tired I am, but when you cross that finish line you forget the struggles, you don’t remember when you doubted your abilities. You there, happy, proud and you feel like being at the top of the World.
I really had no clue what to do with this race. Training was done, and I just needed to turn up on race day. But is it possible to do it when your world just ended in a second?
No-one pushed me to either direction, but some not so nice family members told me that if I go to Boston I’ll be the most selfish person ever. Others said that if I’m going to Boston I never even loved Luke. But the most hurtful thing was this sentence ” I hope you will move back to Hungary now. “. Let’s just set the record straight, from my side of the family I only have my sister here, and it wasn’t her who said these….
At the end I decided to go. We’ve spent £4.5k on this holiday and that just way too much to lose , I knew that I will feel bad if I go because I’ll miss Luke, but if I stay at home I’ll be snuggled under the duvet and I would still feel bad.
12th of April – Boston I’m coming. Longest and loneliest plane journey in my life. Guy next to me had no clue why I’m crying and sniffing. But told him I don’t have a cold, so he doesn’t need to worry.
After getting through customs we went to the hotel. Have to say the hotel was awesome ( Omni Parker House ) and it definitely well worth the money.
Shelly was already there and not too sure how but I got a cheeky upgrade all thanks to her, plus a bottle of bubbly drink and the world famous Boston cream pie. She brought so many cards and presents with her, all from fellow Team Paws Chicago members. Luke and I only met with them once, in October last year during race week. But they were just so lovely.
Then we went to grab something to eat quickly. I mean aeroplane food is definitely not the best, so a proper burger needed.
I didn’t sleep well. Let’s just blame it to the jet-leg. I went to the expo, I was there just before 9am. No queue at all, got my bib number in minutes. Only got a selfie of myself, I really didnt feel like asking strangers to take a photo of me by the wall.
I love expos, I love the feeling, I love the merchandise, the freebies, everything. At Tokyo I think we did spent at least 2 hours there. Spending money is always great.
Boston was different. I was in an out in 30 mins. I got the jacket, Dunkin tshirt so it’s matching with my Dunkin Saucony shoes and thats all. I’m 30 and I never in my life had anxciety. But at the expo just kept feeling some kind of pressure and kept thinking if I need to stay a minute longer I’ll break down. So I assume that’s how anxciety feels. Worst thing ever. So it was the shortest expo visit ever.
Luke and I planned to go to Harvard. But I couldn’t. I just went back to the hotel and stayed there almost all day.
Saturday 5pm, I had to get ready. Abbott was hosting a reception for the 6 Star finishers. I wanted to go. Dressed up nicely and headed back the Hynes convention centre.
We’ve got a pretty cool pair of compression socks from Abbott. Check them out below in the race photos. Also I met some famous people, and they were really chilled out.
Hugh and Nick were so incredibly friendly. They were happy to hear that my first marathon was in London, and that I also ran it for a chairty. Then they coulnd’t beleive that it took me 23months to do all 6, turns out thats a really fast and rare thing.
After the reception Shelly and I met up with Denise. Off we went to an exclusive Runner’s World party. If someone tells me that I’m going to meet up with all these people in Boston I think I would of laughed at them.
Baseball day. Let’s be honest, I have absolutley no clue of baseball. Luke bought the tickets, because he really wanted to go. At the end I’ve invited Shelly, because I really didn’t want to go alone. She’s absolutely the best friend ever, it’s a shame that she lives in Chicago and that’s too far 😦
So Shelly somehow managed to get us a VIP tour at Fenway. Luke would of loved it. We went onto the pitch, seen they practising and went to places were only staff and players are allowed.
During one of the many breaks, this sign appeared on the advertising boards:
I still have no idea what to say, other than Thank you.
The after the game we were allowed to go back to the field and have a photo taken infront ot the Green Monster. I have literally no clue how Shelly can pull these off. But she did make my stay in Boston really good.
Then just casually we finished our evening with a pasta dinner, but who did we have dinner with ? The one and only Kathrine Switzer.
My first ever race on Monday. It felt totally weird.
What can I say about this? I knew that it will be hard, not physically more like emotionally. But I never thought that it will be this hard. Luke was my best cheerleader, and we always met 3-4 times during a marathon. So he can give me a boost, support or whatever I wanted.
Boston’s course is challanging but if you’ve done the training well you’ll be okey.
I ran the first few miles with Denise, then she went to find Shelly who started infont of me.
The race sucked, I kept tearing up on literally everything. You don’t normally see runners crying at mile 2, it’s usually at mile 25. By the time I got the mile 16 I had enough. I just kept thinkning that what’s the point of this? Luke’s not here, he wont ever cheer me on again, he won’t see me at the finish line. So why the hell do I do this? He was always so proud of me. What’s to point of this running if he won’t be proud of me ever again? So at mile 16 I decided to walk. Not my usual run-walk-run thing, nope, walk 10 miles. I didn’t care about finishing, I didn’t care about the time. I literally couldn’t of cared if a bus pickes me up and takes me to a finish and get a DNF. Boston has a strict cut off, if you want to have an official finish time you’ll need to finish before they turn off the finish line clock. But you don’t know when’s that. It’s 6hrs from the last runner.
I knew if I walk 10 miles, I won’t get there on time and I get a DNF. I won’t get my Boston medal and I definitelyt won’t get my 6 Star medal. At that point I didn’t even care that I’ve just wasted £4.5k on nothing.
Whilst I was sitting on the side walk I put a post up on facebook,, jsut to let everyone know what’s going on. After sitting there for a long time I decided its time to walk. It was going to be a really long 10 mile.
But 1 mile into my walk Denise came along, again. It turns out I took her and Shelly over ages ago, and now Shelly was running with someone and Denise decided to go and chase her own unicorn. It was her 10th consecituve Boston and she had to finish before the cut off so she can just easily register next year. Beat the normal registration process.
She said she’ll do the last 9 miles with me. Even when i said to her , that she needs to leave me behind she didn’t. We ran the downhills and walked the upphills and just kept talking. She didn’t let me give up. She said if I come this far I need to finish. If I don’t finish Luke will be so so pissed off at Heaven. So I had to keep going.
The harest and longest 9 miles in my life. When every inch of your body just wants to give up, but there’s someone next to you who doesn’t let your mind win. She said if I’m phisically injured she left me DNF but she kept saying I’m stronger than my emotions and it’s only a few more miles before the finish. She really could of easily left me befind, because she is a bit over 3hr marathon finisher. But she stayed.
Then we turned Right On Hereford, Left On Boylston and we seen the finish line. She sprinted off and she said she’ll wait for me at the finish and will make the best ever finish line video of me.
At the end I finished the race with 9 minutes to spare.
Really not what I wanted but still better than a DNF.
Thousands ££££ raised
Do you think it’s acceptable to talk about my medals till I die? I mean look at them , they are literally the best set of medals ever 🙂
I do not know. I have London in 3 days time, which I can’t defer because I won it via New Balance, I have a 10k in May, can’t defer that either , won the place it via Parkrun, ohh and don’t let me forget the IM in july, and get this I can’t defer that either. I already deferred it from last year because I injured my leg last year. I have an IM traning camp coming up in 2 weeks time and even if I cancel I won’t get my money back. I paid for my hotel for London and Bolton and they are non refundbale. Great. Seems like the current slogan of my life is ” You suck and you can’t defer” .
So I’ll go hour by hour. I really can’t even tell how I will feel in an hour, so judging how I’ll feel in weeks time I have no clue at all.
Somedays I just want to stay in bed and do nothing all day, other than crying. Other times I think its an awesome idea to go and train, be around people, people a like a lot. But then when I’m there I can’t even do much. Because I really don’t feel the love towards training. Luke’s not here anymore to be proud of me, or just simply ask me how was my training, and I have noone else.
But let me tell you one thing, I’m not a quitter. Well I always trying to be one, but other’s not letting me quit. And I’m so so grateful for that. I wanted to quit tri club a few months ago because I was the slowest, well I still the slowest, then been advised that I shouldn’t quit. So I stuck around. Best decision ever. Then I wanted to quit Boston, but Denise came along and she didn’t let me quit. No matter how much I wanted. So if in the next few weeks or even months I tell you that I hate everything and I just want to walk off, please do not let me do that.
There will come a time when you feel as if the whole world is whispering that you’ll fail. Just look down at your feet and remember the mountain of miles they’ve already taken you so far and screen back I’m already winning. You have no idea what you truly capable of.
Lots of love,
Wow I can’t believe that race day was already 2 weeks ago. I’m so behind with all of these posts. Sorry.
So after an exciting few days in Tokyo which was filled with sightseeing and great food ( will definitely write a post about these later on ), on the Thursday we went to the Expo to pick up my race number.
This year the expo was in a different location and it was under many tents. It really didn’t bother me, but read on Facebook that loads of people didn’t like it at all. We got there just after 11am and I was out of the bib pick up tent by 11.15am. So really didnt’ take long. Because I was a charity runner I had to go to a specific table. There they taken a photo of me and also got a wristband with a barcode. So with all these security measures they really did try to prevent cheaters. Because they have your photo if anyone would have run with someone’s number they can easily be identified.
After picking up my race number we went to the next tent where I was given my pink Asics charity top and a 500 yen McDonald’s voucher. It turned out McDonald’s was one of the race’s main sponsor. In the next tent we were able to purchase all the official merchandise. Couldn’t say no to the cutest teddy bear.
Then we went to a massive exhibition area. Not people spoke English, but at the end we ended up 4 bags full of freebies. Who wouldn’t want a few slices of walnut bread or even a Zero calorie alcohol free beer?
As I said earlier loads of people didn’t have a great expo experience, but I did have fun. It was different, but I do believe it was well organised.
Sunday, wow, can’t believe how fast the last 7 days gone by. On Saturday I tried to go to bed early, I think at the end I managed to sleep around 7hours.
Few of us stayed in the same hotel, so I met with Shelly and Judy at the lobby at 7am, so we could go to the start together. Shinjuku station was only a few stops away from our station, so took us about 10mins to get there with the subway. Really not far at all. It turned out all of us were at a different starting block, which meant we had to use different entrance gates. I said goodbye to them and off I went to gate Number 3.
The security check felt like I am at an airport. Metal detectors, back check, no fluids more than 250ml etc. But I got through in a few mins. By this time it started to rain, which was unfortunate. The forecast said it will rain, but it said it should start around 11am. So 7.30am was a bit too early for it. Went to drop my bag off and tried to find my start coral. Because I’m a slow runner, my starting pen was L. Got there just before 8am, hardly any people around. Quick loo break and went to the start area. Loads of people warned me that the loo breaks can be bad, but as yu can see in the photo below, hardly anyone was there.
Then the wait begun. Tokyo had a really strict policy about the starting blocks. If someone wasn’t in their start pen by 8:45am, then they had to go to the back of the last coral. So I really didn’t want to risk starting from the back of the last coral.
The rain was contusions, and I started to feel really cold. Wearing a jumper and a space blanket didn’t really keep me warm. But it wasn’t too long till the race start so I was hoping I can wait in the cold, before I get hypothermia.
The race guns went off at 9.10am, but I didn’t cross the start line till 9.33am.
Tokyo has a really strict cut off, first of all the measure everything with gun time, so the overall cut off was 7hrs gun time. But they also have intermediate cut offs, and balloon pacers. If someone get to one of these check points after the cut off time, well then they get a DNF ( do not finish ) and have to get on a bus, and get carried back to the finish area.
So after running Chicago in 5:58 I knew that I can’t make any mistakes in Tokyo . I have to make all the cut offs, it’s such a long way to travel and then fail.
My training went really well, and I was really hoping for a 5:30 finish. But after loosing 10mins at km 14, because of an emergency loo break I knew that time is out of sight. But I tried to think about positive things, and concentrate the journey ahead of me. You can’t just give up at 14km because your time is out. You need to push through and do your best.
Even with the horrible rain, and cold temperature 6-8 Celsius, I had an awesome race.
Japanese people are so friendly, and incredibly helpful. Also they look after the cleanliness of the city really well. In every few hundred of metres they had volunteers with plastic bags and they were collecting the rubbish from runners. Also at the aid stations they had massive boxes for rubbish, so there wasn’t any rubbish on the streets. So after running London and New York and tripping over so many plastic bottles and paper cups, Tokyo was great.
The course had a few out-and-back parts, and it was so hard to see runners going at 41km, when you are only at 31. But running is a mental game. I know that my body can do the distance, but the human mind is so powerful. One bit of wobble and I do start to question my ability. But I tried to keep calm, and just think about ‘parkruns’, – Ohh it’s only 2 parkruns to go till the finish, I can do parkruns, Its easy, Anyone can do a parkrun -.
Not many people spoke English, but the main phrases were ” Go go go ” and “Fight”.
Also they had so many motivational signs out there in English. So even though they didn’t shout my name around the course, I didn’t feel lonely. Like in Berlin I had a horrible time, because I don’t speak German and they don’t speak english .
The only negative thing about the race was the Tracking app. We didn’t manage to download it from the UK app store, but was working perfectly fine on an Android. So not many people were able to track me. But a lovely friend of mine from Australia kept posting on my Facebook ,so others were able to see my progress.
At the end I crossed the finish line in 05:39:05, which is a massive 19 mins PB.
It sounds a lot, but if I tell you that 5 months ago in Chicago I thought I gave my best and couldn’t run any faster , than this 19 mins a massive achievement.
I’ve done most of my training sessions, and I do believe my tri club run sessions do help a lot as well. Before hand I never done anything like that. If I had to run faster I went a bit faster. But at the run session you really need to go faster. Also coming last in every session makes my mind stronger. It took me a really long time to realise that I’m racing against me. It doesn’t matter if others finishing their runs way ahead of me. I’m coming last but I’m still getting faster. As long as I keep pushing myself at those session I should improve.
Look at my splits below. Other than the 15km one ( lost 10 mins at a loo queue) I was running every 5k roughly in the same pace. I never really been consistent with my running pace before, but I clearly getting better.
Also note that as I said Tokyo does gun time, so my ‘official’ time is includes that 20mins wait around at the start.
Other than finishing the race, this is what I’m most proud of. I started the race as the 6846th Women, but when I finished I was the 6403. That doesn’t sound a lot, but if you see that at 15km mark I was 8123, the finishing position is great. After loosing 10 mins, I managed to pick myself up and kept going.
All in all Tokyo was an awesome race. If you chasing the Majors, I do think you will love this race. If you not a Major chaser than I still do recommend it.
If anyone interested about the charity registration process, you can read my experience here.
29 days time I’ll be lacing my shoes up in Boston and will chase that Unicorn and collect my 6 star medal. I can’t wait. But more about that in my next post.
Till then loads of love,
In 3 weeks this time probably I already finished the Tokyo marathon.
Tokyo is 9 hours ahead of England. So when I’ll start the race on Sunday morning around 9.30am most of the UK will be still asleep or just going to sleep.
It’s now less than 2 weeks till we are flying out , but I’m just not excited. I just want this whole thing to be over.
Probably it doesn’t help that this week didn’t go as I planned.
One of our dog got ill on Monday and ended up at the vets. Bless his heart his penis is swollen and got some kind of infection. A week later he still poorly, and constantly drinking/weeing. So he may have some issues with his liver. We are going back to the vets tomorrow.
If he doesn’t get better I have no idea what to do. The kennels won’t take him in , because he’s ill. So I have no clue who’s going to look after him when we are away.
On Tuesday evening in my way home from run club my car broke down. Waiting 2hrs in the pissing rain, in total darkness is not fun.
I really didn’t thought nothing about it. Called a mobile mechanic out and after 10 mins of investigation, he noticed a bolt came undone by the cambelt. According to him that bolt never comes undone. Later on I googled and that bolt only can come undone if someone hasn’t tightened it well.
Contacted with the original mechanic but he’s refusing to take responsibility, even though he’s done work on the car in November.
So now here I am with a car with an engine failure. I have no funds to buy a new car at the moment. Luckily I don’t really need the car for work , I can take the trains luckily. But without it I can’t make any of my tri club sessions, plus if Po Po get’s really poorly I’ll need to rely on a taxi to get to the vets.
No I’m just waiting what else can go wrong ? Usually they come in threes, two down so one more to go.
I hardly done any training this week. I literally couldn’t be bothered. Went running 3 times and cycling once. But that’s hardly anything.
I felts so good about my whole training for Tokyo. I really gave my best and done more training than I ever done in my life. I’ve got much faster.
After finishing Chicago in October with and average pace of 8:30mins/km ( 5:58:24 ) I thought if I push myself I can maybe do a 7:50mins/km ( 5:30:00 finish ). Well that was my plan and I did train for it.
In my last few long runs – 20 mile plus – I managed to average between 7:25-7:35mins/km. So I’m supposed to be really happy about this. According to that I can really easily do a sub 5:30 finish in Tokyo.
But at the moment I really can’t think about anything else just how much my life sucks. I have a definitely dead car , and a possible dying dog, and I need to fly out in 13 days time. Ohh and I’m turning 30 next week. Anything else ?!
28. January – 3rd February 2019
Another week gone, I really can’t believe how fast these days going.
Week 7 of Ironman Bolton training.
Week 14 of Tokyo / Boston / London marathon training.
Monday’s are still rest days. I really can’t get myself into thinking to do any kind of workout. Eventually would be good to do some yoga or strength training, but after 6 days worth of training I really just feel that I need to sit down, take a breath and enjoy doing nothing.
Went to swimming straight after work. This time the pool was quieter, and people seemed to used the correct lanes. There were still some annoying ones, who decided just to chit-chat at the end, without swimming a single lap.
I still really don’t know how to break up my long swims. So ended up simply swimming 25x100m sets. I do feel good about my swim pace. I wanted to make sure all of them were around the 2:20 mark, so there was no point for me to shoot out and swim a few 2:10s when I know I won’t be able to do that 25 times. But compared my time to an earlier session back in December I clearly got faster 🙂
Tuesday evening means tri club run session. I had a feeling that it will get cancelled, because the weather wasn’t the nicest. But coach said as long as someone turns up he’s happy to do the session .The Facebook poll said 3 of us will be there, but at the end 5 of us turned up. Not too bad. Luckily it wasn’t too cold, just a bit wet.
The session was held at Crabtree, which only could mean one thing. Hill reps. Oooh dear God, how much do I hate those? A lot.
So the plan was to run half a lap, around half a mile till we get to the other end of the forest, and to the top of the hill. Then do some hill reps for 15-20mins.
I’ve ended up running the whole thing with G. He’s still injured, so he’s coaching us. He said my pace is perfect for him, it wouldn’t put too much strain on his knees. Well good to be slow then haha.
So back to those hill reps, it wasn’t just the little ones I’ve done a few weeks ago. Nope. Started it from further down, and run further up. Passed a bench, into the woods. It was probably twice as long as the ones I’ve done before. Did I already say I hate hills?
I think we ended up running about 6 times roughly. When we were doing the 5th, he said that’s the last one. But then got to the top and he said he changed his mind and off we go and do another one.
The last 2 sets were the hardest, I’ve been told not to stop, no matter how much it hurts, try to push it through, and for the last one I had to try do attempt a faster pace. I think I was probably racing with a snail. Because it definitely wasn’t a quick run. But got up to the top.
It’s so much harder when you are running with someone. I’m really bad at hills, or faster paced runs. So usually when I feel tired I just stop and walk a bit or a lot. But when your coach is running next to you , you do have to try your hardest to keep going, and I’ve done that. It did hurt, but at the end of the day this is how I get better. Need to push through, no matter how much I don’t like it.
After the hills we ran back to the cars, nice and easy jog. Haha easy for them. It was still faster than my usual pace. Then the guys decided to run home, and G. and I ran one more mile long lap, as a cool down. Running a mile doesn’t sound that bad, but after those hills, it wasn’t easy.
At the end we clocked in 6.3km in just over 49mins. But this included loads of down-hill walking. Ohh and to my surprise with my sloth pace I managed to grab a 1st place on a Strava Segment.
All time Women – 1st, All time – 10th, This year ( women ) – 1st, This year – 4th.
It’s either being a new segment, or people in January are not too active. I still can’t believe how did I manage to get the 1st place Women spot, with my pace?
One of my favourite day , I love doing my brick sessions. It does feel like I’m getting better with them. It was only a really short session, but my legs did work hard and they didn’t wobble.
Last day of January, I can’t believe how fast this month gone by.
I wasn’t really planning to have a long run session, but had to keep my legs moving, and get some mileage in. Even if it wasn’t a long session.
Bang on 8k, and much faster than my marathon pace. At the end I even managed to get a new VO2 max. Finally I’m up to 42. I was standing on 41 for ages.
Let’s see my January stats:
Swim : 15.81km 🏊🏼♀️
Bike : 290.36km🚴🏼♀️
Run : 142.94 km 🏃🏽♀️
Roll on February 🙂
“Winter miles 🔜 summer smiles “
I don’t think it’s too bad. First month I ever run longer than 130km+. Cycling is going up really well, and my slow swimming is getting better session by session.
