Training?… When? What for? Why?

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:

  1. Tokyo, 3rd March
  2. Boston, 15th April
  3. 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.

 

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Swim
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Bike
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Run

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.

Love,

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Tokyo Marathon – Friendship run registration

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 🙂

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Love,

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I bit the bullet ….

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.

Swim:

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:

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1st August, my fastest ever Breaststroke swim.
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4th of November, Tri Club Swim. All front crawl.
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30th of November, my own session. Furthest swim without stopping.

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. As you can see it’s at 525 metres. It’s still a far bit away from the Iron distance but slowly I’m getting there.

Run: 

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.

Bike:

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.

Conclusion:

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:

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 🙂

Love,

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PAWS Chicago – 2018 Chicago

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.

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Go Team Paws 🙂

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.

 

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My fundraising certificate
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My Team Paws Chicago Medal 🙂

If anyone has any questions about Team Paws please do not hesitate to contact with me:)

Love,

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Prostate Cancer UK – 2018 Berlin

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.

The Perks:

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.

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Pre Race Photo

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.

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Thank you 🙂

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.

Love,

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MACS – 2017 London

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. 

The Perks:

  • 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 🙂

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Pre race Postcard from MACS
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Pre race photo – can you spot me?
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Post race letter

 

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Certificate of Achievement

 

At the end I managed to raise £1435, and even thought I was a slow runner they waited for everybody at the runners meeting area. 
 
Love,
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I never been lucky in my life with drawings until …

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.

Love ,

Race day – Chicago Marathon

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.

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Good night all

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.

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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.

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Can I keep up with the 5:45 pacer?

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 🙂

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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
05K 09:35:13AM 00:39:35 39:35 12:44 4.71
10K 10:15:06AM 01:19:28 39:54 12:51 4.67
15K 10:57:09AM 02:01:30 42:03 13:32 4.44
20K 11:38:47AM 02:43:09 41:39 13:25 4.48
HALF 11:48:47AM 02:53:08 10:00 14:40 4.09

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.

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United Centre – home of Chicago Blackhawks

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Another Blackhawks building.

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.

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I had to stop to have a photo with the cutest dog ever 🙂

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.

25K 12:24:22PM 03:28:43 35:35 14:41 4.09
30K 01:08:28PM 04:12:50 44:07 14:12 4.23

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.

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Can you spot me?

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20 mile marker

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.

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Almost at mile 21

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.

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With Shelly.

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.

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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.

35K 01:51:46PM 04:56:08 43:19 13:57 4.31
40K 02:35:20PM 05:39:41 43:34 14:01 4.28

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.

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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:

5:58:24

I’m a sub 6hr finisher!!!!!!!!

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Sub 6 hour smile :))))))

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Post race goodie bag

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.

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Lovely banner at Work 🙂

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:

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Po – Po & Gizmo

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Eugene

 

Before the race many people said that this race is really flat. Well they didn’t lie. Look at that elevation map:

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Just a bit of a Garmin statistics at the end:

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Official finish times:

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I’m really proud of my pace, specially for the ones in the second half.

4 down 2 to go 

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London, New York, Berlin, Chicago

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London April 2017 06:57:31
New York November 2017 06:32:14
Berlin September 2018 06:22:52
Chicago October 2018 05:58:24

 

I also made a video about my race day, you can watch it here:

Love,

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Chicago Marathon Expo & International 5k run

The marathon expo opened up on the Friday. Luckily we landed in Chicago on Thursday so I was definitely be able to get to the expo first thing. If I can, I go to the expos when they open. They not as busy then, and also there’s a bigger chance to buy all the merchandise I want.

But before the expo, I met up with my Coach, Denise, at 6am and we went for a casual 5k donut run. She organised this run through the Chicago Marathon Facebook group, and there were a few of her runners as well.  It wasn’t many of us, probably because it was heavily raining. But I loved every minute of it. It was good to meet up with like-minded people and get to know others. Have to say the pace was way too fast for me, and I couldn’t keep up all the way round, but they did wait for me by the donut shop 😀

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Heavy rain at 6am

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Look at those donuts. Yumm Yumm Yumm

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Stan’s Donuts. Best in Chicago

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Nope, we wasn’t drunk! This is what happens when you run between tall buildings. 

So after getting soaking wet and really cold, we decided to go back to our house. Change clothes, dry up and get ready to the expo.

Because our hotel got cancelled back in september, a lovely Team Paws member  offered us her spare bedroom. So we’ve stayed with her and her husband. Our nearest train stop was on the red line, Argyle stop. Her house was only a 10 mins walk from it, so perfect location.