Another day on the bike. We’ve snowed in so I really didnt’ want to risk going to the pool or do another run session. Wouldn’t be good ending up with a broken arm or leg before Tokyo. Here’s a photo from the morning, I took it whilst I was at work 🙂 Did I say I LOVE snow 🙂
45 mins cycling around Watopia, with a little elevation. Plan said keep it in Z2, so I wasn’t allowed to push it any harder or do more hills. At the end of the session I was in Z2 for 93%. Not too bad 🙂
No training today. Went up to London to attend the yearly Meet the Experts session organised by London Marathon. A great and informative event. I do believe it’s totally worth it if you are running London the first time 🙂
Long run session today. The roads were still ridiculously icy and snowy. There was literally no chance for me to run outdoors. I had to run 14 miles and this close to my marathon I really didn’t want to miss it. After thinking about it a lot, I decided to go to the gym, and run on a treadmill. I absolutely hate those machines, the only thing I hate more are prawns and hill reps. How the hell can I run 14 miles on the boring treadmill? They gym has 1 tv , and it showing the news constantly. So nothing exciting at all. I don’t have a foot pod, so can’t run virtually on Zwift. So 14 boring and long miles here I come.
At the end I decided to do intervals. 60secs runs and 30secs walk break. Sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. The people kept changing next to me, but I tried to stay motivated and keep going on and on and on.
At the end I did manage to run 14 miles, but it felt like this was my 14 longest miles in my life.
Have to say I was surprised with my time, in a positive way.
14 miles – 2:45:26 – with a pace of 7:20mins/km.
5secs/km faster than my target marathon pace, well if I decided to target a sub 5:15 finish time, or even if worst case I only can achieve a 7:50mins/km pace that would still take me into a sub 5:30 finish in Tokyo. These are still massive improvements from my 5:58 finish at Chicago in October (8:30mins/km pace).
Sunday evening I also went to do my tri club swim session. We had M. back as a coach, he was back from his holiday, so sessions went back to normal. At first it was only a few of us there and I had a whole lane for myself, but others did turn up a bit late so we were almost up to the normal amount of swimmers 🙂
2️⃣. Open water start drills and sprints
3️⃣. 4x 100m CSS-5
4️⃣. 100m easy swim
5️⃣. 3x 100m CSS-5
6️⃣. 100m cool down
This week wasn’t as busy as the last few. My running takes a lot out of me, and like this week I wasn’t able to get in my long bike session. But as soon as I’m down to taper with my marathons I can definitely can get my cycling hours up. It’s just so hard to run 10-15miles then squeeze in another 2-3hours long bike as well.
I have one more long run next week, up to 20 mileish, But then after I’ll be able to do all my long bike sessions as well.
So I’ve finished the week with :
- Duration: 7:23 hours
- Swim: 3600m
- Bike: 37.9km
- Run: 38km
21 – 27th January 2019.
Wow I can’t believe how fast these days are passing. Probably it helps that I’m way to excited about the Tokyo trip.
Week 6 of Ironman Bolton training
Week 13 of Tokyo/ Boston/ London marathon training.
As always it was a rest day. I’m starting to like these days.
Started my week with my long swim. Because I can’t make the early morning tri club swim I really need to make sure that I get my long distance swim in. I didn’t really have a plan , but at the end I’ve ended up doing 22x100m with 10secs rest. Slowly building up my distance. I think I finally feel really comfortable in the water. Since October my swim improved a lot, and I love the sessions. Of course there’s still a lot to improve and I don’t think I ever going to be as good as the others, but I do try my best.
Tuesday evening means, tri club run session. I did look forward to this session, because even though I’m not showing it, and I’m nowhere near the others when we run but these sessions making me faster. Without these sessions I don’t think my long distance speed would have improved. I remember last year when I was training to Chicago I just wanted to get the distances in , it didn’t really matter how long did it take. I never in my life done any kind of speed training before, so I do believe these help a lot.
So back to this session. Well it wasn’t my day at all. It was cold, but I shouldn’t really blame the cold. Back at home we have -15 or even -20 Celsius in the winter, so tonight’s -2 was really nothing. But it’s always easier to blame to something, and not to yourself.
The plan was to do laps, on the grass part of the track. Supposed to be in the same pace as the previous session. I not once hit that pace, 6:06mins/km. I was so annoyed with myself, I know I can run, I know I can do that pace if I really want to do it. But no matter how much I’ve tried I didn’t get anywhere close to it. I’ve finished the session with 6:35. Which is still much faster than my normal pace, 7:30, but I was still annoyed that I couldn’t even to a lap.
After a bit of thinking, I realised that my legs still haven’t recovered from Sunday’s 22 miler. I really can’t expect them to function like nothing happened 2 days ago. It did settle my mind a bit.
Brick session, one of my favourite session of the week . Can’t really explain it why, but I starting to love running straight after cycling. My legs always feel like jelly, but after that initial wobble I start to run and it’s a great feeling. Still only short sessions, but need to build it up slowly. So it was a 45mins cycle session, on the turbo then off I went for my 30mins run 🙂
I’m still really new to Zwift, so exploring all this new routes are exciting. It turns out they have a whole session in New York. I loved my time in New York, but how the hell I forgot how hilly Central Park is? I thought I’ll have a nice and easy spin session, but those bastard hills…. Never mind, got over them and my legs definitely worked hard. After the cycle I thought I’ll keep continue the New York feeling, so put on my marathon top and off I went for my 30mins run. Back to my nice and easy 7:30mins/km pace. I can’t even explain how much I love this. It’s easy, and comfortable. Hmmm… maybe that’s why I didn’t really improve a lot for Chicago ? I just kept doing my comfortable runs, not once I went faster or went out of my comfort zone. Hmmm…
It was supposed to be a swim session. Well it did start as a swim session, but ended after 7mins. I rarely get pissed off, or annoyed at others. I have my poker face on at work, and answer every question with my nice customer service voice and face.
But this time I really got pissed off. We have a temporary pool at Andover, 4x 25m length lanes. No issues with that. There are 2 different swim sessions , ‘ lane swimming’ and ‘ just swim’ . So as common sense dictates, lane swimming is to do laps up and down, and the ‘ just swim’ is where there are no lanes and just a fun session.
I’m really not a fast swimmer, but after a few laps I had to leave. Other’s really didn’t respect the pool rules. Stopping half way through and starting to swim back where they started, floating on the water, and even jumping in and out. Lifeguard was total useless as well. A lady and I went to ask him to sort this out, otherwise what’s the point of LANE swimming, but he just ignored us. So we left.
1hr cycling session, in Z7 and trying to achieve a 100+ cadence. I managed to tick off 2 out of that 3.
1 hour in Z2 , totally doable. But my average cadence was 72. Bruhhhh. Few times managed to get over the 100 mark, but it takes so much concentration , it’s incredible. I really need to figure out this cycling. Maybe its harder to achieve this on a turbo? I mean even when I’m in the lowest easiest gear I can pedal, there’s no issues with that. But it feels like I’ll fly off from the bike. I think I’ll need to go to the gym and see if I can manage 100+ on their stationer bike, or even better if they have a watt bike. Or should I just got to a spin class? Ahhhrrrrrrr..
I was so keen to wake up at 5am and do my long run. But after going to bed like 8.30pm on Friday when my alarm went off at 5am I just turned it off and turned on my other side at went back to sleep. At the end I managed to sleep just over 11hrs. By the time it’s the weekend I’m so so tired that I can’t even explain. Having 4.5-5hr sleeps during the week and waking up at 4am to go to work is so hard.
So I chose comfort instead of my long run.
But instead of that I did my long cycle session.
Longest time on the bike / turbo ever. I cycled for 2 whole hours. OMG. It was tiring and I really had to push myself to just keep going. Drank 2 full bottles of drink, had loads of seeds and nuts, and also kept eating my glucose tablets. Weirdest thing you can crave on a bike 😀 But the mixture of sweet and salted kept me going.
Another ride, another day on Zwift. The plan said stay in Z2. So I knew I can’t really pick a really hilly route otherwise my heart rate will be way over Z2. So stayed with Watopia, but by the time the 2hrs were over I’ve gained 255m (840 feet) of elevation. I knew I need to do hills, even virtually because Bolton will be hilly.
Well my long run was missed again. I did wake up, but then just sat on the sofa. So missed out on 14 miles. Never mind. Sometimes we need to have an easier week. Roll on next week.
But did go swimming in the evening. Tri club swim session was on. Not too sure why but we didn’t have the normal coach, I did miss last week’s session, so probably he said it then that he wont be this week. So we had to follow our run coach instructions. He’s a speedy swimmer as well, so he knew what he was talking about.
After a few laps (10) of warm up, we’ve done more sighting practice. It is really important in open water. You really don’t want to get lost or swim more than you supposed to.
Then we were broken up into different groups , roughly the same pace. The instruction was to swim behind each other, as close as we can, practice sighting and try to keep up the other persons pace. Well I ended up with this guy, I feel so embarrassed but I still have no idea what’s his name is. It turns out his pace usually is 1.50mins/100m, then I said to him that my pace is usually 2.20 if I really push myself. I did feel sorry for him, because he had to go much slower than his pace.
At first he was swimming in the front and I tried to keep up with him. He did say he’ll go slower than he usually do. Thanks 🙂 Then we kept swapping who’s the leader. So the 1st 100metre turned out to be 1:57, then the 2nd was 2.00, 3rd 1.59, 4th 2.01 and the last one was 2.05. Okey, I’m totally socked, surprised , wow. I really had no clue that I can swim this fast. I know I won’t be able to keep up this pace for a long time, but it did feel good to see that I do can swim faster. But it does show’s that you can do whatever you set your mind to, and just need to push yourself, even when you think you can’t.
Then we had a really fun exercise. Swim a lap with your eyes closed, because when you are swimming in open water you can’t see much. And he’s totally right. When I had my first open water session on the 1st of January ( will write a post about that after I had my second one in February) I was totally shocked that I couldn’t see nothing in the Thames. At home I swam in Lake Balaton and in the sea by Croatia as well. But those were nice and clean. When I first put my head into the water in the Temze I had no clue where am I going, and even though I was swimming it felt like I’m not moving. So I do agree with him that it’s really important to practice this.
Much shorter week than the previous, but I missed out on a 14miler run and also lost an hour swim. But all in I’m happy with it. I still managed to workout just over 7hrs, and that’s great. Roll on next week, I can’t wait to see what am I capable.
14 – 20 January 2019.
This was my week 5 of Ironman training and Week 12 of Tokyo / Boston marathon training.
I can’t believe how fast the weeks going by.
Rest day, favourite day of the week. Done nothing at all this day. Got my recommended 10 000 steps in by 10am at work , then spent the rest of the day with housework, and getting my week worth of workout clothes ready.
First workout of the week. Let’s go swimming. The plan was to swim about an hour, roughly 2k. Well it did not happen. 10 mins into my swim I developed a massive headache. No idea why. I drunk enough water all day, so literally have no clue. But other than that the session was okay.
Tuesday evening means tri run club. I still had a headache when we started this session, but it went away after a few laps. We spent our time on the track. I do like running on the track. It’s a great way to measure how much a person improves.
The session consisted of the below:
2 laps: warm up
2 laps: 300m slower pace run, 100m faster paced, repeat
2 laps: 200m slow, 200m fast, repeat
2 laps: 100m slow, 100m fast, repeat
After this we had to run another 2 laps in our faster pace, but only just as fast what we can keep up for our main set, 3k. I did try to run this in my faster pace, it was a 6:10mins/km. After speaking with G. I said to him there’s literally no way that I can run this fast for 3k. I mean the fastest I ever run was 6:57, but usually I’m closer to average a 7:30mins/km. By this time everyone was way into their 3k run, and I was still standing there trying to decide what pace to run. At the end we agreed that I run in a fast pace and see how long am I able to keep that up. If it’s not a full 3k no worries, it will be a good starting point. It turns out 3k is 7.5 laps on the track. I don’t think I ever circled as much in my life before.
After every lap I kept checking my watch and just to see if I can keep that pace up. Well it turned out am better than I thought. By the time I got to my 5th lap everyone else is finished. But I just kept going at tried to concentrate on myself.
When my watch buzzed at the 3k mark I was so happy that it was over.
These are the results:
1km – 6:20mins
2km – 6:16mins
3km – 5:54mins
OMFG. It looks like I really can push myself if I want it. You know you had a great run club session when you end up with not 1 but 3 PBs 🙌🏻
My last 5k PB was 34:34 so this new one is way better. Soon I can target a sub 30 time. I never once thought that I might be capable doing that.
Wednesday mean’s Brick session. After last night’s run club I had so much muscle ache that I really thought I won’t be able to cycle. It was only a short 30mins cycle followed by a 30mins run session. But by the time I finished my cycling my legs did warm up and had a great paced run session. The transition time between the 2 still took me over 5mins, but I think I’m getting better with the Quick change part.
I’ve spent Wednesday evening up in London.
I was lucky to attend a really informative and inspirational panel discussion. It was organised by @livcyclinguk & @giantbicycles.
4 inspirational ladies with 4 different IM journeys.
Ruth – @rastle50 – not just a simple AG winner she has won her AG in Kona and was the 3rd armature overall.
Mara – @mara.thefitlondoner – her first triathlon was an Ironman.
Alice – @aliceclarefitness – Liv ambassador and also IM finisher.
Eddie , or you can call her #irongran. She’s a multi IM finisher and she’s 75. Wow.
I’ve learnt so much from them and great to hear how others started their journeys.
Also good to hear that I’m not crazy because I’ve signed up for Bolton without doing the shorter distances first.
As long as I trust my plan and have set my mind to it I’ll be totally okay 🙂
Thank you ladies so much 🙌🏻
Swim got cancelled, due to going out for dinner. But managed to get a faster paced run in, straight after work. It felt so good to run around Basingstoke. When we lived there I loved running through Eastrop park and then through Lychpit and back to town, or just down to Popley to see my sister.
Finally decided to give Zwift a go. Turned out they do a 7 day free trial or upto 25km cycling. I was really lazy and only set it up on my phone. Just to see if I like it or not. It’s not bad at all. That 20mins literally just flew by. I loved the facts that I am virtually chasing others. Seen a few cyclist with the Hungarian flag and I always tried to keep up with them, even if it was for a short period of time.
Was supposed to do my Long run today, but swapped it around and done my Long cycle instead.
After last night’s good Swift session I decided that I do need this, so signed up for it. Also it turns out that it does work with my iMac. Better and bigger screen 🙂
The plan was to cycle at least an hour and half , then see how I manage that. It turns out I’m better than I thought. I did have the fan on but had to stop and open the windows as well because I really started to feel too hot. Drank 2.5 bottles of water, I think it’s a lot but really not too sure. Ate a handful of seeds and nuts and just kept pedalling. I’m not gonna lie the time went fast, but it was also hard. Have to be honest I can’t remember when was the last time I cycled this long, well I’ve done it outdoors a few times, but it was my longest ever session on the turbo.
Do you think that map looks like a rhino? I can’t stop thinking about that. Pleased with the distance I covered. It’s not the funniest and most exciting to cycle on the turbo but I do believe these boring winter sessions will be in great use in the spring/summer.
I had my first running race of the year. Covered over 22 miles, and you can read my full race report HERE.
Because of this long run I decided to skip tonight’s swim session. I don’t think I could have swim a single lap, my kicks would not work , and have a feeling I would have drowned.
Summary of the week:
By the end of the week I worked out just over 9hrs.
This included :
1 swim session (missed out on 2 )
3 cycling session
4 running session
Next I’ll need to make sure I’ll get my missing 2 swim sessions in as well. I shouldn’t have any issues with that. I’m back only 14miles with my long run, so won’t be as tired and will be able to do the missing sessions, and also don’t have any dinner planned with family, so I should be all okey 🙂 I also getting better with the ammount of training I have to do. I’m sore most of the days, but a good bath with Epsom salt works really well, and after every session I keep rolling my legs, so they won’t get as sore.
Somedays I still struggle with motivation just to get out of the door. But as soon as I’m out I’m totally okey with the training session ahead.
Well this was kind of an accidental race. I bet you wondering how is it possible?
Let me start at the beginning. Last year when I was training for the Berlin – Chicago marathon, I’ve run an awesome 18 miler training run. Few weeks after that I was supposed to run my 20 miler. Back then I was doing all my tranining runs by myself. When I got to mile 19 I was 3 mins behind the time I’ve set myself to run it. That was all, lost it mentally and sat on the curb for 10 mins crying my eyes out and then walked home 3 miles! Crazy.
So a few weeks ago when I had my 16miler run I decided when I have my next longer run in January I’ll book a race in.
I won’t race it, I just want to run with people. Not even to talk with them, but just to be around others. 20 mile is a bloody long way to do all alone.
After a bit of googling I came across a company called Saturn Running. they had a 6.5hour timed event on the 20th of January.
It was only in Thatcham, which is 25mins drive from my house so I thought that will be a great race, also it cost less than £30.
The only issue I had is, that the laps were 4.37miles long, My training plan said “18miles” , if I’d run 4 laps that’s not enough, but if I run 5 laps thats way too much.
At the beginning I thought I’ll get to 4 and see how I feel about the 5th one.
I wrapped up warm, because the weather forecast said it will be between 0 and -2 celsius.
The venue was Greenham common, nice and almost flat route. But mostly trail run, gravel, grass and loads of mud. Did I mention a gigantic hill?
We had to run 2 different laps, the Blue one first and then off the Pink one. 3 laps were a half marathon roughly.
After my 16 miler a few weeks ago when I managed to keep up a 7:41mins/km pace, my plan was to do the same. Or try to be as close to it as possible. My main aim for Tokyo is to get as close to a 5:30:00 finish time as I can, so for this I’ll need to run in a 7:50mins/km pace. In october in Chicago I just broke the 6hr mark with a time of 5:58:24 and my pace was 8:30mins/km.
So far my training went really well, and I was really hopeful to run that pace. Even if it’s slower I still have 41 days till race day so can improve.
The first lap just flew by, probably because I never ran here before so it was all really exciting. After the first few km I realised that I’m going way too fast, 7:05, 7:01, 7:04kms. I knew if I keep going like this I’ll burn out in the next few miles. Then just before the 5k mark I came across a pretty big hill. It wasn’t just the hill, it was the mud as well. But managed to get over it, but clearly can see in my km splits that I was struggling, this turned out to be a 7:52mins/km. But kept plodding along.
When reached the end of the first lap I collected my wristband, which indicated how many laps I’ve run.
The aid station was different. No disposable cups, everything reusable, you can either leave your flask there or buy a reusable – collapsible cup for £3. I decided to buy one pre race. At least I’m sorted for the future events. Also the aid table had the weirdest selection of items, Coke, Pepsi, IrnBru, water, squash, cheese, crisps, Haribo, pretzels and cakes. Yumm yumm yumm.
The second lap was on the Pink route, luckily this one had no hills and somehow it felt this one was much easier. Because it was a multilap event no matter where you were you had people coming by. I loved that fact that everyone kept motivating the others 🙂
The second and 3rd lap really flew by. When I got to the start of the 4th lap my Garmin still said that my average pace was 7:22mins/km. Turns out I got a new Half marathon PB at the end.
I mean I literally had no clue what was going on. I did not feel tired, and I was still going strong. Maybe drinking Coke does help? I thought I’ll puke because of the bubbles in it, but I had no stomach ache at all.
During the race I kept checking my time compared to the time I was aiming for. All the way round I was 11-13mins ahead of it. When I reached the end of the 4th lap ( 28km 3:27:46. ) I’ve decided to go to the 5th one. Yes, I’ll be way over the planned 32km but I can’t do a short course. Also it’s better to do more than less.
To my surprise when I reached 20 mile I was still under 4hours! Wow. 3.5 months ago in Chicago I ran 20 mile in 4hrs 35mins.
I ran 20 miles in 3hrs 57mins 30secs. Me! First time ever, since I started running 3years ago. I can easily do 5minles under 60mins, and if I push myself I can do 10mile under 2hrs, but this time I’ve done my fastest 20 miles ever and I wasn’t even feeling tired!
Usually I hit that “wall” around the 30k mark, but this time nothing. Literally I felt just as fresh as 4hrs earlier before the race. Hmmm maybe I should drink more Pepsi during the races? I’ve looked into it and Tokyo hands out TOMATOES and bred !! Who the heck eats tomatoes during a marathon?
The running route was really lovely, seen so many horses.
3rd time I was able to run up that massive hill. I think the adrenalin was pushing me to keep going and going. After that I only had about 2 more kms to go and the finish line was in sight.
Crossed the finish line in an awesome time of : 4:24:23 and I ran just over 22 miles.
I really don’t know how to summarise this race.
I did not hit the wall, I kept going, I kept an awesome pace up for 22 miles.
If someone back in October tell me that my pace will improve from 8:30 to 7:24 I would have laughed at their face. My pace? HAHA. It took me 18 months to go from a 6:57:31 marathon time to 5:58:24.
We are only 3.5 months after Chicago and my pace is already significantly faster. At this moment I do believe I do have a sub 5:30 marathon in me. Race day is only 41 days away so I’ll need to make sure I don’t over train or get injured but if I keep going to this direction I shouldn’t have any issues smashing that time in Tokyo.
It does look like that those hard and sometimes horrible run sessions with the tri club does wonders. I’m still dead last every single time, but I am improving. I’m improving so much and I still hardly believe it. I ran 22 miles yesterday and I did not feel tired, I hardly had any muscle ache and if I’d been more crazy I could have done another lap and just casually ran a marathon. Me. Casually. A. Marathon.