The expo was held at the McCormick Place, we didn’t have a direct train there but the journey was still really simple.  I think we got there just after it opened at 9am. It wasn’t crazy busy, I managed to pick up the free Marathon poster, then we went through security and checked in.

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Ready to walk in

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OMG. I’ll need to frame this

First we decided to go and pick up our  5k race bib because there was a bit of queue there, then off we went to pick up my marathon pack. No one were queueing in the marathon bib pick up table, so I got mine in minute. Really well organised, have to say.

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5k bib pick up

After collecting all the important material, we’ve started the fun part. It was time to do some shopping. I love expo shopping. We’ve  decided to walk through and check out all isles. then also had to go to the Paws table to pick up the supporters cheering pack.

Collected as many freebies as we could, then went to the Nike stall to buy the Event jacket. After buying one in the previous Majors, I couldn’t say no to that.

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New Nike Event jacket, with my new glasses

Whilst we were walking around we’ve seen a stand ( Biofreeze ) which was offering to get the Event t-shirt personalised. Well it had a massive queue, but I had to have it done. I’m only planning to run this race once, so had to have the full package. Took us about 20 mins to queue but it’s awesome. more races should do this. So easy, permanent and looks great.

By this time it was around 11.11.30am and started to get really busy. So it was time to go. I really don’t like busy places, people keep pushing each other and fighting for merchandise. It’s not for me.

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Expo goodiebag 🙂

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With the 5k and Marathon bib 🙂

 

06. October. 2018 – Saturday 

I was so excited about this day. It was time to run the International 5k run. When we woke up it was raining, again, what a surprise lol . I was so excited, because it was hubby’s first ever proper race. He did run the Breakfast run in Berlin, but there was no bib for that or medal. So it wasn’t a proper race. He felt so nervous in the morning, and as soon as we got to the start he said he’s really worried.  He didn’t do a single minute training for it, according to him anybody can run a 5k. Well well we will see haha

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My outfit for the race

I’m not too sure how many runners were at the start, but it did look really busy for a 5k race. The start got delayed because of the heavy rain.

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Look at his face. Hahaha

After a few hundred yards, he told me to go and leave him behind because he’s struggling and he doesn’t want me ruin my race. I said to him it’s not a race for me, just a casual run before the BIG race on Sunday. So I sticked with him. He did try to run as much as he could, but then we started walking. After that it was a fully run-walk-run race. It did look like he liked that better.

We managed to get around in about 44 mins, which is great for him. This was hist first proper race and he did finish it 🙂 I’m so proud of him. Now just need to tell him that Tokyo and Boston do a 5k run as well. Hahah

 

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He was a bit red, but I’m so proud of him

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Luke’s first ever race certificate

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With my new medal

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Nope, we still wasn’t drunk here. 

I highly recommend this race to everyone who’s running the Marathon in the coming years. It’s a flat course and it was so much fun running it.

It’s only $35 and you can sign up for it here: https://www.chicago5k.com

Love,

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Travelling to Chicago

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.

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At Heathrow, ready to check in.

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English breakfast on the plane. Did taste good 🙂

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Somewhere across the Ocean.

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.

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Special edition Ventra travel card

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.

Love,

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Chicago Marathon – How can you track me?

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:

iPhone   https://itunes.apple.com/…/2018-chicago-marath…/id718145625…

Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details…

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.

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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

Love,

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Chicago Marathon – It’s Race week – Quick recap of events

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.

Love,

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It’s Race day!

It’s time to summarise my Race day experience, if you’d like to read my Travel journey (click here ) or of you want to hear about our Breakfast run ( click here) then please click onto the links.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

sportograf-137822506 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?

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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.

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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.

Love,

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Berlin Marathon Expo & Saturday activities

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.

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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.

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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 🙂

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Adidas Event Jacket

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Adidas Event Jacket

After this we walked around a bit more, but then eventually we left. Didn’t buy anything else.

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In the below photo you can see what was in the goodie bag. Did you see the yellow sponge?! Hahahah

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂

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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.

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But more about that in my next post.

Love,

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Our travels to Berlin

A few months ago I’ve already posted our journey details here and here as well.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Also on the platforms they had massive interactive boards, telling customers about train formations and where to stand on the platform.

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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.

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Catering facilities were spot on as well.

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We’ve seen a few double-decker trains as well. Couldn’t resist taking a photo of them 😀

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Because we reserved our seats on the DB trains, we had nothing to worry about when we got on the trains.

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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.

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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.

Love,

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Berlin Marathon Tracking – How to track me?

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.

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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.
  1. Click on the ” Visitor” button
  2. Click on ” More “
  3. Click on ” #berlin42″
  4. Click on ” Tracking”
  5. Click on ” Search athletes “
  6. Search for ” Gabriella Waller ” or ” 69100 “
  7. Click on ” Track Gabriella Waller”

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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.