I realised that all my Facebook posts are about my training posts. I love sharing my ups and downs but I bet it gets annoying after a while.
So instead of sharing daily , I’ll write a post about how my week of training went on Mondays. Monday’s are my rest days so will have plenty of time write it up.
But if you want to see my daily posts then go and follow me on Instagram , I’ll keep sharing my posts there daily 🙂 www.instagram.com/gabiruns
7- 13. January 2019
This was my Week 11 of Tokyo marathon training and Week 4 of Ironman training.
I think I’m getting better with incorporating the 2 training plans and also figure out how and when to do the exercises so I won’t get as tired.
Rest day. Best day of the week. According to my plan I could do some strength training or some yoga. But at the moment I just feel like doing nothing. Recovery is important.
I went to swim after work. Because I star work at 6am I never will be able to make the morning tri club swim sessions. So I’ve gone swimming after work. The plan said “1hr swim” so I decided to do an endurance one. I know well that I need to practice and improve a lot so I keep pushing myself.
So at the end I’ve done 4x 500m with 30 secs rest between sets just under 50mins.
In the evening I went to the first tri run session of the year. I can’t believe the last one was 3 weeks ago. Tonight’s session was a run-strength training one. Few laps around the track and different kind of strength exercises with a resistance band ( planks and leg raises mainly ). Ohh geez how unfit am I ? My core was sore like 3 says after this session. But it means I do have abs , just under a layer of fat haha.
Wednesday = Brick session. I need to practice this a lot. My legs still feel like jellies after the cycling but my runs seems to be much faster.
Can’t really explain how but after a few mins running I am able to keep up a great running pace and my legs don’t feel tired.
I’m still only doing 30 mins cycling and 30 mins running but this is only week 4. Plenty of time to build up.
Swim session number 2 of the week. Pool was a bit busier than normal but I manage to get my swim done. It wasn’t the planned 2000metre but I’m happy with the shorter distance.
Later on the evening I’ve manage to do my 5mile run according to my marathon training plan. It was a bit chilly when I started but nothing majorly cold. It feels like I’m getting better with my runs. Remember when I started the Chicago – Berlin training in last May I averaged a 9:03mins/km. By the time it was October I ran the race with a 8:30mins/km.
Another cycling session. Still only 30mins but I really don’t mind that. It feels like that cycling is my weakest part so need to keep pushing it. Still only indoors on the turbo , it’s way too cold to go outside and I’m worried about the slippery roads.
I can’t even tell how much I love Saturday. Saturday means long run day. I love getting my long runs in. I’m not fast but I always getting them done. I have so much time to think about myself , my training and some totally random thoughts. Mainly keep asking myself ” Why am I doing this ? ” , and ” Why not just staying in the comfy bed ? ?”.
Today I only had to do 12 miles. Who the hell ever says ” only”.
I was supposed to leave the house around 6am but decided to have a lay in. Sleep is important.
Not too sure what happened or if it’s relating to my swimming and cycling but I didn’t feel tired at all. Ran my fastest 12 mile ever and also got a new 10k PB.
I have a feeling that I’ll need to rethink my Tokyo marathon plans. I smashed my 2 long runs in the row so maybe I’ll be faster than I’m planning to be in Tokyo. I keep getting my training done and hopefully Tokyo will be another PB course.
Long ride Sunday. I’m still on the turbo because I feel so cold outside. Also still haven’t made my mind up about Zwift. Does it worth it ? Does it motivate you to go faster ? Virtually chasing others ?
I’ve spend the last 4 weeks of cycling watching The Greatest Showman back to back. I’m still loving it.
The plan was to cycle an hour , slowly building up my distance and keeping a constant pace.
Sunday evenings are about the tri club swims. On Sunday’s we do Technique sessions.
Tonight we concentrated mainly on how to sight out of the water. Well it’s harder than I thought. But with practise it won’t be that bad. You really don’t want to get lost when you swimming in a lake.
Our main set was the below :
2 laps of full speed swim
5 laps of CSS pace swim
Repeat 4 times
My CSS is supposed to be 2:30mins/100m but I did swim faster tonight. Maybe because we only had to repeat it 4 times and I didn’t feel too tired or because all this work makes me a bit faster. Who knows ? According to Garmin the 4 sets turned out to be : 2:22 , 2:14 , 2:20 , 2:21. So not a massive difference from the 2:30.
It’s really important to get enough sleep in otherwise the body won’t recover. For me it’s really hard to get the recommended 8 hours in. Specially because I have to wake up at 4.20am Monday to Friday just to go to work. Then I have a late afternoon/evening training session and sometimes won’t get to bed till 10-11pm. Definitely not enough sleep.
But over the weekend I try to rest as much as I can.
As you can see from the charts below :
I know I have a massive disadvantage , I never trained this much before , I don’t have years of experience. But I know I can run the marathon, I know my swimming is not that bad and will be able to do the swim part but I’m way too worried about the bike cut offs. So need to push myself hard with that. That’s the main reason I decided to go with the Intermediate plan not with the Just finish.
This week’s statistic :
Duration : 8hrs 36mins
My training load will slowly increase to 15+ hrs /week by the time I get to the Peak phase of the plan , which will be the last 10 weeks of the plan.
Wow what a year.
I didn’t manage to achieve all my goals this year , but it’s life. Stuff happens , they knock you down but you get up , learn from it , move on and get stronger.
Started the year out strong , was planning to run a race every month just to keep myself motivated.
Well it only lasted 1 month. After race nr1 I developed a weird kind of pain in my foot and hardly manage to walk. I rested , rested and rested more. But it didn’t get better. So went to see some specialist. Turned out I have/had Plantar fasciitis.
Weird sounding thing. Got special insoles , been told to stretch 3 times a day and buy a shoe 0.5 size bigger.
Because at this point I already missies out almost 6 weeks of training I decided that the best thing to do is defer my Bolton spot for 2019. I really didn’t see the point even trying the race. Missing out that many weeks from an IM training is bad. Didn’t want to risk an injury or to get a DNF because of my lack of training.
In May I’ve started my Berlin to Chicago marathon training. This time I had a proper marathon training plan. All thanks to Coach Denise from across the pond. Ran 4 times a week , cross trained twice and rested once.
To my surprise I was able to follow the plan. I think I’ve done about 90% of the training.
The plan was to break that magic 6hr mark , finally.
London 2017 – 6:57
New York 207 – 6:32
So my plan was to shave off a massive 32 mins. Hard work , dedication and it seemed achievable.
In the summer I had a total meltdown at my 20 miler run. When I got to mile 19 I was 3!! minutes behind my own goal. It got me so upset that I’ve given up the run and walked home 2 miles. What an idiot ?!
Few hours later I’ve got the below from Denise :
Okey , I can do this. It was only a training run and not the end of the world.
Then it was September and I was off to Berlin. Decided to go with the trains. 9 hours later got there but it was so cheap. All thanks to work perks.
I was so looking forward to this race.
First time meeting with fellow Team Paws member and I literally just love race weekends.
It turned out I wasn’t mentally strong for Berlin. What a surprise… So my sub 6 finish time still only was a dream.
But have to say that I beat my NY time by 10 mins so got a new PB.
Berlin 2018 – 6:22
At the end of September I’ve joined a tri club. All thanks to Becky, who invited me.
Me , who never ever done anything like this before. I was standing at the side of the pool and looking totally out of my depth. But I knew if I want to get around Bolton I need this. I need something structured and a little competition never hurts. Everyone looked so professional. And there was me who tried not to drown half way across the pool.
Then a few days later it was time to fly to Chicago. OMG I can’t even describe how excited I was. I was in daily contact with fellow Team Paws member and I just couldn’t wait to meet with them.
Chicago. What a race. Everyone I spoke with hated the rain on race day. I loved it. I started out slow , but had a constant pace. I didn’t hit the wall. I had fun around and loved every minute of it. From the first mile I believed in myself and I knew that I capable to run a sub6.
Chicago 2018 – 5:58
I still can’t believe it. I mean I did put the hard work in but now I reached my goal it’s still just wow. 3 weeks after Berlin I ran 24 mins faster. I really didn’t believe that this could ever happen.
4 marathons – just over 12 months – 59 mins faster .
A few more years and I’ll be a sub 3 runner haha.
I have some running goals for 2019. Would be good to break sub 30 in 5k, currently I can manage 34mins. A sub 60 10k would be great as well. Marathon goals ? Well I have something in mind for Tokyo ( March 2019) and Boston ( April 2019) but it’s a secret. I always ending up putting way to much pressure on me anyway , so I keep that secret till I get there. It’s only 70+ days till Tokyo anyways so not long now.
Not much happened in the last 3 months of the year.
I kept up with my tri club swims and runs. I’m getting better with swimming , with the initial not being able to front-crawl half a lap I’m slowly getting better. Currently comfortably can manage a fair few laps in a 2:30 pace. It doesn’t look like but I love swimming. I thought I’ll be really bad at it , but it turns out I’m just a bit bad.
Tri club runs are getting better as well. We mostly do speed and agility work and it does work. Last week I managed to run 5 mile with sub 7mins/kms. It never happened before. I’m still really worried about being slow but trying not to show it. Luckily everyone is incredibly friendly and helpful and that helps a lot.
What’s the plan for 2019 ?
Not even sure where to start.
It really doesn’t help the fact when you win a marathon place ( London ) and get a free entry for a 10k ( Vitality London 10k ).
//16. January – How to become and Iron-Women – London //
//2. February – Meet the experts – London //
3. March – Tokyo marathon
15. April – Boston marathon
28. April – London marathon
10-12. May – Ironman training weekend , Bolton
27. May – Vitality London 10k
14. July – Ironman Bolton
13-15. September – Run Disney Paris
So my plan is to give my best. At the moment I’m concentrating on Tokyo and Boston. Meanwhile I also manage to get in my cycling and swimming sessions so I’m getting ready for Bolton as well. I know I can get around the marathons but would be good to get another 2 PBs and improve my marathon time.
If both races go well and I manage to finish , even if I need to crawl I’ll be a 6 Star finisher in Boston. 2nd ever Hungarian Women , no pressure at all.
What’s my plan for Bolton ? I really just want to get around within all cut offs. Sub 16:59:59 here I come.
On a personal note I hope that by this time next year I’ll be a trainee train driver. I’ve passed my assessments , now just waiting for the 2 interviews then off to driving school 🙂
I really have no clue what to write about my training sessions. Loads of people keep asking me about it. But I just don’t know what to say. few months ago I tried to write-up weekly training summaries but I just don’t have the time for that.
When? Could say I started my training in May, when I had my 1st session to get ready for the Berlin marathon. After completing Chicago in October I’ve decided to take 3 weeks of and done hardly anything.
Started my current training schedule at the end of October.
What do I train for? Probably would be easier to say what I’m not training for. At the moment my main focus is Tokyo, I’ve started an 18 week-long plan back in October. Tokyo is only 85 days away.
I have so much stuff going on that it’s crazy.
My original plan was:
- Tokyo, 3rd March
- Boston, 15th April
- Bolton, 14th July
Than I happen to won a place for the London Marathon, which is on the 28th of April. 10 days after Boston. Yayyy. Not like I need some rest , nope hah.
Also after all the training London will be a fun run, just to get around with my special costume and to break a Guinness World Record. Just for fun, hey 🙂
So what do I do at the moment?
I run 4 times a week, this includes 1 tri club run session ( Tuesday ) , 2 short faster paced run ( Wednesday, Thursday ) and 1 long slow run on Saturdays or Sundays.
I swim 2 times a week, Sundays are my guaranteed tri club swim session and at the moment I try to get to the pool on either Tuesday or friday. Just for a 30-45mins long swim. Just to build up my distance.
Cycling? At the moment its once a week, on the turbo for about 45mins. Depends on which TV series is on. Nice and easy , just to get my bum used to the saddle haha.
What’s going to happen from the 17th of December?
It’s gonna be hectic. Why? Because that’s when my Ironman training plan ( Be iron fit – Intermediate plan ) kicks in. Training for 3 marathons are already crazy enough, but I had to top it up with an IM. Yeah I don’t really suggest that to anyone.
That will be a 30 week long training plan, 10 weeks base – 10 weeks build – 10 weeks peak training.
This is where things gets a bit or totally complicated.
By the time I start this plan I’ll be starting week 8 of my marathon training plan. So my short runs are already going to be up to 5-6-7miles/ session plus the saturday long run , 13+ miles. So how to fit all this into my IM training? That’s a great question. No clue.
In the first 10 weeks of IM training I supposed to run 4 times a week, okay that’s good, at the moment I’m running 4times. No issues. But I only supposed to do 30-60mins runs. That’s clearly wont happen. I can just managed 5 miles in 60 mins, I’ll need to get up to 20 miles with my Tokyo training , which is Week 8 of my IM Base training. So I’ll be way over my run times, but will see how I get on with it.
I already know that I’m going to miss out on Week 1 and then half of Week 7-8 build training , because we are in Tokyo and then off to Boston. Probably I miss out a day or two after London, but I will be back on track after that.
Should be no issues with swimming, I will only need to add 1 more session into my calendar, I’ll stick with my sunday tri swim, then do a session on Tuesday and another one on thursday/friday. See how I feel about it. Then from the spring one of these sessions will turn into OWS. According to Google there’s one in Eastleigh and another good place in Reading.
Cycling? This will be on the turbo till at least spring time. I already feel way too cold just do my long runs, so I stick with staying in the warm with the bike.
I already booked myself into a training weekend up in Bolton. This is from the 11th – 13th of May. So just a bit after London, but I should be more than okay for it. Would be good to see/feel the pond, and get around some of the bike course as well. Hopefully this will make me less nervous about the big day.
I know it does sound way too complicated, and it really is. But I have a diary, and excel spreadsheet with all my sessions. So I know day by day what am I doing. None can say I’m not prepared.
What’s my plan after the 15th of July? Well it totally depends how I get on with IM on the 14th July.
Why? Because I’m: crazy, nuts, slightly weird? I simply just don’t like sitting on my bum and do nothing. I want to have goals, when I have the golas I make my step-by-step guide to make the plan happen and reach my goals. I want to do these things when I can do them , I’m healthy enough and we have funds to do them. I want to be an Abbot 6 star finisher, and be the 6th Hungarian overall and 2nd Hungarian women who’s done it. I want to be a GWR holder, and hopefully if everything goes well and as planned I would love to be an IM finisher in 2019.
That’s all for now, time to enjoy my last few not too busy days.
Since I missed out on the 5k run before the New York marathon, I’ve decided that I’m going to be as prepared as I can to be able to register for the other pre marathon Saturday races.
The Friendship run in Tokyo is only a 3.5k long fun run. So it’s not the usual 5k we’ve run in Chicago or the 5k Parkrun I’ve run in London before. But because we only plan to go to Tokyo once we have to do this , haha.
So the registration portal opened on the 7th of December 2018, 10am ( Tokyo time) which turned to be 1am UK time. Way too early to wake up, but I really didn’t want to miss out.
According to the email confirmation I was the 4th one who registered. Nice , easy and incredibly quick appliaction process.
Website to register: https://www.marathon.tokyo/en/events/friendshiprun/
Distance: 3.5km fun run
Filed size: 2000
Entry fee: JPY 3000 ( £21 / $27 / €24 / 7500Ft )
Date and time: Saturday, March 2, 2019
Venue: Symbol Promenade Park
Unfortunately there’s no finishers medal , but we are going to get an awesome looking Towel. Have to say I never got a finishing towel before, but looking forward to it. Also this will be a good preparation for the marathon, because at the finish of the marathon we are also getting a towel, but this will be a proper sized towel.
By the sounds of it Japanese people love towels. I’m so excited to get to know more about their culture when we are there.
77 days and we are flying, I can’t believe 🙂
Back in September a friend of mine posted something on Facebook. It was an invitation for a Free month training with a triathlon club. Becky is totally awesome, she’s done the best of the best, the hardest race, an Ironman. She forwarded my details to the owner of the club , Dave.
Well that’s how I started my triathlon training experience. I never been part of any kind of triathlon club, to be honest not even a running club. But I bit the bullet , it’s time to get better and faster.
Back in Hungary I was part of the local handball club, and used to play pro handball. But that was totally different, we trained as a team, and also I was the goalkeeper. Nice and lazy position haha.
So after speaking with Dave, I’ve decided to try it out for a month. I have nothing to lose, it’s for free and fingers crossed I will like it.
To be honest I knew I need to up my game to be able to complete Bolton in 2019. I had a training plan, and I knew that I’ll be able to do most of the training by myself, but having coached sessions are totally different.
The first session was a few days before we flew to Chicago, but I thought I’ll need to get over my nervousness and complete at least one session before we fly.
So that was me, standing at the side of a pool on this sunday evening. Surrounded with lean and sporty looking guys and girls. Whilst me, with my chubby legs and a cheap swimming dress from Sports Direct. I was totally the odd one out.
The last time I swam front crawl was back in Highschool, 10-15 years ago. Since then I just kept using breaststroke. The few practice sessions I had been all with breaststroke. I was able to do a 3:30 mins/100-metre with it. I knew I need to get a bit faster, but thought I can do the Iron distance swim.
So at the first proper tri session, I went to the “slow” lane. I was just hoping that I wouldn’t drown. I tried to keep my cool and follow all the instructions. I felt so overwhelmed, but in the other hand it felt good to be part of a group. So in this first session I was able to swim about 10-metres without stopping, all the water got in my nose and mouth, had to stop and stand up half way though the pool. I definitely didn’t look like a swimmer, I even started to question myself that maybe I should just stick to my breaststroke haha.
So after surviving this swim session I was really pleased with myself. But had to say I had so much muscle ace on the monday that it was totally unbelievable.
I didn’t really want to do the run session on the Tuesday evening, because we were going to Chicago on the Wednesday. I had no idea what kind of training we will do, but most importantly I didn’t want to get injured.
So I was back into my nervousness and stood by the side of the running track. I knew that I’m not speedy, but I did run 3 marathons by this time so I thought I can’t be that bad.
This session started with a bit of a warm up, then we were divided into small groups by pace, and spent the rest of the session running around the rack. have to say I loved this.
Then I was off to Chicago, so missed out 1.5 weeks of training.
After recovering from Chicago I was back at the running track.
After the free trial month I’ve decided to stick with the club, because I love the variety of the trainings and I always work much harder in these sessions. So it’s definitely worth it.
The swim sessions are on Sunday evenings.
To my surprise I’m picking up the swimming really well. Every session I learn something new. I can easily swim a few laps now without feeling getting drowned. Also the different kind of drills helping me to improve my swim posture and get more efficient. The sessions are still really hard, and I’m still in the ” Slow ” lane, but I feel much more confident.
You can see my improvement below:
So as you can see above, doing all these coached swim session my swimming totally changed. From a slow breaststroke swimmer I slowly becoming a better and faster front crawl swimmer. In my own sessions (Tuesdays and Fridays ) I try to swim as far as I can without stopping.
Well the running sessions are totally different. I know that I’m a slow runner, and close to be like a sloth but I never met with so many speedy people in my life. I came last in a fair few running races, but it never bothered me. Because I got my medal at the end, finished before cut off, and manly because I don’t know those people.
Well these coached running sessions are much harder than I thought. I really thought this will be much easier than my swimming. But how wrong was I ?
Because it’s winter now, we do loads of agility training & XC running. So it’s in the dark, on uneven ground. Not on the nice and smooth running track.
We’ve done a few agility sessions with the agility ladder, I love those session. I’ve done so many of those when handball was off-season and we were getting ready for the next season. I love the different kind of jumps, hops, high knees, one leg jumps ect. Even though I have a reconstructed ACL I don’t have an issues jumping in the uneven surface.
We also done a fair few hill rep sessions. I think I’m okay with that. Running up and down a hill in a pyramid session. Run 1 min, 2 mins , 3 mins, 3 mins, 2 mins, 1 min. It is tiring but I’m okay with it.
We’ve done a few circuit running sessions as well. Run for 1-2 mins, then 1 mins push ups / lunges/ squats/planks etc. I think I’m okay with these as well. I won’t lie it is tiring but I’m capable to keep up the pace.
The hardest sessions are the out – and – back runs, or the lap running. The problem with the out-and-back runs are that even though I’m really trying my hardest I’m still at the “out” part when everyone else is on the “back” part. I know well I’m not fast at all, c’mon my marathon PB is 5:58, and my 5k is 34 mins, and I usually average a 7:30-7:45 mins/km, but in my marathon is up at 8:30 mins/km.
According to my Garmin in the last few session I was averaging much faster than these.
Even with this speed I’m always dead last. It’s so disheartening. I do try my best, and try to keep up the pace, but I’m always finishing last.
In the last session it got so bad that I was hardly able to breathe. Not because I was tired, but because I felt embarrassed and also do disappointed and upset with myself that it made me unable to breathe.
I even stopped and said I had enough and decided to just go home and never go back. because I didn’t just want to disappear I went to speak with the coach. He said if I do want to go home he wont stop me, but suggest I shouldn’t . I should just keep going, because even though I’m not fast I’m faster than the people who don’t even try. Also believes if I keep continue I’ll be better.
So I went and do 2 more laps. By the end of the session I ran 4.9km, it was a XC run with a massive steady hill, full with mu all the way around and in pitch black. I’ve checked others on Strava and one guy done over 15km. I wasn’t surprised that I was at the last spot on Strava.
Since this session I asked for others what to do about this feeling. So now I have planned breathing exercises and also bought book. Hopefully these 2 things will help me to get better. As I said earlier I love all the other kind of running sessions, but not the last type.
But I know I need to keep up with it, and I need to suck it up and get over it. It won’t be easy and won’t be a fast process but hopefully slowly I’ll be better.
Have to be honest, I’m not planning to do any of the coached bike sessions. They are on the Wednesday evenings and its turbo training. I really can’t afford to drive to town another time, and also luckily I have a turbo trainer at home so I can do my cycling sessions any time I’d like.
It’s incredibly hard, but it does work. In 2 months I got much better with my swimming, I never imagined this much improvement. Running is SUCKS , but I’ll get over it and keep going. No matter how much I dreading it. I do LOVE the variety of the sessions and there’s an awesome bunch of people there. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. Someone usually stays with me when I’m plodding at the back. They could easily speed off, but they not. Coaches are also great, all of them has a different training method , but it’s all useful and works.
So I’ll keep going at least July, when it’s time to tackle Bolton. Then I’ll see if I ever want to do any more triathlon. Have to be honest I only wanted to run 1 marathon and now I’m training for the 5th one. I’ve run 4 in 2 years. So who knows if I ever do another IM or not haha.
The club called Savage Tri Club, this is their website: https://www.savagesports.co.uk/
They offer sessions in Basingstoke and Southampton. The monthly fee is totally reasonable, it’s only £29/month for Basingstoke and only £26/month for Southampton.
I do highly recommend them 🙂
Chicago has a different charity system compared to London and Berlin. They have set fundraising fees if you apply pre lottery or post lottery. Because I knew that I’m totally unlucky with any kind of lottery I’ve decided to bite the bullet and apply for a Charity spot pre-lottery. It meant that I only had to raise $1000 not the post-lottery target of $1500.
Also the other difference between this charity and my other 2 was that I had to reach my target before the race. Whist London and Berlin let me fundraise for a few months post race as well.
Whilst I was searching for the perfect charity I came across Team Paws. Everybody who knows me they know that I love animals, especially dogs. If I see any video on Facebook about homeless or injured dogs I’m starting to tear up. So after reading up about Team Paws I knew that they are the perfect charity for me.
TEAM PAWS Chicago is a charity racing and fundraising team benefiting PAWS CHICAGO, the Midwest’s largest No Kill humane animal shelter. With TEAM PAWS Chicago’s support, since PAWS’ founding in 1997, the number of homeless dogs and cats killed annually in Chicago has dropped by more than 80 percent.
I’ve applied to be a charity runners for Team Paws on the 28th of November 2017. Their sign up fee was $100 which includes loads of great stuff.
As I said earlier I had to pay a $100 registration fee, but for that I received the below perks:
- Guaranteed Charity Entry into the 2018 BOA Chicago Marathon After you register with TEAM PAWS Chicago, you will receive a link to claim your entry with the BOA Chicago Marathon. Your spot in the marathon is not complete until you complete this step and you will have one week after receiving the link to complete. Failure to do so will result in the forfeiture of your spot.
- Official TEAM PAWS Chicago Singlet All TEAM PAWS Chicago members receive a TEAM PAWS Navy singlet.
- Official TEAM PAWS Chicago Fan Club Shirt Use these shirts to easily find your biggest fans along the race route! The quantity of shirts you will receive is dependent on your entry type as follows
- Self-Secured Entrants = 1 shirt
- Pre-Lottery Entrants = 3 shirts
- Post-Lottery Entrants = 3 shirts
- TEAM PAWS Chicago Marathon Gift
- TEAM PAWS Chicago Finishers Medal
- 2 Tickets to the TEAM PAWS Chicago PAW-sta Party Held on Thursday, October 4, 2018 (BOA Chicago Marathon Weekend)
- PAWS Professional Board Membership Fee Waived for One Year TEAM PAWS Chicago members will receive waived fees for one year if they join the PAWS Chicago Professional Board (value $250). To see a listing of requirements and more information, please visit our website HERE.
- FREE Entry into the PAWS Chicago 5K Walk/Run All TEAM PAWS Chicago members will receive one complimentary registration into Chicago’s largest dog-friendly walk. We will also have a group photo and members get to start at the front of the runners’ corral.
- Social Events Meet fellow team members on fun runs, happy hours, dog-friendly events, and group fundraising opportunities.
- Guided Mentorship Receive personal guidance from our seasoned pros, our Shepherds, who are not only past TEAM PAWS Chicago participants but also top fundraisers.
- Training Enjoy training and nutrition resources from our coaches and discounted training from our partners.
- Fundraising Tools Fundraising is easy with a personal fundraising web page, coaching, and resources to help you reach your fundraising requirements.
As you can see there are loads of stuff for that $100 and it’s totally worth it. It’s great that they are paying for my race entry fee ( $220 ) and their Paw-sta party was totally awesome, I highly recommend it . Hubby also got many cheering materials including the supporter Tshirt and cheer me on all the way round.
As I said this charity came with many many perks, but not just material kind of perks. I’ve met so many like-minded people, I had no idea it’s possible. They do live across the Pond, but I’m happy to call them my friends. Without them I’m not even sure where we would have stayed when our Hotel got cancelled, Shelly offered us her spare room to stay there. Got great running , restaurant, and sightseeing tips from many of them and also we got picked up ( by Joe ) and dropped of ( by CJ ) many times.
Without Team Paws we would have had a normal holiday in Chicago, would have visited the normal sightseeing places and popular food chains. But with Team Paws I / we managed to get a second family. I never in my life thought that strangers can be this friendly and helpful. So thank you so much Team Paws 🙂
Just quickly back to my fundraising, I believe I’ve reached my fundraising target around June/July time. So after that I was able to concentrate for the rest of my training.
If anyone has any questions about Team Paws please do not hesitate to contact with me:)
After getting a bag, fat ” No ” at this ballot as well, I knew my only option to be able to run the race is to go with a charity.
After having a really good experience with my London charity I was really looking forward to pick a charity for Berlin.
The official Berlin charities can be found on this website.
So I have spent a few hours going through them , till I’ve found the cheapest one. Someone would say it’s bad saying I choose the cheapest, but it’s still money for a charity. I’ve signed up with Prostate Cancer UK, their registration fee was only £20 with a minimum fundraising target of £500. The fundraising money needed to be paid by the end of October 2018. So it’s not too bad at all, I can easily save up for it. If you want to sign up with them click on this link.
Prostate Cancer UK has a simple ambition – to stop men dying from prostate cancer. Through shifting the science over the next 10 years to focus on radical improvements in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and support, we will stop prostate cancer being a killer.
Why run for Prostate Cancer UK?
Run for Prostate Cancer UK and stand together with us help in beating a disease killing one man every 45 minutes. We marathon runners are making huge strides, raising millions of pounds which they invest in life changing research and services to support men living with the disease.
What you can expect:
- A fundraising pack with materials to get you up and running
- Regular updates and training tips from our dedicated support team
- A training day and support from the team at RunningWithUs
- Access to our exclusive Facebook group
- A branded running top to wear on the day
- An evening meal on the Saturday with the team and other Prostate Cancer UK runners
- A team photo on race day by Brandenburg Gate
- We will have cheer points at the event, cheering you on along the way
- Celebratory drinks on Sunday after the race
- A fundraising certificate as our appreciation for your efforts
Have to say their communication was spot on as well. Can’t fault it at all. Emails, letter, private Facebook groups for the runners.
I think they sent out our charity tops around spring time, so I had plenty of time wearing it in, it also come with some iron-on letters so the crowd was able to chant my name when I run past them.
After my fundraising experience with London, I was able to raise the funds for Prostate Cancer UK as well. It was mainly from friends and family sharing my links on Facebook, but have done many cake sales as well.
If you end up getting a “No” with the ballot , I do recommend them as a Charity. Loads of us were running for them, and even runners not wearing the charity top knew who we are and kept motivating and pushing us.
After getting a big, fat ” No” at the London Marathon’s ballot in October 2016 I’ve decided to try a different tactic. I’ve decided that I’ll run a charity, run for a good cause.
I have to say , me and my family are really lucky, we haven’t been affected by any kind of life threatening illness. So when people kept telling me to pick a charity close to my heart, it was a really hard decision. Because we haven’t been affected by anything.
That’s when I thought I’ll try to run for a smaller charity, preferably who helps children.
This is when I came across MACS.
MACS stands for : Microphthalmia, Anophthalmia and Coloboma Support
They are a great charity, they are supporting children born without eyes or with underdeveloped eyes.
I thought I can relate to them because everyone has someone in their family who has some kind of eye condition. Maybe they are only wearing glasses, or maybe they do have a sever eye condition.
I’ve found their application form on their website, and filled it out.
Application form can be found HERE.
After filling out the application I tried to be patient, and wait for the confirmation decline email. Because I submitted my application in November I wasn’t really sure if they still have places for the marathon or not. But after waiting for a few days I’ve got a really nice email , and it turned out they still had spots for the race.
I had to fill out the official marathon registration form and pay in the £100 registration fee. Also their fundraising target was £1250 and I thought I’ll be able to reach that.
- fundraising pack,
- marathon training newsletters,
- access to their lively community of MACS runners,
- shiny MACS running vest or t-shirt,
and most of all, you can take part in this challenge safe in the knowledge that the funds you raise will make a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of children born without eyes or with underdeveloped eyes across the UK.
Have to say they were a really organised and communicative charity. We’ve got weekly support emails with hints and tips from running to fundraising.
I also liked the fact that the fundraising deadline was after the race, if i remember well it was sometime in June or even July.
So if anyone planning to run for a charity in London I highly recommend MACS 🙂
I was supposed to write this post a few weeks ago but somehow I didn’t manage to do it.
I’m part of a fair few running groups on Facebook , some of better than others but all is good to learn and get information.
A few weeks ago I came across a post on the “World Marathon Majors ” Facebook group. A lovely lady shared it that there will be an open event at the New Balance flagship store in Oxford street , London.
It’s not just a simple open evening , at the end of the night they’ll draw out 5 people who gets a spot in next years London marathon.
I wasn’t really sure to go or not to go. Mainly because it was on a Wednesday and didn’t finish till 9pm and by the time I’d get back home it will be close to midnight, and I have to wake up to go to work at 4.20am.
But after thinking about it for a bit I realised I only loose out on it if I don’t go. Luckily I travel to London for free so this can be a little day out. Also I can live on coffee on the following morning.
I wasn’t sure how many people will be there , or even if I have any chance to win a spot. But my motto was if I never try I never will know.
I already got my refusal lottery email from London so this was just an extra opportunity. I’ve run the race in 2017 via a charity so I really wasn’t under any pressure to get in.
Also have to say they I never met or know anyone who won anything like this before. I always thought that these kind of prices will go to a friend of a friend of the organiser etc.
I’ve got up to the New Balance store just after 7pm. There was a DJ, security personnel and also many many staff member around.
I straight away started to queue up to sign up to the competition. It wasn’t a big queue just about 6-7 people in front of me.
The sign up form was an an iPad and then also been told that I don’t need to wait till 8:45pm when they announce the winners. I can go home and if I’m lucky enough I’ll get an email.
After signing up I’ve decided to walk around and see what else is on.
After walking down to the bottom floor they already started the nutrition talk with Anita. I’ve met with her in 2017 when I attended the Meet the Experts session in London.
I think it was a really informative session. Specially for newbie marathon runners.
This was only a short talk about nutrition. After her talk staff members started handing out goodie bags for everyone who was down there.
I was really pleased with it. I mean who doesn’t love a free goodie bag ?
After the talk I started to wonder around to see the merchandise. There was so much stuff there and it’s so hard not to buy something. Anyway what would I buy a race item when I’m not even running that race ?
When I go to the top floor they started getting ready for a race Q&A with a celebrity. The special guest turned out to be Joel Dommett. He’s a comedian and also a presenter for the I’m a celebrity …’s Extra Camp.
This Q&A was more like about how he tackled the race and also how he managed to do all his training due to his crazy work schedule. But he also give some tips for first timers.
When he’s talk finished we still had plenty of time till the winners announcements.
Just a few photos of the 2019’s merchandise:
Also managed to bump in one of my “Instagram ” friend, Ruth. We had a good chat. It’s always feels so weird to talk with someone who you follow on social media. But when you meet up you have no idea what to talk about 😀
Then the time arrived. We all assembled at the ground floor , and waited for the announcements.Then the guy started to announce the winners.
Our first winner is … Gabriella ….
// OMG I don’t know any other Gabriella ‘s, it’s not a common name in England, maybe it’s me. But who knows. //
…Gabriella Waller !!!
OMFG I’ve WON. I never in my life won anything like that. I never got drawn out in the lotteries , never won on starch cards. But today I won.
Probably I looked like and idiot , I just couldn’t stop smiling. OMG.
Then the announcer said the other 4 winners. It turns out I was the only one who stayed there. They others went home.
I really wasn’t planning to run London next year , but now I’m in. I can’t believe it.
It will be a hard one , mainly because I’m running Boston 1.5 weeks before London. But I know well I can do this.
I’ve decided that London will be a fun and happy run. By that time I should be a 6 star finisher so I can totally enjoy London. I’ve tried my marathon journey there in 2017 and now I can finish it in 2019.
A few days later I’ve received my confirmation email about winning it. So then it sank in , that I really won it. Not just dreamt about it.
Then a few days later my new pair of New Balance shoes arrived:
Also I decided to do something crazy. I’ll attempt to do a Guinness World Record in London. I can’t tell you much about it because I don’t want others to do it before me. According to their data base no one done this before so hopefully that stays like that. The deadline to apply for it is in February, after that I’ll be able to announce it. Fingers cross it will work out.
And from now on I’ll apply every single competition I see. Because there’s a chance. Also real people win these things.
It’s really important to carbload before a race, so on saturday we decided to have pizza. One of our host suggested that there’s an awesome pizza place near by and we should try it. They make “Detroit” style pizza , which means it’s a square one. It is a rectangular pizza that has a thick crisp crust and toppings such as pepperoni and mushrooms. What makes Detroit-style pizza different from Chicago and New York styles is the crust, which is extra thick and very crispy on the bottom.
I tried to go to bed as early as possible, and I think I managed to fall asleep just after 9pm.
On race morning we got picked up by Joe, one of Shelly’s friend and we got driven to our charity hotel. I still can’t believe how friendly and helpful the people are here.
This morning was rainy , again, I’m not even surprised now. Team Paws had a massive room booked for us at the Congress Hotel. I felt so lucky to be there. It was heavily raining outside and was pretty cold. We were indoors, which was warm, and also had unlimited food and drink.
I was booked in to start from the Last Wave and Last Coral. But I really didn’t mind this. I knew I’ll be slow so there’s no point starting from the front, well even if I wanted I couldn’t do it haha.
I really didn’t know what to expect from this race. I really wanted to do well, but after the disappointment in Berlin, I really wasn’t sure I can run a sub 6hr race here. I know it’s sounds really silly, but I felt so much pressure on me. During my training I said to everyone that I’m training for a sub 6hr race, then I failed in Berlin. That really took my motivation back, and I really wasn’t even sure that I should start this race. Who wants another failed race? Another disappointment.
But this race cost so much for me, for us, so there was no option quitting.
On race morning I decided to try out a new pacing strategy. Yeah you shouldn’t really do that, but hey ho.
I put my pace tattoo onto my arm and was hoping for the best for the race.
After running a 6:22 in Berlin I knew that I won’t be able to keep up with the 5.45 pace, but I really wanted to see that how long I’ll be able to go with them.
I started to race really well. To my total surprise I was able to keep up with the 5:45 pacer, I wasn’t struggling and even was able to talk with a few other runners.
Before the race I agreed with Luke that we meet up at certain points during the race. So I had something to look forward. Our first meeting point was around the mile 8 mark.
According to the tracker in the first 5k I managed to average a 12.44mins/mile, completed the 5k in 39:35 minutes, it’s much slower than my normal 5k pace but I thought I’ll stick with it. Maybe I always start too fast and run out of energy for the later part of the race.
As I was getting further and further in the race I realised I’m totally loving this. I loved the cold and rainy weather, and the crowd support was totally awesome. Much much better than Berlin.
I knew that 26.2 miles is a long way around and knew that I’ll need to use the loos at some point. I went before we left the hotel, but that was back at 7am. Just when we got to mile 7 I looked around and seen many loos with absolutely no queue. I’ve decided to jump in. It’s really rare to have no queue.
But because of me stopping I’ve lost sight of the 5:45 pacer group. So I’ve spent the next mile chasing them up. But luckily I’ve done that.
I’ve met with hubby at mile 8. Bless him he was waiting for me for a long time, and i only said hi, gave him a kiss and got a bottle of Gatorade. I said to him I’m trying to keep up with the pacer so I have no time to talk. Agreed to meet up again just after half way.
When I was approaching Mile 8 I remembered to check out my virtual cheer cards. I still can’t believe how may of you left me a message. Thank you very much all 🙂
I’ve reached the 10k mark, in 1:19:28, which meant I was averaging a 12:51 mins/miles.
Usually this early in I always feel great, full smiles, not pain, no worry at all. It wasn’t any different in Chicago. It really did felt like I was flying around the course.
I was supposed to see hubby at the half way mark, but when I approached it he wasn’t there. At first I thought I missed him, so sent him a quick message on Facebook asking if he was there. Well it turns out he wasn’t . He was still on the trains. To be honest I did feel a bit disappointed, because I was so looking forward to see him. It’s always gives me so much motivation. It felt like I was back in London, in 2017 I was supposed to meet with him and Sue just after the 14 mile mark by Shadwell and they didn’t make it.
I knew that I can’t stress about it, so tried to keep my calm and concentrated in the second half of the race.
My half way point check mark was at 2:53:08.
|Split||Time Of Day||Time||Diff||min/mile||miles/h|
As you can see in the table above that I started to lose some speed by the time I’ve got to the half way point. but have to say my pace was still really constant. compared to my other 3 marathons.
Just when we crossed the half way marker the paces I was following just stopped, put his flag on the ground and started to walk. This one really surprised me. I knew if that have a bad race the pace they do is not guaranteed, but because this was my first time ever following one I was surprised.
Luckily hubby took screenshots from the tracking app and it said that my estimated finish time is 05:46:11. So this is the reason the paces put the flag down. He realised it was over the target time, so he couldn’t pace anymore.
But if you check out the screenshots below, you can see that we started out way too fast, I think. After the 8k mark our estimated finish was 5:34:14, then at 10k it was 5:35:12, 15k was 5:41:46. So as you can see the first 10 k was almost 10 mins faster than the paced target time. Maybe he burnt out too quickly and that’s why he couldn’t keep it up.
To be honest it didn’t bother me that he put the flag down. I knew well at the beginning that I wont be a 5:45 finisher. that would have been a miracle. After that moment I knew that my race is on. I’m out there all alone, no one to follow, I really had to make sure that I pace myself well for the last 13.1 miles.
By this point I had 13 mins to spare , just to finish under the 6hr cut off. It meant that I cannot stop for any toilet breaks, cannot walk like a turtle. I knew that if I need to walk I need to speed walk. But the end was still really far away.
When I seen some famous sights, I still stopped to take a photo, took pictures of cute puppies as well. I mean it was supposed to be fun. I had to take photos.
As the miles went on I’ve decided to stop by every single water stops. I didn’t feel thirsty but I felt like I need to drink , even if it’s only a small amount. So my strategy was to have a cup of Gatorade, then a few sips of water. Just to get rid of the sugary taste then pour the left over water on my head, just to keep myself cool. It wasn’t a hot day but somehow it felt like it was still cooling my down.
I started to get closer to that magic / horrible 30k mark. In Berlin that was the point when I lost the race , I totally lost it mentally. That was the point when I decided to walk the rest of the race….
When I reached the 30k mark in Chicago, to my surprise nothing happened. okey, to be honest something did. If you look at my average pace below, you can see that it was 14:12mins/miles. Which was 29 seconds waster than my 25k one.
OMG. What the heck happened? Me getting faster in the second part of the race? OMG. I thought it has to be a mistake. I never been faster in the second half of any race! but after a quick text to my hubby, he sent me my predicted finish time, and I indeed go faster with my paces.
Yes i did get slower, compared to my predicted finish at half way around, but I still had just over 4 mins to spare.
I really wasn’t sure that running the remaining 12kms in the same pace is possible, or even slower but without loosing a massive amount of time.
But at this point i just kep thinking about that I can do this, I will do this because this is my race. I really tried not checking out my phone notifications, but it just kept buzzing. I got so many messages and comments about how well I’m running. Some of you even said I still have x amount of spare minutes, so I’ll be okey. Sue kept texting me, and kept saying that i’m doing really well, just keep going etc.
Just before mile 21 I noticed a massive dog statue by the side of the road. It was a PAWS statue.
I had to ask a spectator to take a photo of me, I couldn’t just run passed without a photo.
When I last spoke with Luke he said Shelly, our host will wait for me around mile 22-23. So I tried to look out for her. When I’ve seen her it made me so happy.
After seeing her I think I’ve seen Luke at one more time briefly at mile 24. Then it was home time. Time to do the last few miles.