Love,

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Mi is az a World Marathon Majors? Hogyan lehet jelentkezni?

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.

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Hat nem gyonyoru?

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

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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!

Tokyo Marathon 

tokyo-marathon-2018-official-logo

Weboldalhttps://www.marathon.tokyo/en/

Datum: Marcius elso Vasarnapja

Regisztracios dij:

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

London Marathon 

London-logo

 

Weboldalhttps://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/

Datum: Altalaban Aprilis 3. Vasarnapja

Regisztracios dij:

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!!

Berlin Marathon 

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Weboldalhttps://www.bmw-berlin-marathon.com/en/

Datum: Altalaban Szeptember 3. Vasarnapja

Regisztracios dij:

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

Ferfiak:

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

Nok:

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!!

Chicago Marathon 

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Weboldalhttps://www.chicagomarathon.com

Datum: Altalaban Oktober 1. Vasarnapja

Regisztracios dij:

Sorsolas altal:

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.

Fel maraton Maraton
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

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Weboldalhttps://www.tcsnycmarathon.org/

Datum: Altalaban November 1. Vasarnapja

Regisztracios dij:

Sorsolas altal:

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!!

Boston Marathon

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Weboldalhttps://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon

Datum: Mindig a Hazafiak Napjan ( Patriots Day )

Regisztracios dij:

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.

Korosztaly Ferfiak Nok
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.

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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.

Sok puszi,

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29 days till Berlin – Quick travel update

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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As you can see not much sightseeing at all, I want to make sure I’m rested well before race day.

Love,

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My first 18miler (alone)

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.

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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.

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My flat 18 miles

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.

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Much better running temperature

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.

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You won’t get an even pace line with the run-walk-run method

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)

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18 long miles done

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Average pace: 7:54mins/km

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. 

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London 2017

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. 

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New York 2017

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.

Love,

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Berlin Marathon – Start list

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.

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I’m Officially 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 🙂

Love,

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Ironman Bolton ’19 – Back from deferment

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.

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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.

1. Holiday Inn Bolton – 3rd June 2018

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.

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2. SiEntries – Invictus Thriathlon Club

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.

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3. PEAK XV Tri Coaching

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.

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With this race next year, I’m going to have a really busy 12 months ahead of me.

Currently I’m marathon training, Berlin is coming up in September less than 7 weeks to go, then 3 weeks later I’m racing in Chicago.

Next year I already have the Tokyo Marathon booked in for March, then a month and a half later I’ll be in Boston. Boston is really important because I’ll be collecting my 6Star medal there 🙂

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 🙂

Love,

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Week 11 – Berlin to Chicago training

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 😀

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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.

Love,

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Abbot – Everyday Champions ★☆★☆★☆

Yesterday I came across a tweet from Abbott :

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.

  1. London 2017    ★
  2. New York 2017 ★☆
  3. Berlin 2018        ★☆★
  4. Chicago 2018   ★☆★☆
  5. Tokyo 2019       ★☆★☆★
  6. Boston 2019     ★☆★☆★☆

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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.

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  1. Zsolt Dragoman
  2. Zsuzsanna Fekete
  3. Janos Kiss
  4. 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:

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At the moment there are TWO Hungarian 2 Star finishers:

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At the moment there are ZERO Hungarian  Star finishers:

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At the moment there are ZERO Hungarian  4 Star finishers:

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At the moment there are ZERO Hungarian  Star finishers:

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At the moment there are ONE Hungarian  Star finishers:

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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 🙂

Love,

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Who’s a Charity Runner? Why do I need to explain myself?!

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.

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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 🙂

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂

Love,

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Tokyo flights, trains, hotels, sightseeing

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.

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London – Tokyo

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.

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London – Beijing with a Boeing 777-300ER

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.

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Beijing – Tokyo with an Airbus A321

On our return journey back to London will be on the 4th of March.

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Tokyo – London

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.

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Beijing – London with an Airbus A330-200

 

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.

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Smile Hotel Tokyo

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).

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Shinkansen Nozomi

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.

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter 

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Universal Studio Osaka

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.

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Hotel Keihan Universal Tower

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Hotel Keihan Universal Tower

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.

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APA Hotel Kanda Jimbōchō Station East.

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As you can see our hotel is just before the 8km mark. 

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.

 

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Diseneyland Tokyo

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DiseneySea Tokyo

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Disney Resort Tokyo – click on photo for better quality

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.

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MariCar Tokyo – Who should I be? 

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.

Love,

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I got into TOKYO which also means I’m getting my 6star medal in Boston 2019!!