I have absolutely no idea what happed, but I haven’t hit the wall during this race. I just kept going, and kept reminding myself that I am totally capable to do this. I’ve trained for this many months, and I can do this.
When I crossed the 35 and 40k timeing mat I’ve got a message from hubby saying that I’m still on track. not just simply on track, but I’ve got faster ! My average pace was at 13:57 and 14:01mins/miles. So compared that to my 30k one which was 14:12 I’ve indeed got faster. I didn’t turn to be a cheetah but I did get faster.
Till today I have absolutely zero idea why and what happened. I always feel tired, knackered and slow by the end of the marathons. But this day was different. Maybe because it was raining in the morning? Or because I stayed in a hotel till almost start time? I have zero clue. But I did not hit that wall.
As you can see from above my predicted finish was 05:58:19 when I passed the 40km mark. I had 1mins 41 seconds to space. Can I run just over 2 km without loosing any time? Usually I can, but this time we talking about the last 2km of a marathon. Anything can happen.
There was a really nice long stretch before we turned on to the last few hundred yards of the race.
This last 2 km was a happy and ecstatic run. it felt like I can do this, nothing can stop me at all. Whilst others were walking – nothing wrong with walking – I ran pass them. I felt like I was at a beginning of a race when I still have loads of energy and it’s time to sprint.
Just before I turned into the Roosevelt Road, I’ve heard hubby shouting. I knew I cannot stop now, so just gave him a wave and a smile.
When I got on the top of Roosevelt road I had a look on my watch and I still had just over 2 mins to spare. So I stopped and took a photo of the finish line.
Seeing this finish line meant a lot to me. Seeing this finish line with 2 mins to spare meant the world to me. This last few metres was a happy run, I made it. I’ve done it. I had a plan and I’ve executed it perfectly. No hiccups, no hitting the wall at 30k. Nothing at all. This was the PERFECT race.
I crossed the finish line at:
I’m a sub 6hr finisher!!!!!!!!
I knew that I had this in me, I’ve trained for it. But every time I’ve tried I mentally failed. On this day in Chicago I was stronger than my brain, I decided that I won’t give up. No matter how hard it’s going to be.
The hard work just starting now. Now I know that I’m totally capable to run a sub 6 race, I need to keep this performance up. Tokyo has a really strict 7hrs ( gun time) cut off, and also Boston usually turns the clock off at 6hrs. So I’ll need to repeat this performance 2 more times. But I’m really positive about this.
Everyone who supported me, donated the charity, cheered me on, texted me on race day and after the race = THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Without you all I don’t think I’d been able to finish this well. THANK YOU.
I also wan’t to say thank you to my coach, Denise. She believed me fro day one, and the plan she wrote me worked really well. Whith her help I’ve shaved off 34 mins from my marathon time.
Now let’s finish this post with some cute medal photos with our pups and hedgie:
Before the race many people said that this race is really flat. Well they didn’t lie. Look at that elevation map:
Just a bit of a Garmin statistics at the end:
Official finish times:
4 down 2 to go
|New York||November 2017||06:32:14|
I also made a video about my race day, you can watch it here:
OMG I can’t believe that the race was over 2 weeks ago.
Because our flight was leaving London really early morning, we decided to stay in a hotel by the airport.
We woke up nice and early on the 4th of october and were on our way to the Airport. the shuttle bus turned up on time and we were the only people on it.
Because we got to the airport at 5am, we managed to get through security in no time. Then the waiting begin, our flight was booked to leave at 8.25am. So it was a long wait.
Luckily the time passed quickly and we were sitting on the plane ready to go.
I was so excited to fly, this was my longest flight to date and I had no idea what to expect.
We were flying with American Airlines, and they were perfect. Seats comfortable, food / drinks tasty and free, good inflight entertainment.
I don’t think I slept on the plane at all.
When we got to O’hare airport we had to go through customs, which was a bit of a lengthy process but got through 🙂 The only asked us one question, Why did we came to Chicago? As soon as I said to run the marathon , the gentleman wished me luck and we were on our way.
We had to make our way to Terminal 2, because that’s where the train station is, and also this was the place where we had to pick up our pre ordered 7 day Ventra travel Card. It wasn’t expensive at all, cost us 33 dollars/ person and it’s valid for 7 days, on all CTA trains and busses 🙂 Totally worth the price.
Have to say that the whole public transportation is really easy in Chicago. We used Google transit to plan all our journeys, and everything was spot on. I really can’t fault the transportation there. Really well sign posted everything, and all staff were really nice and helpful.
Ooh and it turns our if someone doesn’t buy their tickets in advance then the conductor charges them 5 dollar more! Sounds like a great idea.
In my next and probably much longer post I’ll write about the Expo and the international 5k run, which was on Saturday.
OMG the Chicago Marathon is almost here ! In a week time I’ll be there and I can’t wait.
If you’d like to follow me around the course I made a little step by step guide about how to follow me.
1. Download the official app:
2. Click on Tracking & Results
3. Search for my name “ Gabriella Waller “
4. Click on the to add me to your favourites
5. On race day you’ll be able to follow me around the course.
I’ll start my race at :
8.35am ( Chicago tome )
14.35pm ( UK time )
15.35pm ( Hungarian time )
Any questions or issues about tracking just ask
OMG I can’t believe that the week is finally here. I also can’t believe that I’ve run Berlin just 2 weeks ago, and in 6 days time I’ll be at the start line of the Chicago Marathon.
This past 2 weeks went really well. I think I’ve recovered after Berlin really easily and quickly. It helped that I took my roller with me and after the race I rolled my legs out, even though it was painful but it definitely worked 🙂
This post will be just a quick recap of this weeks events, and also will write a separate post about how can you track me on race day.
I have 2 more running sessions before we fly out on Thursday morning. Nothing fast or crazy, just nice and easy runs.
Our Flight leaves from London Heathrow, but we staying up there on Wednesday morning, mainly because we couldn’t make it up there on the day with trains, and I also don’t want to leave my car in the car park there.
We flying on Thursday with American Airlines / British Airways, they code share so I have no idea what will be painted on the side of the plane. But I have a guess it will be AA.
We only can check out to our flights on Wednesday morning, but I’ve called AA and booked our seats. So no rush with checking in.
We leaving Heathrow at 8.40am and getting to Chicago at 11.25am. When we land we have to go back to the main terminal to collect our pre ordered Ventra cards. This will enable us to use public transportation. Because our hotel got cancelled, we staying with a friend of mine. It’s so nice of them to offer a bed for us 🙂
I won’t write down our plans step by step, because it still can change. So whenever we are back I’ll definitely write a post about our adventures.
On Friday we will need to visit the expo, to collect my bib and goodiebags. Also this will be the day when I’ll be able to pick up the goodies from the charity. Cant wait 🙂
On Saturday we’ll start our day early. Luke and I are off to run the International 5k run. It’s similar to the one we’ve run in Berlin. But here at the end we are getting a medal and a hat as a present.
And of course sunday will be the Main event, Race day 🙂
Literally cannot wait for it. Can’t believe I’m running my 4th marathon, and its in Chicago.
As I said I’ll write a proper post about our day-to-day activities after the race.
Later on this week I also post about the tracking information, so if you plan to track me please keen an eye on the website, I’ll upload the information soon.
OMG the day is finally here. I’ve train for this for so long, and so much. I gave everything I had in my training.
After realising there’s no kettle in the hotel room I had to have pastry with yoghurt for breakfast. We left our hotel around 7.15am, because I really wanted to be part of the group charity photo. We agreed to meet up by Starbucks at 8am.
When we got on the train it was full with runners. I felt so happy. I can’t describe it. All the training I’ve put in the last few months, and today is race day. I knew it well that it will be over so soon. So tried to enjoy every minute of it.
After the photo I’ve said goodbye to my husband and went to my start zone, I was starting from Zone H. At this point I still had about 1.5 hours before the start.
Luckily at registration I’ve chosen to have a poncho, so didn’t need to queue up for the bag drop off. If I would do the race again I’d pick the poncho again, it saves so much time. No need to queue at all, just straight to the starting zone.
When I got to my start zone, it was still early, roughly about 8.30am, so not many people around. Had a quick loo break, and didn’t have to queue at all for it.
As the different waves started we cheered all of them. Then slowly the clock turned to 10.05am and it was our turn to start. Heard the countdown then heard the starting gun. It was time to do it, time to run. All the mixed emotions I had before were all gone by this point. I just felt happy, I felt free, glad to be there.
My first meeting point with my husband was at the 6km mark, which happened to be just in front of our hotel. I literally had no idea about this when I’ve booked the hotel. We just seen the blue line being painted on Saturday evening. Wow. Great hotel.
I felt really good about the first part of the race. Jeffing worked as well, and also seen other run-walk-runners.
My half point split was 02.52.27
It’s still about 6-8mins slower than my training runs and my best half marathon time. But even with this I was well on time to beat my target time. The first few miles were really crowded and had to take over many runners. So I assume I’ve lost some time there.
But I was still cheerful and happy. Seen Luke just after the half way mark and that gave me a massive boost.
After seeing him there, our next meeting point was at the 35km mark.
I was still going strong for a few miles, and hydrated really well, even ate some apples too from the tables.
By the time I’ve got the 35km mark I’ve lost the race mentally. My first 5k time was 39mins, the 5k between the 30-35km mark was 47 minutes. I did not get tired physically it was unfortunately more like a mental weakness. All my training runs were done by myself, so I really thought that it will help me during the race. But it did not. I was running thousands of others but I’ve felt totally alone. I felt alone, and I’ve struggled with my thoughts. I even started to question myself, why am I doing this? Other people go to the beach to have fun, not to run 26.2miles. At some point I even thought I’m not even worth to be there and I should really cancel my Chicago/Tokyo/Boston entry. At this point I’ve decided just to walk the rest of the race. I did not care if the sweeper bus picks me up and get a DNF next to my name.
Because of this mental weakness my predicted finish time went passed my dream finish of 6hrs. When I’ve seen that I really did not want to continue. I know its sounds so childish, but that’s what I’ve trained for. I wanted to be under 6hr. I wanted to be better than myself. But I failed miserably.
I felt like a total failure , I’ve trained for something but could not deliver it.
Luke even got my a Nutella pancake at the 35km mark, hoping it will cheer me up . But it did not work unfortunately. I don’t think anything could have cheered me up.
Then I’ve seen Meagan speed walking past me. She’s the founding member of the Berlin marathon Facebook group. I only chatted with her online, but this was the first time seeing her. She was struggling was her walk was faster than my attempted run. I though this is a sign, I have to keep up with her. I can walk, cant I?
So I’ve walked the last 7.192km with her. OMG. I had a look at my splits and those km walked were faster than my running pace in the last few km. We walked , chatted, walked, smiled to the camera guys. I felt great again, I felt alive. I felt like I could go again for hours and hours.
Then I’ve realised why I’ve lost my race, I’ve lost it because I was out there alone. I literally had no one to talk to for 30km, no one to share my struggles, or even my happiness when I was running great splits. Yes, I’ve seen hubby a few timed during the race, but it’s not the same. He couldn’t run with me.
We’ve crossed the finish line together with Meagan. I’ll be forever grateful for her. To pick me up at km 35 and fast walk with me to the finish line. She kept me going, even when I thought I can’t go any longer. Thank you so so much !!!
We’ve crossed that magic finish line in 06:22:52.
To my surprise I even PBd! This time is a whole 10 mins faster than my time in New York in last November. I can’t believe it. What would have happened if I wont lose it mentally at km35?
As you can see I’m back at my happy self at the finish 🙂 Like nothing has happened. But I knew that I’m struggled a lot, and I need to sort this out by the time I get to Chicago. I know im strong physically just need to get my mental game on.
So I’ve got a PB even though I had the worst race of my life. I have 2 weeks to sort myself out, and get out there and get a better performance in Chicago. I CAN do it and I WILL do it.
After arriving Berlin and checking into our hotel ( you can read all of that here ) we went back to Berlin Central station to make our way to the Expo.
I’m part of a few Berlin Marathon training groups on Facebook, and during our train journey I’ve read many horror stories about the Expo. Mainly how disorganised was. Massive queues everywhere, hour-long wait for packet pick up ect.
At Expo was located at the old Tempelhof Airport.
At first I had no idea what to expect from it. How can they hold an expo in an airport? Well the Germans done it, I think it was really well organised.
We’ve arrived around 17.40 and there was no queue at all! The expo was closing at 19.00 on the Friday so we had just less than an hour and half to get around.
When we got into the building it was sectioned by hangar by hangar. At first I had to separate from Luke, because they had to give me my special marathon bracelet. I needed this to be able to go into the packet pick up area, and also it’s needed for the race on Sunday.
As you can see in the above photo there are not many people queuing for packet pick up. Also have to say Germans are really efficient, they didn’t have the bib numbers pre printed, instead they only printed the ones they needed. So when I got there I gave the volunteer my Start card + Passport, she found me in the system and then she printed out my bib number. So there’s no wastage at all. I remember seeing hundreds or even thousands of uncollected bibs at the London expo last year.
After packet pick up we went to collect my pre ordered merchandise. I pre ordered my finishing t-shirt and event jacket. Because many people said they sell out pretty fast. For this we had to go out of the hangars, and they had a table there. Had to show my collected bib to the volunteer and she grabbed my T-shirt and Event jacket.
I think both of them looks and feels really nice. They are a bit tight, but mainly because I have bigger boobs. Which is really strange because they are Adidas, the same make as my London merchandise, and those items are fitting perfectly. Never mind 🙂
After this we walked around a bit more, but then eventually we left. Didn’t buy anything else.
In the below photo you can see what was in the goodie bag. Did you see the yellow sponge?! Hahahah
Saturday – Breakfast Run
We/ve started our Saturday really early. I was so excited about the 6k breakfast run that I couldn’t really sleep overnight.
We’ve left our hotel around 8am, to get to the start by 9.30am.
Public transport was spot on again.
The start point was at the Shloss Charlottenburg, it’s a Palace. By the time we got there they already had the party started. Music on, balloons in the air and loads of happy runners all over the place.
The run was roughly 6km, but I’ve stopped my watch just after the 5k mark. Because at that point we were queuing to get into the Olympics stadium. So I did not want to record the walking parts. It worth every single minutes of running to finish at the Olympics stadium. It’s awesome. It’s massive. It’s beautiful. OMG. And this run was totally free to attend, what an experience.
At the end of the run we managed to grab a bit of a breakfast. It wasn’t a cooked one, but still tasted good, and don’t forget it was all free.
After the run we’ve decided to go to the Brandenburg gate. I’ve really wanted to take a photo of the Hall of Fame. This wall had all registered runners name on it, New York done the same last year. It took us about 10 mins to find my name, but we did it 🙂
After that we’ve done a bit more sightseeing, and had our normal pasta dinner. Then went to bed early, all ready for the big day ahead.
But more about that in my next post.
To be honest I wa really nervous about this travel. Mainly because I knew that we need to get to Berlin on Friday because I really wanted tp pick up my race bib on the Friday. I’ve hears horror stories about marathon expos on Saturdays. Didn’t want to risk it.
We decided to spend Thursday night up in London, because our Eurostar train was leaving at 6.13am. There’s no train services from Andover or even from Basingstoke that early in the morning to get us up there by 5am. So we stayed a lovely cosy hotel , 10 mins from St Pancras International.
Because I love being nice and early we walked to the station about 4.50am 😀 Hardly anyone in the queue and not many people in the terminal either.
Had to wait to be able to board a train, but we were on the train about 5.45am. The train did leave bang on time, so I was really pleased with it.
After a few hours of travelling we have arrived to Brussels. It’s a massive station, but so nice and clean.
While we were still on the Eurostar I’ve decided to download an app called DB Navigator. If you ever go to Germany and will use the trains you’ll need this app. It tells you exactly what platform your train will be, and to my total surprise the train formations as well. So everyone who booked a seat, like us, will know where to stand on the platform.
This train had some issues during our journey, so unfortunately it developed a bit of a delay. But the conductor announced it many times that we don’t need to worry because in Koln they will hold our connecting train. So we will all make our train to Berlin. Wow.
Also on the platforms they had massive interactive boards, telling customers about train formations and where to stand on the platform.
We did have a really nice and comfortable journey on the ICE trains. Can’t fault them at all. All conductors/guards/train managers knew about our FIP Coupons, and wished us a relaxing journey. All trains we took made announcement in multiple languages ( French, Dutch, German, English.
Catering facilities were spot on as well.
We’ve seen a few double-decker trains as well. Couldn’t resist taking a photo of them 😀
Because we reserved our seats on the DB trains, we had nothing to worry about when we got on the trains.
We were supposed to arrive to Berlin at 17.07 but at the end we got there at 17.10. So not a massive delay at all. Even though the Brussels – Koln train was late, but because the held our Koln – Berlin train our delay for the whole day was only 3mins at the end. So I don’t think that too bad for a journey like this.
The above photo shows you the front of the main train station in Berlin, Berlin HBF. It’s a massive station with many trains.
When we arrived we decided to go and check into our hotel first, then go to the expo. Luckily I’ve changed our hotel reservation, and this new one was only 10 mins walk from the station. Lovely clean hotel, massive rooms, and friendly staff. The only disadvantage that they did not have any tea making facilities 😦 So the porridges I’ve taken with my self was a waste, I couldn’t eat them before the race. But other than that everything was spot on.
In my next post I’ll write about the Expo and our Saturday, then finally I’ll write about my race.
Since yesterday they tracking app is finally available. I really thought that won’t release it till like a day before the race. Chicago already released theirs, and that race is still 4 weeks away. But never mind.
A few weeks ago I’ve received my Start Card. I’ll need to take this with me to be able to collect my race pack at the Expo.
How can you track me on race day?
At the moment there is no website where you can track me. It means you’ll need to download either the iOS or the Android app.
You can follow my progress during the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON. Just follow the steps below:
1. If you haven't already then please download the official BMW BERLIN-MARATHON app from the Store: Appstore: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id464044582 Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.corussoft.berlinmarathon 2. Then click on the link below to add me to your favorites and follow me on my way to the finish line during the event. http://guide.redirect.aws.corussoft.de/?topic=2017_berlinmarathon&favoritesUrl=comscc-eventsmarathon2011://?pid=99999905C9AF65000046C3A7%26code=
The above link doesn’t seem to work for me. I’ve tried to use it on 4 different devices but every time I’m getting an error message. So I’ll share a step by step guide below.
- You’ll still need to download the official marathon app. Use the Appstore / Google play link to download it.
- Open the app.
- Click on the ” Visitor” button
- Click on ” More “
- Click on ” #berlin42″
- Click on ” Tracking”
- Click on ” Search athletes “
- Search for ” Gabriella Waller ” or ” 69100 “
- Click on ” Track Gabriella Waller”
That’s all 🙂 After this you’ll be able to follow me on the map, and see my timings as well.
Beacuse I’m starting from Block H, it means that my start time will be:
- 03.05am (Chicago time)
- 04.05am (New York, USA time)
- 09.05am (UK time)
- 10.05am ( German, Hungarian time)
- 17.35pm ( Australian Central Standard time)
I can’t wait for Friday morning, that’s when we’ll start our travels to Berlin. During our stay I’ll try to share as much things as I can. But after the race I’ll definitely write a day by day weekend report.
Miert is futkoraszok a vilag minden reszen? Mi is konkretan a World Marathon Majors? Csak profi elit futok vehetnek reszt rajta? Vagy lelkes amator futok is? Draga? Hogyan tudok jelentkezni a versenyekre? Mi jar azoknak akik teljesitettek a kihivast?
Ezek a leggyakoribbi kerdesek amiket kerdeztek tolem. Igy ugy gondolom itt az ideje irni errol egy bejegyzest magyarul is. Angolul mar irtam rola par honapja, azt el tudjatok olvasni itt.
Eloszor is boncsanat , de nincsenek ekezeteim, az iMac-hez csak angol billentyuzetem van De remelem igy is ertheto lesz minden.
1, Szoval kezdjuk egybol a legvegevel, ez a gyonyoru medal jar minden teljesitonek. Plusz a neve fel kerul az Abbot Hall of Fame-re ( Abbot Hiressegek Csarnoka ). Per pillanat olyan 3500 ember teljeseitette a kihivast, de viszont ebben csak 4 magyar van.
2, Mi is az a World Marathon Majors? World Marathon Majors nem más, mint a hat legrangosabb, legismertebb, legnagyobb maraton versenyek sorozata. A versenyek Tokióban, Bostonban, Londonban, Berlinben, Chicagóban és New Yorkban zajlanak.
3, Van-e ido korlat a versenyek teljesitesere? Per pillanat nincsen, a lenyeg az hogy legyen az embernek “Hivatalos” beerkezesi ideje ( Official Finish Time). Ez minden versenynel mas, pl Boston szigoruan 6 ora. De az viszont nem szamit hogy hany ev alatt sikerul lefutni mind a 6 versenyt. Az egyik angol nyelvu Facebook oldalon irta az egyik futo hogy o 2006-ban futotta le a londoni maratont, de mikor teljesitette iden a 6. versenyt Bostonban, akkor ugyan ugy megkapta a specialis medalt mint aki lefutja mind a 6 versenyt 12 honap alatt.
Tavaly mikor lefutottam a londoni maratont akkor lattam par celba erot ilyen szep medállal.
Nem is nagyon tudtam mi lehet ez. Pár héttel később viszont sikerült kideríteni. Ekkor elhataroztam, hogy en ezt meg fogom csinalni, meg akarom csinalni. Semmi sem lehetetlen. En magamnak 3 evet adtam, hogy teljesitsem a kivihast. Evente 2 verseny, megfelelonek tunt.
London – New York = 2017
Berlin – Chicago = 2018
Tokyo – Boston = 2019
Ha esetleg nem ismesz, akkor rolam annyit kell tudni, hogy 2011 ota Angliaban elek. 3 eve kezdtem el futni. 2.5 eve a helyi vasutnal dolgozok, reszmunkaidoben, reggel 6-10kozott, hetfotol pentekig. Szoval szerencsesnek mondhatom magam, mivel van rengeteg idom edzeni, felkeszulni, munkahely is tamogat, igy ha kell szabadsagot kivennem akkor megoldhato minden problema nelkul. A fizetes sem rossz, igy megengedhetem magamnak az evi 2 utazast.
4, Kik vehetnek reszt a versenyeken? Profik vagy amatorok is? Mindenki akinek sikerul regisztralnia. Profik es amatorok egyarant.
5, Draga? Ha azt mondanam, hogy nem akkor hazudnek. Szoval igen draga, meg akkor is ha az olcsobb modon sikerul valakinek bejutnia a versenyekre. De a regisztraciorol majd kesobb.
6, Hogyan is tudok a versenyekre jelentkezni? Minden versenyre kulonfele modon lehet jelentkezni. De altalaban van a “sorsolas utjan” , “jotekonysagi szolgalat altal” , “hivatalos utazasi iroda altal” , ” ido kvalifikacio utjan” stb. A lenyeg az hogy mindig olvassuk el a hivatalos weboldalt. Sok utazasi iroda hirdeti hogy tudnak indulasi jogot szerezni, de nincsenek is rajta a hivatalos listan. Tavaly egy Europai ceg eladott 10-15 futonak Tokyo / Boston indulasi jogot, es verseny elott derult ki, hogy nem hivatalos ceg es a penzt elnyeltek. Szoval mindig el kell olvasni a hivatalos maratoni oldalt es onnan valasztani cegeket.
Kicsit lejjebb belinkelem a hivatalos oldalokat, de annyit mar most elore meg irok hogy egyik maratonra nincsen magyar utazasi iroda regisztralva!
Datum: Marcius elso Vasarnapja
Sorsolas altal : 12 800 yen , kb 32 000 Ft ( Japanon kivul lako embereknek )
A sorsolasra valo regisztracio altalaban Augusztusban van, es az ertesitesi email pedig altalaban Szeptember kozepen tortenik meg.
Jotekonysagi szolgalat altal: 100 000 yen , kb 250 000 Ft plusz a normal regisztracios dij ami 12 800 yen , kb 32 000 Ft
Ez iden Julius 2-an nyilt meg, es az elso 5000 regisztralo aki kitoltotte az kerdoivet es befizette a Jotekonysagi szolgalatnak a dijat kapott automatikus felvetelt a maratonra. Ez nem olcso igaz, de garantalt a bejutas.
Utazasi iroda altal: En 2 angol cegrol tudok akik hivatalos partnerei a maratonnak. Az egyik a 2:09 Events a masik pedig a Sport Tours International. Ezek a cegek komplett csomagot arulnak ( hotel, repulo jegy, es verseny regisztracio), igy elegge dragak.
Run as One ( ido kvalifikacio altal) : 300 hely van erre, azok jelentkezhetnek akik megtudnak futni egy bizonyos idot es van hivatalos papirjuk ami ezt igazolja, nem minden maratont fogadnak el. Szerencsere a Budapesti Spar maraton rajta van a listan.
Ferfiak: 2:21:01 〜 2:45:00
Nok: 2:52:01 〜 3:30:00
Datum: Altalaban Aprilis 3. Vasarnapja
Sorsolas altal: £39 , kb 14 000 Ft ( Angol cimmel rendelkezokenk )
£80, kb 28 800 Ft ( kulfoldi jelentkezokek )
A jelentkezes atalaban majusban tortenik, es 5 nap van ra hogy interneten kitoltsuk a kerdoivet. Az ertesites pedig majd csak Oktoberben tortenik meg.
Jotekonysagi szolgalat altal: Itt minden ceg mas mas osszeget kerhet, akikkel en futottam ok kertek £1350-et, de lattam jo parat akik £2000 felett voltak. Itt a hivatalos lista a hivatalosan regisztralt jotekonysagi cegekrol.
Good for Age ( ido kvalifikacio ) altal: Erre csak angol cimmel rendelkezo futok jelentkezhetnek. 6000 hely van erre, 3000 ferfi es 3000 noi futonak. Tovabbi informacio errol itt.
Utazasi iroda altal: Mivel ez a verseny Angliaban van igy egyik angol utazasi iroda sem arulhat erre indulasi jogot. Itt a hivatalos lista a cegekrol , Magyar ceg NINCSEN rajta!!
Datum: Altalaban Szeptember 3. Vasarnapja
Sorsolas altal: €125 , kb 40 500 Ft
A jelentkezesi ido altalaban oktober kozepetol kezdodik egeszen november kozepeig. Az ertesitesi emailek pedig november vege fele szoktak megkerkezni.
Jotekonysagi szolgalat altal: Erre van egy garantalt lehetoseg ( RTL Donation Marathon (“RTL-Spendenmarathon”) for children in need ) , az elso 1000 regisztralt futo reszt tud venni a versenyen €190-ert, kb 61 500 Ft.
Plusz van a normal jotekonysagi szervezet altali bejutas, itt minden ceg akkora osszeget ker amekkorat szeretne. A hivatalos cegek listaja itt talalhato.
Fast runners ( ido kvalifikacio ) : €125 , kb 40 500 Ft
18 – 44 ev kozott: 2ora 45 perc alatt
45 – 59 ev kozott: 2 ora 55 perc alatt
60 ev felett: 3 ora 25 perc alatt
18 – 44 ev kozott: 3 ora alatt
45 – 59 ev kozott: 3 ora 20 perc alatt
60 ev felett: 4 ora 10 perc alatt
Utazasi iroda altal: Itt a hivatalos lista a cegekrol , Magyar ceg NINCSEN rajta!!
Datum: Altalaban Oktober 1. Vasarnapja
Amerikai lakosoknak ( 50 allam lakosai, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico vagy mas U.S. teruletek ) : $195 , kb 54 800 Ft
Minden mas lakosnak : $220 , kb 61 800 Ft
Tavaly a jelentkezesi ido intervallum Oktober vege es November vege kozott volt, az emailt pedig December kozepen kuldtek ki.
Time Qualifier ( ido kvalifikacio altal) : 300 hely volt erre.
|Ferfi||1:11:00 alatt||2:31:00 alatt|
|No||1:21:00 alatt||3:01:00 alatt|
|Ferfiak ( 40+)||1:13:00 alatt||2:41:00 alatt|
|Nok ( 40+)||1:25:00 alatt||3:13:00 alatt|
Legacy Finishers: azok jelentkezhetnek igy akik mar lefutottak minimum 5 Chicago Maratont az utobbi 10 evben.
Jotekonysagi szolgalat altal: $1000 ha meg a sorsolas elott jelentkezunk , ha viszont mar csak a sorsolas utan jelentkezunk a jotekonysagi szolgalathoz akkor mar $1500. Hivatalos partnerek listaja itt talalhato meg.
Utazasi iroda altal: Itt a hivatalos lista a cegekrol , Magyar ceg NINCSEN rajta!!
New York Marathon
Datum: Altalaban November 1. Vasarnapja
Amerikai lakosoknak ( 50 allam lakosai, plusz District of Columbia lakosai):
- NYRR tagoknak : $255, kb 71 700 Ft
- Nem NYRR tagoknak: $295, kb 83 000 Ft
Nem Amerikai lakosoknak: $358 , kb 100 700 Ft
A jelentkezesi ido intervallum Januar kozepe es Februar kozepe kozott volt, az emailt pedig Februar vegen kuldtek ki.
Van jo par garantalt bejutasi lehetoseg is:
- Jelentkezok a 9+1 or 9+$1K Program altal
- Futok akik lefutottak minimum 15 New York City Marathon
Time qualifiers ( ido kvalifikacio altal ) : itt az egesz lista idore es nemre lebontva
Jotekonysagi szolgalat altal: a hivatalos cegek listaja megtalalhato itten , es minden ceg mas es mas osszeget kerhet.
Utazasi iroda altal: Itt a hivatalos lista a cegekrol , Magyar ceg NINCSEN rajta!!
Datum: Mindig a Hazafiak Napjan ( Patriots Day )
Ez az egyetlen verseny a 6-bol ahova nem lehet sorsolas altal bejutni.
Time qualification ( ido kvalifikacio ) :
Amerikai lakosoknak $185, kb 52 000 Ft
Minden mas lakosnak $250 , kb 70 300 Ft
Ido kvalifikacio altal sem egyszeru bejutni a versenyre, hiaba futja meg valaki az eloirt idot, sokszor az alatta kell futni. Mivel olyan sokan jelentkeznek, hogy tenyleg csak a leggyorsabb futok kerulnek be.
|18-34||3hrs 05min 00sec||3hrs 35min 00sec|
|35-39||3hrs 10min 00sec||3hrs 40min 00sec|
|40-44||3hrs 15min 00sec||3hrs 45min 00sec|
|45-49||3hrs 25min 00sec||3hrs 55min 00sec|
|50-54||3hrs 30min 00sec||4hrs 00min 00sec|
|55-59||3hrs 40min 00sec||4hrs 10min 00sec|
|60-64||3hrs 55min 00sec||4hrs 25min 00sec|
|65-69||4hrs 10min 00sec||4hrs 40min 00sec|
|70-74||4hrs 25min 00sec||4hrs 55min 00sec|
|75-79||4hrs 40min 00sec||5hrs 10min 00sec|
|80 and over||4hrs 55min 00sec||5hrs 25min 00sec|
Itt nagyon jol es reszletesen le van irva ez a jeletnekzesi mod, igaz csak angolul.
Jotekonysagi szolgalat altal: Mivel ez egy nagyon nepszeru verseny es nagyon nehez bejutni, igy a jotekonysagi cegek kernek egy minumum $5000-t, de a tobbseg joval $10 000 felett van! A hivatalos lista a cegekrol itt talalhato meg.
Utazasi iroda altal: Csatoltam kepet a hivatalos cegekrol, Magyar ceg NINCSEN rajta!! Kattints a kepekre a jobb minoseg miatt.
7, Hogyan is kerultem en be a kulonbozo versenyekre?
A 2017-es londoni maratonra sajnos nem sorsoltak ki , így úgy döntöttem hogy akkor megyek egy jótékonysági cég által ( MACS UK ) . Nekük be fizettem a pénz összeget (£1300) és már ott is álltam a rajtnál 2017 áprilisában.
A 2017 novemberi New yorki maratonra pedig egy utazási iroda ( 2:09 Events ) csomagját vettem meg (£1200) . Mivel le késtem a lottó sorsolásról.
Már a felkészülés javában zajlik az idei szeptemberi Berlini maratonra. Ide sem sorsoltak ki. Így maradt a jótékonysági szervezet ( Prostate Cancer UK, £500 ) és a nekik fel ajánlott pénzem .
Október első hetében pedig már a chicagói rajt vonalon fogok állni. Ha minden jól megy. Ide sem sikerült bekerulnöm sorsolás álltál. Így egy újabb jótékonysági szervezet ( Paws Chicago, $1000 ) álltal fogok rajthoz állni.
Julius 2-an megnyitotta a weboldalat a Tokyo-i maraton jotekonysagi reszlege. Helyi ido szerint 10 oratol lehetett feliratkozni, ez viszont hajnali 2 orat jelentett Angliai ido szerint. 1.30kor mar a szamitogep elott ultem, es izgatottan vartam. Nem ment az egesz zokkeno mentesen, mivel csak 3.40korul sikerult vegig csinalnom a regisztraciot. A jotekonysagi szervezetnek be kellett fizetnem 100 000 yent plusz a verseny regisztracios dijat 12 800 yen ( Run with Heart ) . Igy garantalt az indulasom. Varhattam volna a sorsolasra, de ott kb 7-8% az esely hogy kisorsolnak. En pedig a biztosra akartam menni.
A legnehezebben a Bostoni maratonra lehet bekerülni. Mivel én nem vagyok egy gyors futó és nem hiszem hogy valaha 3:35 alatt fogok maratont futni így esélyem sincsen a BQ-ra. De viszont pár honapja az egyik angol utazási iroda ( 2:09 Events ) megnyitotta a jelentkezést és sikerült megszereznem az egyik helyüket a 30ból. A 30 hely elfogyott 5 perc alatt, nekem sikerult kevesebb mint 1 perc alatt regisztralni. Az egesz csomag 2 fo reszere ( 1 futo + 1 szurkolo ) £4500-ba kerult.
Szoval amint latjatok nem egyszeru bejutni a versenyekre, es nem is olcso. Ha valakinek sikerult bejutni az osszes versenyre sorsolas / ido kvalifikacio altal akkor is meg jon a repulojegy / hotel dija, plusz kolto penz stb.
De viszont nekem ez mind megeri. Jovore sikerul ezt mind vegig csinalnom es akkor utana johetnek az uj kihivasok. Ami a 2018-as Juliusi Angol Ironman Triatlon verseny lesz . Amint latjatok soha nem csinalok semmit egyszeruen, vagy konnyen. Egyszer elunk, nem lehet unalmasan elni.
Ha esetleg valakinek lenne kerdese ezekrol a versenyekrol akkor irjon nyugodtan, szivessen segitek vagy adok tanacsot barkinek.
Remelem latni fogok jo par magyar nevet a Hall of Fame-n az elkovetekzo evekben.
Only 28 days and 19hours till Race day 🙂 Getting closer and closer. By this time in 4 weeks time will be already there, and probably the pre race nerves will kick in.
I just want to give you all a quick update regarding our travel plans.
Since I wrote my last post, I’ve decided to change our hotel arrangements. This new one is right next to the main train station, which is really good for us. Also it is much closer to the start, only 1.5km away, which is about 20mins walk. So not too bad at all.
The hotel called Hotel Central Inn am Hauptbahnhof, it was a bit more expensive than the previous one, but we won’t spend as much on public transport as we were supposed to before. Win win for us.
Since my last travel post, I’ve also purchased our seats on the DB trains. We didn’t have to book our seats in advance, but I didn’t want to risk it. It wouldn’t be comfortable to stand that long, or sit in an awkward seat. Luckily the German railway offers “seat reservations” only bookings. Because we travelling on my free railway vouchers, we can just turn up at the station and take almost any trains we want. But for €18 I’ve decided to get our seats reserved, at least it’s all guaranteed.
Our whole railway journey will cost us :
£70 – London to Brussels to London ( Eurostar )
£0 – Brussels to Berlin to Brussels ( DB ICE trains )
€18 – Optional seat reservation from Brussels to Berlin and back
Total: £85 / person
Within Berlin we going to buy single and day travel tickets. On the friday we just need to get to the Expo and back, so a single ticket for €2.80 /person/journey will be perfectly good for that.
On the Saturday because we are going to travel a lot more, the day ticket for €7 / person will be our best option.
Saturday will be a busy day for us.
Starting with the official Breakfast run in the Morning. This is 6km easy paced run , starting at 9.30am from the Schloss Charlottenburg towards the Olympiastadion.
I can’t wait to see the Olympic stadium and finish the race there. After the run the organisers will provide Breakfast! Have you run a race before where there was no medals, but you’ll get breakfast at the end? Nope, me neither. But it does look like a fun event. Can’t miss it.
After this we going to have some free time, probably will do some kind of sightseeing, but haven’t decided yet.
Later on the afternoon, we are going to meet up with a few other runners for our carb loading pasta dinner. I’m going to meet with fellow Team Paws members, and I’m so excited about that.
After dinner I’ve booked in a sightseeing tour, we are going to visit the Berlin Dome ( Reichstag Building). It’s all for free, but you’ll need to register in advance. This place is only about 15 minutes walk from our hotel. So we don’t need to spend any money on public transport.
As you can see not much sightseeing at all, I want to make sure I’m rested well before race day.
After last week’s horrible 14 mile run, I really had no idea what to expect from this long run.
Last week everything was so good till the mile 13 marker, then something broke inside me. I just sat down, and really started to think why am I doing this to myself? Is this all really worth it? Probably the heat didn’t help. But at the end I managed to do the run in 2hrs 59mins, so it wasn’t that bad.
I was supposed to do this 18 miles on the Saturday. But because of the summer holidays at work, I’ve been asked to work. I rarely work on weekends, so this thrown my plans up a bit. But the extra money will be good to spend in Berlin / Chicago. But it also meant that I won’t have a lay in day all week.
On Sunday my alarm went off at 4am, to my surprise I had no issues waking up. Got all my running gear ready the previous evening, so just had to dress up, eat my porridge, make my drinks and off I went.
I left the house at 4.50am.
A few weeks ago when I was planning my 20miler long run , which will be in 2 weeks time , my coach suggested do run a few laps instead on 1 big one. By doing that its easier to get my refreshments done, and also if I need any toilet break I can sort that out as well.
I’ve planned out a 6 mile look by our house, mostly flat, and only had to cross the main road 3 times / loop. It was through housing estates, but because I was planning to run early I didn’t really think this will be an issue.
So off I went at 4.50am.
To my surprise this run went so much better straight from the beginning than my other one from last week. In the first hour I was wearing my head torch, and high-vis, because of the darkens.
To my surprise I managed to complete my first 5 miles just under an hour, 59mins 30seconds.
Looking back at my run details in Garmin Connect, my fastest run pace was between the 5:21 – 5:57 mins/km mark. But because I do Jeffing ( run – walk ) my average pace were in the 7:21 – 7:47 mins/km mark. It turns out my walk pace is usually around the 11mins/km marker.
My fastest km was in just before mile 5, which was an awesome 7:01mins/ km.
Completed my first lap in 6 miles ) in 1hour 12 mins. I am really pleased with this time 🙂
By the time I’ve started my second lap it started to rain. But I didn’t mind that at all. It was nice and cold, finally the perfect running weather.
When I started lap nr2 I re filled all my carry on water bottles. By doing this I only had to carry 2 x 220ml small bottles. Instead of the massive 500ml ones.
To be honest it was mentally hard to continue every time I’ve run past our house. But I knew that I had to get this run done. If I can run a whole 18miles alone I’ll be totally fine on race day.
I’ve run many 18-20milers before but all were in race conditions, unfortunately for this training cycle I didn’t find any local races. So I have to tackle all of this alone.
So during my second loop I was still going strong, My average pace was varied between 7:13 and 7.36mins/km. Still really happy with that.
At mile 10.03 I was still under the 2hrs mark. This is the second time in my whole life. Whoohooo.
I think because of the light rain and proper refreshments, I still felt really strong.
I’ve started my 3rd loop and I knew I’ve got this, but then after 2 miles something hit me. My legs started to hurt, and my mind started to play games with my. Just to usual stuff, questioning myself constantly. Because of this, my pace slowed down a bit. My running pace got about 20 seconds slower, so instead of my 5:30 run pace they turned into a 6.14-6.41. Also my walk pace dropped to a 14-15mins/km, which meant my average pace slowed down to 8-8.30mins/km mark.
I think it’s all have to do with me running all alone. When you are in a race, there are other runners who supporting you all around the course, and of course there are the spectators, who can give you a massive boost. I hoping that on race day I’ll be able to keep up my faster pace for a longer period of time.
Because of my slowing down , when I got to the next hour mark, I only completed 4.7miles, instead of the 5 I’ve done before. To be honest it wasn’t much slower. It took me 1hr 2mins to do the whole 5 miles. this got me up to the 15miler mark, in 3hrs and 2 minutes.
I am really happy with that, because last week I’ve only done 14 miles in 3hrs, so this time I was a whole mile faster.
The last 3 miles were uneventful. I kept thinking it’s only a parkrun to go. I can easily do a parkrun, even with blindfolded.
When my watch beeped at mile 18 I felt a massive relief, I’ve done it. I’ve done something I never done alone.
It took me 3:48:55 to run 18miles (29km)
18 long miles done
It’s great, it’s awesome, I happy with that. I think on race day I’ll be able to squeeze in another mile and still be under the 4hrs mark. Then I only have to do 7 more miles in 2 hours, to still be under my goal 6hours mark. At this moment it feels like it’s totally achievable.
Today I’ve won. I beat my own mind. My mind which is my worst enemy, I was stronger. Running is not hard physically, it’s much harder mentally. My legs want to go, my heart telling me I can go, but if my mind tells me I can’t it takes a whole lot of courage to beat that. On this day I was better, I was stronger.
I’ve attached a few photos comparing with my other 18 mile runs. unfortunately London didn’t provide an 18 miler split, so will use the 30k split for that. But New York had an 18 mile split so can provide that.
In London it took me 04:43:51 to run 30km ( 18.6miles) , so that’s a bit longer than my current 18 miler, but as you can see that took me 55 minutes longer than this run.
Luckily the New York marathon does provide an 18 mile split, in the results database. As you can see in the photo below, I was faster in the race compared to London, but that 18 mile still took me longer to run than my current run. It took me exactly 04:13:09. Which means my current run is 30minutes faster than that.