OMG. I’ve done it, signed up for the Tokyo Marathon 

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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

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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.

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What the …… ??????

 

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.

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YAAAAAAYYYYY I’m registered. What a relief. It was just passed 3.40am, so it wasn’t quick at all. 

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 🙂

Love,

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Improvements? Week 1 – Week 6

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
 Pace  9.18mins/km 8.31mins/km

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 ) 

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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 🙂

Love,

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I’m going to BOSTON 2019 !!!!!!

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. 

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Hopefully I’ll be able to get a charity spot for Tokyo, then I’ll collect my 6star medal in Boston.

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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 
 4-NT PACKAGE  £1999  £2799
 EXTRA NIGHTS  £180  £360

Additional items:

  • 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.

Also just seen on Google, that this hotel is supposed to be Haunted!! Does anyone know if its true or not?? 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.

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Boston Logan Airport for the return flight on Delta flight DL58 departing at 19.26. Arrive at London Heathrow at 07.05.

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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.

Love,

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ECG screening by C-R-Y

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.

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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.

Love,

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Week 4 – Berlin to Chicago training

This week was a total write off. Still didn’t feel good at all, and had to take all my pills :/

I really thought I’ll be better by now but not. Hopefully I can continue my training in week 5.

 

Love,

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Tokyo Marathon ’19 – Charity – Quick update

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.

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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.

Love,

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Week 3 – Berlin to Chicago training

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.

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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.

Love,

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Week 2 – Berlin to Chicago training

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.

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22.05.2018 – Tuesday

Cross training

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.

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23.05.2018 – Wednesday

Track training

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.

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Highlighted the 2x 1/2mile speedy parts

 

 

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Finally my charity t-shirt arrived.

 

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.

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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.

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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 🙂

Love,

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Week 1 – Berlin to Chicago training

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:

  1. Monday : Easy paced run
  2. Tuesday: Cross training  ( I’ll alternate between, swimming, cycling and the cross training machine )
  3. Wednesday: Track training ( to get faster )
  4. Thursday: Easy paced run
  5. Friday: Rest day
  6. Saturday: Long run
  7. 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.

14.05.2018. Monday

REST DAY

15.05.2018 Tuesday

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.

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16.05.2018 Wednesday

Track training.

Since I started running I haven’t done ay kind of speed workout. Or you can call it Track training. Unfortunately I haven’t found any running tracks around me, so I decided to run around the local pond.

The plan I had to do was:

2 mile easy warm up

4x 1/4mile repeats ( 2 mins recovery between )

1 mile easy cool down

I wasn’t too sure how fast am I supposed to run when I do the 1/4mile (400m) intervals, so I gave it all my best. As you can see from the splits below, that the first one was completed in 3:05mins, second one in 2:53mins, third one in 2:42mins and the last one was in 2:36mins. To my surprise I managed to get them done faster and faster. At least now I have some kind of idea how fast am I supposed to do them later on. Also I had no idea what am I supposed to do in the 2mins rest period, so I just kept slowly walking. Since then I’ve spoken with Denise and I can just stop in the rest periods.

I have to say I’m really pleased with this workout. I’m really far to be a fast runner, but sooner or later I’ll get there 🙂

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Look at those splits 🙂

17.05.2018 Thursday

Easy paced 3 mile run

have to be honest I couldn’t do this workout. After work I had to sort out my citizenship application and totally ran out of time 😦

18.05.2018 Friday

Rest day

18.05.2018 Saturday

Long run – 7 miles

After totally failing my run on Tuesday, and feeling bad about myself, I’ve decided to give “jeffing” another go. I love jeffing, but then some people keep calling me a walker, and not a runner. Yeah I know well that I’m not running all the distance but when I “jeff” I am much much faster . So I decided to “jeff” all 7 miles on saturday.

Running vs. Jeffing 😲😲😍😬
Tuesday vs. Saturday.
When I “jeff “ I run 1mins and then walk 30secs.
For me it sounds totally unbelievable that I can be this much faster if I take regular walk breaks.
Look at my average pace , 9.03mins/km when I give my best in continuous running and compare it with my 7.25mins/km when I ran-walk.
How is it possible ?! Well to me it doesn’t matter , I think I’ll stick with my jeffing. And don’t listen to others who’s keep telling me I shouldn’t do races if I can’t ran it continuously.

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And now lets see my Saturday run compared with my Tuesday run:

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As you can see, when I ‘ jeff ‘ my splits are more even and definitely much faster. I love the 60:30 ratio , mainly because I can run fast for 60 seconds, and then the 30seconds recovery is more than enough. I get my heart rate down and cath up my breath. Then off I go again with the run.