I do feel really positive about this run, I think I’ve said that like 100 times already. But it does look like that hard work do pays off. I’ve put so many mileage in since may, and even with a few missed session I can see I’ll get to my goal.
This week I only have to run 12 miles on saturday, but a week after that I’ll be out on my longest run, 20 mile. Because of this positive 18 miles I’m not worried about that at all.
Only 6 weeks to go till the Berlin Marathon. My training is well under way, and in August I’m upping my miles significantly. Today just had a 14 mile run, and on the 25th of August I’m having my longest run, 20 miles.
A few weeks ago I was reading through the official website, and came across a part where you can search the Participants. I’ve got really excited, because I’m running with a charity, and wanted to make sure I’m registered.
As you can see in the above photo there’s no BIB number yet, I assume they’ll update that part when we receive our Start Cards a few weeks before the race.
I’m running the race raising for funds for Prostate Cancer UK, if you’d like to sponsor me please do click on this link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gabiruns
I’m already at 20% of my target, but if you feel this is a worthy cause please sponsor me. They are really grateful for any kind of donations. Thank you 🙂
This race was supposed to happen this year. I really wanted to do an Ironman race before I turn 30 in February 2019.
But for multiple reasons I had to defer my place till 2019.
I’ve started my training really well, I really thought that I can do this. But then an injury happened and I was out of action for a few months. It’s all started in January this year 2 months into my training ! First I’ve written about this HERE. Then I had a really emotional post about my deferment HERE. Then a fully confirmed diagnosis about my Plantar Fasciitis is HERE.
I’m not going to lie, it still hurts sometimes. I can go for weeks without any pain, and then it just appears and I’m back to square one and even struggle to walk. I’m still stretching 2-3 times a day, and wearing my special boot at least 4-5 times a week. It does seem to work.
On the 15th of July I was back at home. A last-minute trip came up to back home, and I thought it’s a great idea, at least I won’t think about race day. But it was hard, the whole of my Facebook was full with my friends competing up there. I’ve tracked a few of them and they all smashed their goals, and become on, an Ironman. Well done all of you 🙂
I did feel bad about me not being there, but then I knew that I didn’t have the chance to do the whole training, so I really didn’t want to risk me being pulled out because of the missed cut offs.
I have 11 months now to get better and better. Fingers crossed I won’t get any injury this time.
Because I have deferred my place I was able to sign up for the race again, for free.
I’ve received my sign up email on the 16th of July. Because I didn’t want to forget it I’ve filled out my details straight away and the pressed the ” Sign up ” box. Then it was all done 🙂 Received the confirmation email a few minutes later as well.
I still going to use the same training plan I’ve started for this year’s event. I did really like how was it set up, and the variety of the session. I’ve wrote a post about it, it’s a book called, Be Iron Fit.
I’m back at proper swimming from this week as well, and will do a few more cycling day outs as well.
I really wished I could have raced this year, with my friends with me. But I’ll be there next year, smashing it all alone.
I already looking into some training camp/days up in Bolton. it would give me so much confidence to go around the route a few times before race day. It will take me so much to organise, because I’m from the South and Bolton is about 4hrs drive from me. But I know I need to do these training events.
So if you know any company who offers training days/weekends please let me know.
I’ve done a quick Google search and found 3 companies who’s done a training day / weekend for this year’s race. The don’t have much information about their 2019 event, but did send them an email and currently waiting for an answer.
This event was free for local residents, and they had a great hotel rate for the others. Click on the photo to see it in better quality and bigger size.
It was a day event, and was only £20. The swim was in a local pond, not in the Flash, but they’ve done 1 lap of the actual bike route and there was a optional 5/10k run at the end. Click on the photos to see it in better quality and bigger size.
They are the most expensive out of the 3 companies. But they offer a full training weekend. Starts on the friday evening and finishing Sunday mid day. They only have 20spots, so will need to sign up as quick as I can. Their price was £95 if you’ve signed up before then end of the year, and £115 afterwards. They don’t have the new prices up yet. But the date should be the 11-13th of May 2019. Click on the photos to see it in better quality and bigger size.
With this race next year, I’m going to have a really busy 12 months ahead of me.
Busy months ahead, and IM training will properly kicks in from December. But I know that I’m totally capable to do all of them.
2019 will be my year 🙂
I haven’t written a training summary for a long time. I’m sorry I’m getting really busy.
The runs are getting longer, and I’m getting a bit tired as well.
But have to say so far it all going well. When I started this training plan I really didn’t know what to expect, if it’s going to workout at the end or not.
But it does work.
When I’ve started on the 15th of may, my pace was averaging 9.03mins/ km and currently its on 7.30mins/km. On the shorter runs I can easily do 7.18-7.20mins/km as well. I’m just hoping that as the distance gets longer I’ll be able to stay close to the 7.30mins/kms.
I know it wont be easy, but I still have 7 weeks of hard training ahead of me, so I’ll do my absolute best to keep it up or to even get better.
My VO2 Max also improved a bit since may. I don’t know much about VO2 Max, but when I’ve started in may it was only 34, and now it standing on 41.
According to Garmin I went from Poor to Good 😀
I do feel fitter and not running out of breath as quickly as I used to.
The one thing I’m failing is that’s my diet. I’m trying to eat as healthy as I can but that’s still not good enough.
That’s all for now, will try to give you a training update as frequently as I can.
Yesterday I came across a tweet from Abbott :
The all new Six Star System is live! Housing over 2 million results, waiting for you to claim them so you can see all of your #AbbottWMM results in one central hub. Register today! https://t.co/jy2f1j2Iqz#ReachForTheStars pic.twitter.com/4y7TAyu0HX
— Abbott WMMajors (@WMMajors) July 25, 2018
I’m so pleased to see that now I can track my 6 Star journey online, and also others can search for competitors, by name or even by country.
Before hand they only had a list of the 6 Star finishers, but now even if someone run 1 race, you can find them. Well as long as they registered, and claimed their runs.
I went to register straight away and claimed my 2 races, London & New York 2017.
As soon as I complete my others, I’ll update this post as well.
- London 2017 ★
- New York 2017 ★☆
- Berlin 2018 ★☆★
- Chicago 2018 ★☆★☆
- Tokyo 2019 ★☆★☆★
- Boston 2019 ★☆★☆★☆
As you can see from the above screenshots, it tells the competitor’s name, gender, PB, Star amount and Nationality.
If you’d like to see my full profile, just click HERE.
To my knowledge there are only 4 Hungarian 6 Star finishers, friend of mine took a photo of the Wall of Fame in Boston, and only 4 people name was on it.
- Zsolt Dragoman
- Zsuzsanna Fekete
- Janos Kiss
- Gabor Vass
Sorry about the bad quality photo.
At the moment only one of them claimed his 6 Star account, Gabor Vass.
I’ll keep an eye on the website, and when the others will claim theirs I’ll update my post with the links.
On the new site you can search by Stars as well, click on the images and you’ll be able to see the photos in better quality.
At the moment there are ZERO Hungarian 1 Star finishers:
At the moment there are TWO Hungarian 2 Star finishers:
At the moment there are ZERO Hungarian 3 Star finishers:
At the moment there are ZERO Hungarian 4 Star finishers:
At the moment there are ZERO Hungarian 5 Star finishers:
At the moment there are ONE Hungarian 6 Star finishers:
I’m going to keep this post updated whenever there’s a new Finisher 🙂
I’m so happy and proud to be part of a special group of people, and reach my goal in Boston in 2019 🙂
Well I never really thought that I’ll need to write a post about this, but here we go….
I’ve shared the same photo in 3 different running groups, 1 US-based and 2 based in Hungary. It’s a picture about a countdown for my upcoming races.
As you can see I’m having a pretty busy 12 months ahead, but I do looking forward to all of them 🙂
In the US-based group ( World Marathon Majors Challenge ) as of yet I’ve received 55 likes/loves and 11 comments. All positive.
In one of the Hungarian group , won’t name it, I’ve received a really horrible comment.
In short it said, that these kind of posts does not belong into this group. I pay my self into these races, and I do not deserve to be there. According to this person only motivation people should be in this group and people who wants to run 10ks, and when they fully can run it then move forward to half marathons, and then maybe to full. But I do not belong there, because I buy my way in, and I do not put nothing down to the table to deserve to be there.
So let set the record straight, who’s a charity runner?
A charity runner is a participant in a road race, usually of half marathon or marathon distance, who raise money or awareness for an established organization. For more elite marathons, such as the World Marathon Majors, runners who are unable to obtain a qualifying time for their gender and age group can gain entry by running for an official charity affiliated with the race. Other races provide charity runners with free race entry, training, team shirts, and encouragement as incentive to raise money for local charities.
Now we know the exact definition 🙂
It’s a newly founded group, only about 3 months old. This group main aim is to help slower runners, everyone who’s pace is 7mins/km or higher. I do believe I belong to this group because I usually run around 7.30-7.45mins/km. Since the group opened I’ve shared 22 posts, and 19 of them was about me running and training, 2 of them was when I’ve got the charity place for Tokyo and than today’s post.
I’ve tried to explain to this person that I’m not buying my way in. I’m running and representing different charities. Every penny I’ve put in / my friends give me I’ll transfer it to the charities straight away. With that money they are able to help men who have/could have Prostate cancer, or these charities are helping for homeless dogs / cats.
But this person still didn’t get it. Still keep going on about my buying my way in. I even explain that in the London marathon thousands of runners are raised millions of pounds for charities. These runners are representing and supporting the organisations, and helping them get better with the money they’ve raised.
I think this person mindset is really small, and doesn’t understand the concept of charity runners. I do believe there are not many (if any) charity runners back in Hungary. I do not know if races are letting runners join and raise money for charitable organisations?
I have some weird experience with fundraisers back at home. Few years ago I went to Tesco and been stopped , and this guy wanted to sell me some postcards to raise money for a children’s hospital. I wasn’t sure if he was genuine or not. So did not donate any money.
Maybe this could be the reason why this person does not understand the concept of Charity runners. I do pay my own race registration fee and the also raise money for the charities. Without signing up with them first I wouldn’t be able to register for the race. For some races I had to reach my fundraising target BEFORE the race, but for other I had 6-8 weeks after the race.
Maybe because there are no fundraising events back in Hungary, this person does not think that this is a genuine way of running.
Maybe never heard of Race for Life, Comic Relief, The Worl’s Biggest Coffee Morning, Moonwalk, Movember, Christmas Jumper Day, just to mention a few big ones. Thousand if not millions of pounds get raised year after year.
I do NOT agree with this person’s comment and mindset.
I feel really proud that I am able to help these organisations, and I also can afford it. Not many 29-year-old can do this many races in this time frame.
I do work extremely hard and I am really sensible with my money. I do not spend it on silly stuff.
I feel really honoured that I can represent these organisations , wear their singlet, and raise awareness for their cause.
I do not believe being a Charity runner is anything less than being a normal time qualified runner. Have to say being a Charity runner maybe harder, I need to fundraise and train in the same time.
This person’s comment was really hurtful and unfair. Has no idea how hard I work to raise the monies and the work hard at work to be able to do and afford the travelling part.
If this person does not understand the charity concept, should have asked about it first.
From now on I won’t post anything onto this group , because I do feel I’m not welcomed being part of it 😦
If anyone has any more questions about the charities, or how does this work please comment below or message me. I am really happy to answer any questions 🙂
A few months ago I pre-booked some hotels on Booking.com just in case I get into the marathon. All of them was on a “book now pay later ” offer. So I thought even if I don’t manage to get into the race i wont lose out on money, I just cancel them later on.
But lets start with the Flights 🙂
Since I managed to get a charity place for the race on Monday, if you havent read it click HERE to read that first 🙂
All week-long I was constantly on Skyscanner to see what’s the cheapest option and when for. It turned out the direct non-stop flights ( like BA, Japan Airlines ) were over £1600 for 2 people. I really wanted to go with one of these flights, but we planning to spend 1.5 weeks in japan, so if we could save some money on the flights then that would be the best.
We are flying out on the 23rd of February and flying back on the 4th of March.
So all week-long I was going back and forth between the “stopper” flights, calculating, organising and planning our week. First I was thinking to fly with Aeroflot, because their price was £1300 for my days. But then I came across with another airline called Air China. Never even heard of them , but we never travelled that way so never had to.
The only problem I was having that the Air China flight doesn’t get into Tokyo till 8pm, so we losing out on a day. But in the other hand it was only £1000 for 2 people.
So going back and forth with my sightseeing plans, I’ve decided that we can shift our sightseeing days by a day, and take on this deal.
Today finally I’ve purchased the tickets, it came as a total of £1009 / 2 person, and free meals, seat reservation and other benefits.
We flying out from London Heathrow on the 23rd of February and arriving to Tokyo Haneda on the 24th.
Our first flight from London to Beijing will be a Boeing 777-300ER, I’ve checked a few photos out of it and it looks like a decent plane. Also managed to book our seats for totally free. Luckily my OH doesn’t mind where he sits, so I’m lucky to get all the window seats. We booked on to the Economy call, it’s perfectly good for us 🙂 The seating arrangements are 3-3-3. So in theory someone else will sit next to us. On this flight we will have 2 meals ( breakfast and a hot meal ) plus unlimited drinks.
We going to have a few hours to hang around in Beijing, then we continue our journey to Tokyo. So our second plane will be an Airbus 321. This one is a much smaller plane, than our first one, and the seating plan is a 3-3 arrangement, Luckily I’ve booked my seat next to the window again, so can see the beautiful view. On this flight we are going to get another hot meal and also unlimited drinks.
On our return journey back to London will be on the 4th of March.
On the First part of the journey, we are going to fly with the same Airbus A321 like we have done it earlier to Tokyo. Seats have been reserved and mine is by the window again, while OH has to take the middle seat again.
But our Beijing to Heathrow journey will be on a different flight this time. it will be an Airbus A330-200. This plane has to be the best looking one. We still on the economy class, but the seat arrangements are much better, it has a 2-4-2 split. So luckily no one will sit next to us. At least if I need to go to the loo I only need to ask my OH, not a complete stranger. Because this one is the longer journey , we going to get 2 meals on the plane plus the drinks. Had a look on google and this plane looks really nice inside as well. Really looking forward to flying on it.
Now let’s go back to our hotels, have to say their will be a few.
We going to land in Tokyo at 8pm on the Sunday. Then we are going to spend 1 night in a hotel close to the train station.
This hotel is nothing special, just to spend a night there because there’s no late trains to Osaka.
So this hotel’s name is Smile Hotel Nihombashi Mitsukoshimae and it’s only cost us £38 for the night. Look at the main entrance, haha.
On the Monday morning we will walk over to the near by train station then hop on the fastest train I can ever imagine, it’s the one and unique Shinkansen Nozomi ( bullet train).
It only takes 155 minutes to get to Osaka from Tokyo which is 515km apart. Nozomi services using N700 series equipment reach speeds of 300 km/h (186 mph).
Whilst we are in Osaka, finally I can visit my dream place. I’ve read the books multiple times, watched the movies loads of times. Visited the Harry Potter Studio in London, but this will be different. This is one of my dream place, so if we travel to Japan, to run the marathon we need to go here.
We are going to stay in Osaka from Monday till Wednesday, so will have plenty of time to explore the whole studio. We are going to stay in a hotel called Hotel Keihan Universal Tower. This hotel is literally next to the entrance of Universal Studio, perfect location. This hotel will cost us £254 for 2 nights.
So on Wednesday we are getting on to the incredible fast Shinkansen Nozomi to get back to Tokyo. We are going to spend the rest of our time in Tokyo.
We are going to stay in the APA Hotel Kanda Jimbōchō Station East. This one is not as good-looking hotel as the Universal one, but it comes with a free breakfast and it’s by the marathon route, so my OH can just walk out of the hotel and see me running by.
What we are planning to do in Tokyo?
Well the most important part is the race bib pick up on the thursday, but will write a separate article about it.
Then our main sightseeing point will be the Tokyo Disney Resort. We haven’t decided how many days we will spend here, but it will be definitely a full day at least and probably will travel back here after I’ve picked my race number up. It consist 2 main pars, Disneyland and DisneySea.
There is 1 more sightseeing activity I would really love to do , this is the MariCar. Racing through Tokyo with a go-cart, dress up as Super Mario or even Browser. OMG. Not too sure this is the best idea to do before a marathon , but then we only live once haha.
Here is a short video , all thanks to Bloomberg 🙂
That’s all for now. My next post will be another sightseeing tour , but this time it’s around Berlin 🙂
Same as always if you have any questions just comment below and I’ll answer as soon as I can.
OMG. I’ve done it, signed up for the Tokyo Marathon
It wasn’t easy, the whole system was really slow, kept freezing and wasn’t straight forward, but I done it. But let’s go back to the beginning.
Since last year unsuccessful lottery drawing, I managed to save up the charity + entry fee. I really wanted to go with the guaranteed place, didn’t want to risk it with the lottery.
I think it was about a week ago when Tokyo announced more details about the marathon. It has been confirmed that the day is the 3rd of March 2019. They have confirmed that the charity registration opens on the 2nd of July 2018 at 10am local time ( 2am UK time ). Also their website stated that they only accepting Credit cards – Visa , MasterCard or American Express. I was really surprised by this because not everyone owns a Credit card.
Number of charity runner positions are available : 5,000 , first-come-first-served basis
On Saturday I went into my local Loyd’s Branch to advise them about the international payment. I really didn’t want to get blocked out of my account, because I knew every minute can count.
Also I’ve found a really good race review by Emma , https://lattesandrunways.com/tokyo-marathon-race-review-2018/ She mentioned it that they had to enter their passport number during the registration! Then I’ve spent the next 1hour trying to find my passport…. But at the end I found it.
I’ve set my alarm for 1.30am on the 2nd of July. I’m not going to lie it was really hard to wake up.
The website I had to register was this one. Luckily it went online bang on at 2am.
I really thought I’m in luck with it. Well I was really wrong. Not too sure why but their registration process is way too complicated.
Multiple steps all the way through, and the website kept crashing, crashing and crashing.
So the first step was to pick whichever charity we’d wanted to run for and fill out some personal details. This was the easy part.
The charity I've chosen is : Pace Winds Japan - Development of protection and transfer activities to save dogs' lives, as well as training for disaster relief and therapy dogs.
As most of you know I love animals, specially dogs. I’m already raising money for a Chicago charity, and they help out and shelter homeless dogs and cats. So it was a really easy choice for me to pick this charity.
After filling out the form, I’ve received an email asking me to log in and pay the donation for the charity. Without paying the fee ( 100 000 yen) I won’t be able to buy my race entry fee ( 12 800 yen). So it means I had to pay the money in advance, and if I would have wanted raise money from friends and family, their money would have reimburse me. Whilst in London you have a fundraising page for months, and you get people to pay in there for you. Tokyo wants the money first, so it was totally confusing .
When it asked me about the donation fee the website only offered to choose from : Credit card – Visa, MasterCard, American Express. Absolutely no option for a Debit card. It made me really worried but I thought I’ll give it a go. Turns out it did work, and they do accept DEBIT cards as well.
To do this step I had multiple challenges. Website kept crashing, my bank card got blocked. Even though I advised Lloyd’s about the charge. So to do this step I think I was refreshing the page for about 40 minutes, whilst on the phone to Lloyd’s, to get my bank account unlocked….
Finally when I was able to pay the 100 000 yen , I’ve received another email confirming this, and advising me that if I want to run the race log back onto the site and sign up as a charity runner.
So back to the website again. By this time I could not even refresh, I’ve got a 502 Bad Gateway error straight away.
By this point I really wanted to cry. How hard can it be to spend money? Ooohh it’s not easy, Tokyo made me work for it lol.
When I finally managed to log back on, I had to fill out more forms. More personal details ( full name, address, emergency contact, birthday, nationality, t-shirt size ). After all of this and reading through hundreds of different terms and conditions, I got to the payment part again. I told Llod’s that I need to make another payment so do not block my account again. Well luckily this time they did listen. My race registration fee ( 12 800 yen ) went through without any issues.
I have to say this was the most complicated and hardest registration I ever done. If you compare it with my 1 minute Boston ITP registration, this was terrible.
Today I’ve already requested my holidays from work ( Tokyo and Boston ), it’s on a first come first get basis. So I think I should be okay haha.
We going to Tokyo on the 23rd of February, land in Tokyo and then take a bullet train to Osaka. Could fly to Osaka straight away, but c’mon I’m a railway person, need to sit on the bullet train haha. I know roughly what will we do, but I save that for another post. Hotels are also booked via booking.com, now just need to buy our airfare. Will write another post about those as well.
So Tokyo will be my 5th Major, which only can mean 1 thing. I will be a 6 star finisher in Boston 2019. That’s the most iconic race in the world and I feel privileged to run there and get my special medal.
Last year after London I had no idea about Abbot and the WMM races, and fast forward 1 year I’m now planning to finish it. Wow.
What else can beat this? What can I do after I completed the series? Well to be honest I already have my Ironman booked in for July 2019, so I’m free after that. Suggestions are welcome 🙂
First of all I’d like to apologise that I didn’t write many training posts recently. I had a really busy few weeks, overtime at work, taking on an allotment and spending long hours there and then do my marathon training. I really didn’t have the time and energy to write posts. 😦
I just finished my Week 6 marathon training. As you know with this plan I’m training for the Berlin marathon and then 3 weeks later I’ll be at the Chicago marathon as well.