20.05.2018 Sunday

Cross training or Rest day

Because I couldn’t do the training on thursday I decided I do need to do today’s cross training. Jumped on my bike and cycled on the turbo for an hour.

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Week 1 is done and only 17 more weeks to go 🙂

Love,

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Berlin to Chicago = I’ve hired a running coach

In the last few months I’ve spent loads and loads of times to decided what to do with my upcoming marathon training plans. It wouldn’t have been that hard if I have to train for once race, but no I need to train for 2 of them . Berlin is on the 16th of September, and then chicago is on the 7th of October.

I’ve read through loads of websites, and books. Some suggested treat the first race as a practice long run and give my absolute best in the second one. Some suggested I should treat them individually. Other plans said I should give my 100% at the first one and just enjoy the second one.

So it’s all totally different and totally confusing.

For London and New York I’ve followed the MY ASICS plan. It was a nice and simple plan, and easy to follow and totally free. You can use it on a computer, or download the iPhone / Android app.

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It follows a really simple plan:  Go out and run the distance, mostly with the same pace, sometimes slower other times faster. So no complicated hill sessions, fartlek sessions or other ones.

It did work because in London I’ve got around in 06:57:31 and in New York I’ve got around in 06:32:14.

As you can see I’ve improved 25 minutes in the second race.

But as I said earlier I have to run 2 marathons within 3 weeks. When I signed up for them ( via charity ) I really thought it’s the best idea ever. Then I’ve realised I wont have 6 months between them , so I really need to push my training. Definitely can’t be lazy.

I’ve asked in multiple Facebook groups if anyone recommend any good running coaches.

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This is how I’ve found Denise 🙂 She’s based in Chicago, but everyone who’s done her Group or “Virtual” marathon coaching plan highly recommended her.

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Coach Denise, Marathon Whisperer

Just a few awesome facts about her:

  • Certified Running Coach-Road Runners Club of America
  • Certified USATF Coach Level 1
  • 91 X Marathoner| 23 X Chicago Marathons |28 X Boston Qualifier
  • Co-Founder Girls on the Run-Chicago
  • RunCierge™ Run My City Tours
  • Abbott World Marathon Majors Six Star Finisher
  • 2 X Wisconsin Ironman Finisher
  • Abbott World Marathon Majors Ambassador
  • 3 X 50 mile Ultra Marathon Finisher
  • 1 X 100 Mile Ultra Marathon Finisher
  • 200+ races completed

As you can see she’s completed loads of Marathons and 2 Ironman as well.

Becasuse I’m a slow runner, I was really worried that I won’t find any coach who caters for slower runners. But I was totally wrong. She does training plans for slow runners.

As soon as I heard that I knew that I will use her services to help me to get to Berlin and then the finish in Chicago.

I haven’t received my plan yet, so I can’t really say much about it. But I know that it will starts on the 15th of May, and if I have any questions I can email her.

She also just run Boston and London with a few of her trainees and I can’t wait to meet with her in Chicago.

When I’ve signed up with her I’ve told her that my main aim is to get finally below the 6hrs mark, and she said she will make sure it will happen.

As soon as I have more information about my plan and it’s structure I’ll give you all an update.

You can find more information about her HERE and she also offers 1-2-1 personal coaching and group coaching as well. I’ve opted for the Virtual one, because I don’t live in Chicago 😦

Love,

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My day with Kathrine Switzer

As I was telling you all in my last post I had an awesome big surprise for you.

There’s an online running community called ” adidas Runners London “. A few weeks ago they told us that Kathrine Switzer will attend their Saturday Morning Ladies running session. Had to sign up via Facebook and then a few days later I was notified that I got a spot and be able to attend to the Q&A and running session with her.

When I first started running I came across with her. At first I had no idea who was she, and what did she do. After I’ve looked into her and purchased her books I realised what did she do. If you not familiar with her story , you can read it below briefly:

1967 Boston Marathon

After her coach insisted a marathon was too far to run for a "fragile woman", Switzer trained for and completed the 1967 Boston Marathon under entry number 261 with the Syracuse Harriers athletic club.It was another five years before women were officially allowed to compete. Her finishing time of approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes was nearly an hour behind the first female finisher, Bobbi Gibb, who ran unregistered.She registered under the gender-neutral "K. V. Switzer", which she said was not done to mislead the officials. She stated she had long used "K. V. Switzer" to sign the articles she wrote for her university paper. She also stated that her name had been misspelled on her birth certificate, so she often used her initials to avoid confusion. Photographs of race official Jock Semple attempting to rip Switzer's number off were widespread in the media.

Switzer was issued a number through an "oversight" in the entry screening process, and was treated as an interloper when the error was discovered. Semple attempted to physically remove her from the race while shouting, "Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!" Switzer's boyfriend, Tom Miller, a 235-pound ex-All American football player and nationally ranked hammer thrower who was running with her, shoved Semple aside and sent him flying to the pavement, allowing her to proceed.Photographs taken of the incident made world headlines.

Afterward, Boston Athletic Association director Will Cloney was asked his opinion of Switzer competing in the race. Cloney said, "Women can't run in the Marathon because the rules forbid it. Unless we have rules, society will be in chaos. I don't make the rules, but I try to carry them out. We have no space in the Marathon for any unauthorized person, even a man. If that girl were my daughter, I would spank her."

Because of her run, the AAU barred women from all competitions with male runners, with violators losing the right to compete in any races. Switzer, with other women runners, tried to convince the Boston Athletic Association to allow women to participate in the marathon. Finally, in 1972, women were officially allowed to run the Boston Marathon for the first time.

According to Switzer, she understood the gravity of her participation and accomplishment: "I knew if I quit, nobody would ever believe that women had the capability to run 26-plus miles. If I quit, everybody would say it was a publicity stunt. If I quit, it would set women’s sports back, way back, instead of forward. If I quit, I’d never run Boston. If I quit, Jock Semple and all those like him would win. My fear and humiliation turned to anger."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathrine_Switzer
https://kathrineswitzer.com

I’ve started my day early, had to leave Andover by 7.30am to get to London and then walk to the Adidas studio. I didn’t want  to be late, because the email said no late comers. I had one chance to get there so I left really early.

When I got up to London I knew that this day will be great. Sunshine, and incredibly hot weather, no clouds on the sky.

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Had to make my way into the Adidas Studio in Brick Lane. At first I’ve walked past but 2nd time I found it. By the time I’ve got to the studio a few ladies were already there. A few of us were first comers, but most of them knew each other from their other running sessions.

Kathrine turned up just after 10.30am. She was so casual and friendly. I didn’t really know what to expect, because she’s totally famous but she was friendly, chatty and just lovely.

I went to speak with her, and she sounded really positive. Told her about my marathon goals, and she said I’m totally awesome to try to achieve something like that. Also told me to keep continue no matter what happens, think about my achievements when I feel down or struggle. And totally ignore the naysayers, they just there because the jealous about my running journey and achiements. Also been told that I’m totally awesome because I’m raising funds for all the charities I’m running  for ( MACS, Prostate cancer UK and Team Paws Chicago ) .

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After the photos the Q&A started. My phone was playing up so didn’t managed to record the first few minutes, but got almost 20 minutes of footage 🙂

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the interview is totally wort watching it, tells you everything about how she managed to run Boston, why is it important that women keep running, and she also gives a few tips about running 🙂 She also told us what ” 261 ” means, so do watch the video.

After the Q&A we headed out for a planned 10k run. Which turned into a shorter 5k run at the end. To my total surprise Karthine stayed with the back of the pack runners. This is felt great. Most of you know I’m not a fast runner, so my 5ks are around 35minutes, so was a bit worried I’ll be last. But who doesn’t want to be last if Kathrine is there with you.  She told me that the speed is not important, as long as I enjoy my runs and completing my distances. 5 of us stayed at the back including Kathrine and the rest of us took off and we lost sight of them after a few minutes. We stopped a few times to chat and she had selfies with all of us.

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As you can see below we did stop multiple times, because the elapsed time was almost 50 mins, but the run itself was only  37:40. But it was totally worth it.

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Waiting to cross the road

 

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Stopped for photos a lot. Who doesn’t want a photo with her and the Tower bridge?

When we got back to the studio we had a few different food to snack on and also healthy hand-made juices.

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Also just before I left I’ve got given a special Adidas Runners London t-shirt, now I will forever remember the day when I’m wearing that t-shirt. IMG_7008

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I had a totally awesome day. I never in my life thought I will meet with her, but now it happened I can’t me any happier. I really hope I will see her in Boston next year so can tell her how I managed to do my marathons.

Also just want to say that this event was totally free, didn’t have to pay ” meet & greet ” fees, photo fees, food and drink fees. I can’t even remember if I ever got anything for free in London before lol .

Kathrine also completed the London marathon on the Sunday, and her impressive finish time was 4:44:49 , which is totally hardcore because she was running in the 70+ age category. I hope I will be as great as her or close to her time when I’ll be 70+.

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I’m forever grateful that I had the opportunity to meet with her and talked with her.