In one of my first training post I already wrote about my Coach, if you haven’t read that, then you can click Here to read it.
When I started the training plan on the 15th of May I really didn’t know what to expect, and how I’ll get along with a totally different training approach. Previously I just followed simple plans off from Google.
But my current plan includes loads of different parts:
- 2 x Easy runs ( Monday & Thursday )
- 2x Cross training ( Tuesday & Sunday )
- 1x Track training ( Wednesday )
- 1x Long run ( Saturday )
- 1x Rest day ( Sunday )
At first it looked way too much, but eventually I’ve got used to it. I’m not gonna lie I still get loads of muscle ache, but it disappears much quicker.
I knew from the beginning that I’ll need to trust the plan, it wont be easy but if I want to reach my goal I really need to put in all the work I can. My goal is the get finally under 6hrs , my current PB is from New York 2017 and its 6hrs 32mins. So my plan is to shave off 33minutes.
|Current PB||Target PB|
|Finish time||6hrs 32mins||5hrs 59mins|
It’s going to be hard, but I will give my absolute best.
I’m following a 18 week training plan for Berlin and then 3 weeks shorter but steady runs for Chicago.
When I had my first training run I felt totally knackered. I haven’t done much running since New york in November, do to different kind of injuries and also lost my mojo.
But speaking with Denise gave me loads of confidence, and even though the training plan looks extra hard and lot I have to believe in it.
So my Week 1 Run 1 was hard, it was only a short 5 miler, but for some reason I just didn’t feel it. Struggled all the way around, and my average pace turned out to be 9.03mins/km, which would have taken me to a 6hrs 21mins marathon finish time. But I knew that I didn’t feel fit enough and I do want to get better.
I really had to put on my big girl pants and do the training, even when I just wanted to come home from work and lay in bed, when it was raining and also when it was 9pm.
Slowly realised that I need to do my trainings as early as I can, otherwise there’s a chance I won’t do it, I’ll get lazy. So my schedule is to get home from work around 11am, have some light food and drink, watch an episode of NCIS or whatever is on tv and be out of the house at 12pm. At least if I do it like this I still going to have loads of hours left on the day to whatever I want to do after it. Also on Saturdays I’ve learnt to set me alarm to really early, 4.30-5.00am and be out of the door as soon as I can. I’m home from my long runs by 8ish at the moment, bath, breakfast and still have the full day to do stuff with hubby, go to the allotment or just chill out. I’m not going to lie, it’s really hard to wake up in the weekends, when I could just sleep.
As the week passed I slowly started to see improvements. At first I didn’t run out of breath, then my pace started to pick up, and then finally I’m getting to keep the pace for longer periods of times. I can keep my pace on shorter runs at around 7.30mins/km, and on my longer runs, which is 12miles at the moment, my pace is around the 7.36mins/km mark. Have to say it’s really promising. Because with that pace my half marathon pace is around 2hrs 40mins. I’d be totally happy with that in a race. My last half marathon was completed in just over 3hrs.
So in 6 weeks, my pace changed a lot, and I’m able to keep it up for a longer distance. Beforehand I went out too fast and by the end of the races my pace slowed down to the 9mins/km mark. In this 6 weeks I’ve learnt that I need to start with a slower pace but need to be steady with it, so usually starting with a 7.30-7.35mins/km, but according to my garmin I’ve completed a few of my 4-5mile training runs with an average pace of 7.18-7.20mins/km.
Also some of the kms are turning into a 6.xx mins/km, and I’m totally happy about that. I can’t even remember when was the last time I ran that fast.
Below you can see a comparison of my Week 1 Run 1 VS. Week 6 Run 4
( Click on the photos to see them in better quality )
As I said I still have a few 8mins/km but they nowhere near as slow as when I started.
I’m really positive that with the rest of the training I’ll be able to keep this pace up for an ever longer distance, if I don’t get anymore faster I really don’t mind, because this is already as massive improvement. I can’t even imagine getting faster and getting an even better marathon PB.
My aim is till to get under the 6hrs mark, but if its going to be 1 second below or more I’ll be happy for both results. If I’d be able to keep up this 7.36mins/km for the whole 42kms than that would mean I’d finish the race in 5hrs 20mins. But I won’t get carried away, I put my head down, keep my big girl pants on, do my training, eat healthier and see what I’ll be able to do in the flat Berlin course and then if I’d be able to repeat that in Chicago.
I still have a really long and hard 12 weeks ahead of me, so need to keep focused and train, train and train.
I’ll try to do as many post about my training as I can, but if I’m not able to do it, then I’ll de a comparison in every few weeks.
Also just a short update about my fundraising, I almost collected the whole $1000 for Chicago, I think I’ll be done with it by July. Then finally I can start to fundraise for Berlin. If you’d like to donate click here for Chicago and here for Berlin 🙂
The last few days were totally incredible.
On Tuesday I’ve received an email from 2:09 Events that they will release their Boston packages on Wednesday around 12pm. I had a rough idea how much will it be, but was really worried that we didn’t save up enough money for it.
The email stated that they had 300+ people on their interest list, but they only have 30 spots. OMG. I need to be fast and lucky to get in.
Luckily from last year I still had their proper website link, so I was really hoping that they will use the same one this year, just with updated details.
I checked out all the pages and I realised it was the proper one. New hotel and flight details on it, just couldn’t press the ” Pay ” button.
On Wednesday I rushed home from work, I’m so glad I only work part-time and finishing at 10am.
Sat down in front of the computer at 11am and was patiently waited.
Pre filled the application from, and was really hoping that they’ll use that when the registration opens. I had it pre filled in my Mac , on the iPad and on my iPhone. I really didn’t want to risk it not pressing the button fast enough.
Also realised something else, when they sent out the emails, they using an app called Mailchimp. I’ve used the same when I had my own cupcake business. With MailChimp you can check out all previously sent newsletters and it pops up when they send out a new one as well. So when I’ve seen the email subject ” Boston Marathon Tour Now Open ” then I knew its all open. I’ve seen it there quicker than in my GMAIL account.
Quickly checked the link, and it was the same as the one I’ve filled out earlier. Checked the prices and it only went up by £75 so it wasn’t too bad. Then pressed the ” PAY” button.
According to GMAIL 2:09 events sent the registration open email at 11:58.11 and I’ve got their confirmation about my registration at 11:58.14. I felt great about it, and I really didn’t think I could have done it any faster.
About 20minutes later received an email from 2:09 Events that ” The response to the Boston details going live has been unpresidented and we sold out in the first 3 mins with over 80 booking applications received in the first 10mins.”
WOW. That was incredibly fast. previously their website stated that last year they sold out in 2 hours. So you can clearly see that loads of people want to get into the race.
Also this email stated that they will be in contact with everyone by end of business , and let them know if they were successful or not. The suspense was killing me.
I’ve got my confirmation email with the invoice at 17.09. I never been happier to get my bank card charged haha. Well Boston here I come.
Hopefully I’ll be able to get a charity spot for Tokyo, then I’ll collect my 6star medal in Boston.
Now lets talk about the prices and hotels and flight details.
Because it’s a package deal I had to take all of it, couldn’t do the same as I’ve done for NY ( flight + entry ), it was the full package ( flight, hotel, entry ).
|PRICES PER PERSON||TWIN ROOM||SINGLE ROOM|
- RACE ENTRY FEE £500
So as you can see it’s not a cheap option. But I don’t think I’ll be able to BQ and run a 3:35 marathon. I’m currently training just to break the 6hrs mark.
The total tour cost us £4498 ( 1 runner + 1 supporter ).
But as I said to others, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t gamble. I do run haha. Also if I set my mind to something I can save up for everything. Since last year Hubby and I saved up for this. So it’s not as hard as some people think. We havent’ taken up any loans or credit cards. So it’s paid from purely our money. If you think about doing it next year I’d suggest to start saving up for it, you’ll have a whole 12 months to do it. Good luck 🙂
Hotel – Boston Omni Parker House Hotel
OMG, I would have never stayed in this hotel. It’s way out of our price range. But it comes with the tour so will enjoy every minute of it.
It’s a 4 star hotel, and according to booking.com the price for it at Boston weekend is £1800 for 2 people.http://historyofmassachusetts.org/omni-parker-house-haunted/
Flights – Virgin Atlantic and Delta code share
According to Skyscanner the prices for marathon weekend is already at least £1450 for 2 people.
Depart from London Heathrow on Virgin flight VS11 departing from London Heathrow at 15.25 and arriving in Boston at 17.55local time.
Boston Logan Airport for the return flight on Delta flight DL58 departing at 19.26. Arrive at London Heathrow at 07.05.
I’ll try to book out seats as soon as we get the details from 2:09 Events, but I’m not in a mad rush now.
If anyone has any more question about the tour package, please comment below and I’m happy to help.
A few months ago I came across a website, which offers free ECG screening for young people.
C-R-Y offers subsidised ECG and Echocardiogram screening to all young people between the ages of 14 & 35.
I had loads and loads of ECG done when I was playing handball back in Hungary, we had to have “sport tests” done every year, otherwise I would have lost my player’s licence.
I think my last screening was around 2010. Since I moved to England I didn’t really needed it, and also it’s expensive to get it done privately.
I’ve signed up my self and my husband for the 9th of June, the appointment was in Tooting, London in the St George Hospital.
Our appointment was at 11.50am but we turned up well in time, around 11am.
After about waiting 10 minutes my husband was called in, and then myself. My nurse was Teresa and she was really lovely. First she took my weight and height. Then had to undress at the top and lay on a bed. She was constantly talking so I didn’t feel as uncomfortable.
The whole process took about 10 minutes, then I dressed up and was told to wait outside and the doctor will call me in and explain me my results.
I’ve probably waited 5 minutes and been called in by the doctor. He was a youngish guy but was professional. he first asked me if I have any concern and why I wanted to have an ECG done. I’ve explained to him that I’m running 2 marathons within 3 weeks ( Berlin and then chicago ) so I just wanted to make sure I’m totally healthy and there’s no issues with my heart.
Luckily he said everything is perfectly fine, and all my graphs look totally normal 🙂 He wished me good luck for my races and the said goodbye.
I highly recommend having this free screening done if you are in the age bracket. It’s better to prevent health issues.
If you have any question, just comment below and I’ll answer.
Earlier today I came across a new press release from the organisers of the Tokyo Marathon.
It’s states that the Charity registration will begin on the 2nd of July 2018.
Last year it was sold out within 4 days. So hopefully this year will be the same, so I’ll have plenty of time to sign up. I will try my best to sign up on day 1, but will see. Spoke with a few people already about last year’s one, and been told they got notified if they were successful ( or not ) within 4 days after the application.
There will be 3,700 charity runners (down from 3,900 the year before) and 300 (an increase from 100 the prior year) active charity runners.
To get one of the 3,700 charity runner bibs, I must register before entries sell out after registrations open and submit a debit/credit card number, which will be likely charged a large amount. The exact amount hasn’t been disclosed yet. But last year it was 100,000 yen ( £677 ) plus the race fee of 12,800 yen (£86).
After last year’s unsuccessful lottery entry, I’ve decided to go with the guaranteed charity spot for 2019. Saved up all the money for it, so I’m totally ready to hit the “Submit” button when registration opens.
I hope they won’t chance the fundraising target much, and the registration will be an easy process. Keep an eye on my website because I’ll write another post as soon as I’ve managed to register with the charity, and tell you more about the ” How to ? ” part.
I also pre booked some hotels via booking.com early, so I managed to get a good price for them. but won’t share any details because I don’t want to jinx it.
After feeling great with my Week 1 and Week 2 training , this week turned out to be a disaster.
So what was the plan for this week?
Monday – 28.05.2018 – 5 miles easy run
Tuesday – 29.05.2018 – Cross training
Wednesday – 30.05.2018 – Track training
Thursday – 31.05.2018 – 4 miles easy run
Friday – 01.06.2018 – Rest
Saturday – 02.06.2018 – 6 miles long run
Sunday – 03.06.2018 – Cross training or Rest
28.05.2018 – Monday
5 miles easy run
Today was a Bank holiday, which meant I didn’t need to go to work. Yayy. But decided to wake up early and do my run first thing in the morning, so I won’t get too busy and ran out of time.
During my run I’ve only met with 2 people,I assume the rest of the town was still fast asleep at 6.30am.
Even thou it was early morning I felt good about my run. I’ve managed to keep a constant pace all the way around.
29.05.2018 – 03.06.2018
The rest of the week spent ill. On monday night I started to feel really bad, first shivering and a really weird chest pain. Spent all night feeling cold and then feeling boiling hot. In the morning checked my temperature and it turned out to be 37.9 celcius, so I really didn’t feel well. By Wednesday evening I’ve developed a nasty cough. I’ve decided not to train at all, because one I didn’t feel good at all, and also didn’t want my symptoms to get any worse, or end up in the hospital.
I hoping I’ll be better soon and can continue my training with Week 4.
After feeling really positive about my Week 1 training, I was really looking forward to Week 2. I know if I put all the training in, I’ll be able to reach my goals and maybe even more.
All this week I’ve tried to go for my runs around mid day – 1pm. I knew if I go any later, then there’s a chance I won’t go at all. Also I’ve decided to do all my long runs early mornings, so on saturday I went out at 6.30am.
So what was the plan for this week?
Monday – 21.05.2018 – 5 miles easy run
Tuesday – 22.05.2018 – Cross training
Wednesday – 23.05.2018 – Track training
Thursday – 24.05.2018 – 4 miles easy run
Friday – 25.05.2018 – Rest
Saturday – 26.05.2018 – 8 miles long run
Sunday – 27.05.2018 – Cross training or Rest
I knew at the beginning of the week that I will need to swap over my thursday – friday sessions. I had a doctor’s appointment with my plantar fasciitis. Got an X-ray appointment, so will see what they say next week. Hopefully nothing bad.
I still don’t really plan my exact running routes, so a few times this week I managed to get lost. But have to say still really enjoying the sessions.
Also just realised that my Garmin Fenix 5 is a really smart watch. I’ve added all my future training in the calendar, so on the day I just need to press Run – and it comes up with the correct traninig session. I don’t even need to check my watch during, i still do , just to make sure my pace is not too off.
21.05.2018 – Monday
5 miles easy run
I’ve tried to run the same 5 mile route as I’ve done it a week ago. Not too sure why, but I felt good really good about it. probably because I had a great long run in the past saturday, or probably because I realised that my run/walk/run plan is the way forward.
Because last week I was circling around the pond a few times at the end, today I’ve decided to go for a slightly different way. Which meant I’ve ended up in a business park, and then next to a busy main road. went through stingy nettles, and other different plants, but other than this the run was enjoyable.
Probably went out a bit too fast, because the first km was 7.10mins, but managed to keep all of them well under 8 mins. So was pleased with it. Some of them was a bit longer, whilst others shorter, but this is totally due to waiting by traffic lights and zebra crossings.
22.05.2018 – Tuesday
I’ve decided they west way to cross train is to sit on my turbo and cycle for an hour. I was already half way watching Spiderman Homecoming, so the second half went more quickly. I’m getting better with this cycling malarkey as well. I’m felling pretty confident that I won’t have many issues with my Ironman next year. It was a hard but good decision the defer from this year to next.
23.05.2018 – Wednesday
If it Wednesday it only could mean one thing: Track training. To be honest I still find these the hardest. Because in my normal session I can easily ‘ jeff ‘ when I do track sessions I can’t do it all. I can easily ‘ jeff ‘ the warm up and cool down part, but not the important ‘ speed ‘ session part. otherwise it wouldn’t work. So today I had to do the below:
2 mile easy warm up
2x 1/2mile (800m) repeats ( 2 mins recovery between )
1 mile easy cool down
As I said earlier we don’t have any proper tracks in Andover, I mean I haven’t found any. So I started my warm up with a good pace, 7.17mins/ km and 7.23mins/km. To me it’s a really good speed. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep this up for longer and longer distances.
I was a bit worried about the ‘ speed ‘ part, I didn’t really believe in myself that I’m capable to run 1/2 miles fast without stopping. but I just kept thinking about the end game, I can do anything for Half a mile, will have a 2mins break after, can sit in a cool bath after, it will all worth it at the end, the pain is temporary. So I really pushed myself in these speedy parts.
The first Half a mile (800m ) was going on and on and on, I really thought I never get to the end of it. To my surprise it took me 4.29 mins which is a 5.39mins/km pace, I really felt tired after this, but I knew I can’t give up this easily, so instead of sitting down to catch my breath for the 2mins break, I’ve decided to just walk it. I thought if I sit down I won’t get up again. Then I’ve found myself at the beginning of the second Half a mile speed session, I did feel a bit slower this time, but I still gave all I could. Second time I’ve got around in 4.46mins which is a 5.56mins/km pace. I was 17 seconds slower, but I’m still pleased with it. I really run as fast as I could, and this was all I had this day.
After this I had a 1 mile long cool down, and I really took this easy. I mean I didn’t have much speed left in me. But overall I felt good about this session. I know already that I will struggle with these more than with my long and steady runs. But also know it that I need these sessions to get better and much faster.
24.05.2018 – Thursday
Rest day due to doctors appointment
25.05.2018 – Friday
4 miles easy run
Most days I only work part-time hours, 6am – 10am. But today was different, I had to stay in till 2pm due to a meeting. So my 1pm planned run was way out of the window.
By the time I got home it was 3pm but I know I had to change and get out to do my session.
To my total surprise this session felt really good. Not too sure why, I was totally knackered from work, walked just over 10000 steps already at work. But did have loads of energy for this run. I don’t really like running this late, because the school is just finished and loads of people were around. I like running when no-one is around, and noone sees me.
My pace for this session was 7.26mins/km. Went out a bit fast again, because the first km ended up being 7.02mins/km. but the 4th one turned out to be an 8.02mins/km. I need to try to be more consistent, otherwise I can burn out easier. It’s easier to be said then done, because my last km ended up being 7.05 , ohh dear me. But it feels great , that I do have in my the speed. Would be great to have a constant 7.05mins/kms, but I’m not there yet.
26.05.2018 – Saturday
8 miles long run
Saturday could mean only one thing, Long run time 🙂 This week I had to run 8 miles, I woke up at 6am, ate my porridge and I was out on the door by 6.30am. I knew that I need to go out early otherwise I won’t do it later on.
Have to say the whole run went pretty well. My pace was really consistent, 7.33 – 7.23 – 7.27 – 7.21 ect.
When I got back to the town centre my planned route was cordoned off, loads of police car and ambulance. Tried to go through the little park next to it, but police tape was everywhere. I knew something serious had to happen. It turned out that they found a body in the river. This threw me off a bit, but then I thought I’ll run for that lady, because she can’t do anything anymore. Poor her.
Seen loads of runners, walkers and dog walkers. To my surprise everyone was really friendly and said “Hi” to me.
I haven’t taken any water with me, but took a few gels, and decided to consume them after every 2.5miles, not too sure if they worked or not. But when I ate them I felt I got more energy.
My slowest km was done in 8.05 mins, but this was the one when I bumped into the police. But to my biggest surprise my 12th km was completed in 6.40mins. I really don’t have any idea how I managed to do this fast, i had a few kms just above 7mins, but this one turned out to be way below 7mins. Hopefully one day my normal pace will be in and around the 6mins mark. But till then I’ll work extra hard.
I’ve finished this session with a 7.28mins/km pace.
If you look through all sessions this week I was able to stay in the 7.20-7.30mins marks. Onwards and upwards from this, I’m already looking forward to Week 3 🙂
As I said in my previous post, I’ve hired a running coach. If you haven’t read that click HERE to read it now.
I was really excited about my training plan, I didn’t really know what to expect, or anything. But everyone I spoke with they highly recommended Denise and her coaching plans.
I’ve officially started my training on the 14th of May. The plan itself is an 18 week-long plan to Berlin and the 3 more weeks to Chicago.
My weekly plan follows the below schedule:
- Monday : Easy paced run
- Tuesday: Cross training ( I’ll alternate between, swimming, cycling and the cross training machine )
- Wednesday: Track training ( to get faster )
- Thursday: Easy paced run
- Friday: Rest day
- Saturday: Long run
- Sunday: Cross training or rest day
It looks a lot, and definitely after completing week 1 it feels a lot, but I know if I stick to the plan I’ll get the results I really want. I really want to break 6hrs in Berlin and the Chicago as well. I’ll put all the training in I can, and also will try to eat a bit healthier. Probably if I lose some weight that will help me to get faster as well.
Every sunday I’ll write a post about how I got along with my training during the week. you can find them all under the Training tab.
Also every now and then , maybe every 4th week I’ll make a post about comparing my pace with Week 1, so you and I all can see if I improved at all or not, if I did then you’ll see by how much.
Easy paced 5 mile run
This run didn’t feel easy at all. Not too sure why, but I was struggling with it from the beginning. Probalby it didn’t help that I went out when the sun was really hot and didn’t take any water with me. I usually run later or first thing in the morning. But this day I couldn’t go any earlier. Usually my running pace is around 8.10mins/ km but this time i was almost a full minute slower.
If you click on the images below, you can see all of them in full size.