Good luck Kathrine for the future 🙂

Love,

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London Marathon 2018 – Expo

Have to start with the most important thing, this year I’m not running the London Marathon 😦 Didn’t have any luck on the ballot, and couldn’t afford the charity place again. I really wanting to concentrate my Berlin and Chicago charities this year.

So probably now you are wondering why am I writing a blog post about it. there are 2 reasons we went to the Expo. The first one is that last year my other half couldn’t come with me due to not being given a day off from work 😦 Secondly I wanted to do some shopping, getting some bargains and loads of freebies.

We went up on the Opening day which was Wednesday the 18th of April. Wanted to go up early so we don’t need to queue a lot and there’s more chance to get items in my size.

The Expo was in the same place as last year, ExCel London. You can really easily get there from central London.

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Hello London

We got there just around 12pm and it was open from 11am, so wasn’t many people there at all.

Our first stop was the Abbott stand,  I really wanted to leave some inspirational notes on the wall for fellow  6 Star runners.

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They also had the 6 star medal on display and it turns out over 150 people will reach their goal in London and become an Abbott World Marathon Majors 6 Star Finisher. So awesome 🙂

How cool is this? I can’t wait to get mine in Boston next year.Whilst I was there I been offered to try myself out on the gigantic treadmill. For the ladies we had to keep up Paula Radcliffe’s WR marathon pace, which is 11.61 miles per hours. They challenge was to try and complete 400 metres in her pace. It was so much fun. Definitely worth a try 🙂

See below the video my trying the challenge 🙂

 

After this we went into the exhibitor area. This year was the first when New Balance was the clothing sponsor. I haven’t bought anything there, because I would of felt weird wearing a race gear when I’m not even running it.

But we got loads of freebies from New Balance, see the photo at the end of this post.

After this stand we looked around everywhere till we found the OOFOS stand. As most of you know I’m suffering a really bad Plantar Fasciitis since January. i’ve heard and read so much great stuff about OOFOS so I had to try them on. They not cheap , £50 a pair of flip flops but I had to try them on. As soon as I put it on, my pain totally disappeared. It gave my arch an incredible support, and was so snug I felt great straight away. I never thought that a pair of flip flops can do that. After that I knew that I will need to buy this, I can’t leave it behind.

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My first pair of OOFOS, but not the last

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They are sooooo comfy

Since Wednesday I am wearing this all the time, well when i’m not at work. And you won’t going to believe me but my pain is not there anymore. I still feel a bit stiff in the mornings, but after work and running I have no pain at all ! I need to look into if they sell fully black shoes, because then I will buy a pair for work.

As I said earlier I will show you a photo of all the goodies we collected 🙂 The only Item we paid for it was the  Feetures socks for me.

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In my next blog post I will tell you more about my training plan for Berlin / Chicago. Also will have an awesome announcement about my upcoming training run in London. I cant wait to share with you who’s that famous person I’m going to spend my morning running with. So stay tuned 🙂

Love,

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Jeffing? Feffing? Effing?

I’m part of a lot of running groups on Facebook. Mainly to get motivation and also to use them to get advice if I needed. They are mainly English groups but there’s 2 Hungarian as well.

In the last few weeks I’ve noticed that loads of runners ( mainly in the Hungarian groups) saying it’s really embarrassing that they can’t run continuously. Even on shorter distances eg. 3-5k. Whenever this subject comes up in an English group I always recommend ” Jeffing” but when this comes up in a Hungarian group I keep myself quiet.

Many months ago I suggested someone to try ” Jeffing” because she was struggling with running and could not keep her pace up and she wanted to attempt a 5k race.

Well my suggestion wasn’t welcomed well at all. According to them if someone can’t run continuously the race distance then they don’t belong to the start line.

I’m totally disagree with that ! Everyone is totally entitled to attend any races they wish to do.

So whats this ” Jeffing ” about? The proper name for it is The Jeff Galloway Method. Which basicly is run / walk / run method or you could use the world ” interval” running. In 1974  Jeff was teaching runners of different abilities to achieve their distance goal using the run / walk / run method.

The below is from Jeff’s website : http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/run-walk/

The Galloway Run Walk Run method

• A smart way to run – by giving you congnitive control over each workout.

• Allows you to carry on all of your life activities – even after long runs

• Motivates beginners to get off of the couch and run

• Bestows running joy to non-stop runners who had given up

• Helps improve finish times in all races

• Gives all runners control over fatigue

• Delivers all of the running enhancements without exhaustion or pain

I’ve started ” jeffing” just under a year ago and I haven’t looked back. At first I did not believe the method at all. I couldn’t really understand how is it possible  to be faster if I walk some part of the races? but have to say it does work 🙂 It doesn’t make me as tired, I hardly have any muscle aches on the next day and I can run much longer.

To start it you’ll need to get an interval timer. First I tried it on my phone, but my phone battery given up at the longer races. So decided to try the timer Jeff recommends, it’s called Gymboss Minimax and its roughly £27 from ebay , it works with a AAA battery and incredibly easy to set up.

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Green Gymboss Minimax

 

I figured out the best intervals for my training is the 1minute run and 30second walks. Also its better to start ” Jeffing ” from the beginning of the race, otherwise your body will be tired and you wont see the benefits of  ” Jeffing”.

Whenever I ” Jeff ” a race or park runs I give a hand signal to the runners behind me, so they will know I’m planning to stop. Also its great to just stick either on to the left or right side of the road.

You can check out my hand signal in my New York video below, it will be at 08:13secs 🙂

Let me get back to my own experience with some running stats.

London Marathon : 06:57:31

I’ve tried to run the whole race from start to finish, but unfortunately I’ve burnt out by mile 15ish. When I’ve done my training I focused on running, haven’t even thought about walking. Why should I walk in a marathon??

New York Marathon – 6 months later : 06:32:14

I have ” jeffed” this race from the start till the finish line. Was really hard not to sprint off at the beginning or just run, but I knew that I’ve done all my training following ” jeffing” so I knew I had to try my best to follow it. As you can see I’ve beat my time by 25 whole minutes! This includes stopping after mile 11 because twisted and dislocated my knee and needed to see the medics. But after that i went back to do my 1min run and 30 secs walk ratio again and finished the race strong.

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Can you spot my Gymboss? It came with me to the far US of A  as well.  It comes with a clip so you will be able to clip on your running top.

Probably you are wondering how is it possible to recover in your walk breaks? I can’t really explain, but it does work. Probably its all goes back to the heart rate, in your walk parts your heart rate goes back to almost normal, so when you start to run again you are not burning out as quickly, also your core body temperature will get lower again as well.

When I will start my marathon training for Berlin and Chicago I will definitely follow the ” run / walk / run ” method again.

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Flying high with my Gymboss 🙂 

I really wish I could just shake off a full marathon without stopping, but there’s absolutely no chance for that haha. I’m running for fun, taking selfies and making videos. So this ” jeffing ” clearly works for me 🙂 And as you can see above I’ve got a 25mins marathon PB with ” jeffing”. have to say I’m proud of my achievement so far. If someone thinks I’m not a runner well that’s their opinion.

I don’t have anything against fast non stop runners, but there are loads and loads of people out there who’s scared of longer distances or they not believe in themselves. So they have the option to try out the ‘ run – walk – run ” method and they’ll be able to complete their dream races as well 🙂

So go on and try ” Jeffing”  you have absolutely nothing to lose. On Jeff’s website there is a calculator which helps you to find out your ideal run-walk ratio. Look for the Magic Mile section.

If you have any questions regarding ” Jeffing ” please comment below or send me an email and I’m happy to answer 🙂

Love,

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Diagnosis – Plantar Fasciitis

I’ve spent all my bank holiday weekend worrying about my Podiatry appointment which was booked in for Tuesday ( 04. April ).

But lets start it from the beginning. Since january I had a really bad foot pain. First I thought that maybe I’ve done too much exercises, Which woulnd’t have been a surprise because of my ironman training schedule. Had a few weeks rest and it got better. Went back to training and the pain came back, but this time it was even much worse. So I knew I had to do something about it.

Few weeks ago I was chatting with my colleague and she asked me if I pay into the Transport Benelovment Fund. I do pay into that since I’ve started my job at the railways. It’s only £1/ week and they cover loads and loads of treatments. Turns out they cover Podiatry and physiotherapy services up to £250/year/treatment. Since I started my job I never had to use them so I totally forgot it. So all thanks to her I’ll be able to get free treatments 🙂

I’ve contacted with loads of podiatrist and physiotherapist and straight away told them that I’m 90% sure that I have plantar fasciitis. At the end I’ve booked an appointment with a local podiatrist, called Anton Podiatry, and it runs by a lovely lady called Teresa .

I never seen a podiatrist before so I really had no clue what to expect. I was asked to bring my running shoes with me and also my everyday shoes. She had loads of questions before she started the assessment. i said to her that I’ve torn my ankle ligaments in February 2017 but my foot pain only started in January this year. She also asked how much do i run currently and whats my job is.

After all these questions she started a process called ” Biomechanical Assessment “. 

The foot needs to be flexible enough to absorb the shock of hitting the ground but firm enough not to collapse. Your foot and ankle is highly complex, containing 28 bones, 214 ligaments and 38 muscles. They have to take your weight multiple times a day and are subsequently prone to over-use conditions and other types of injury.

 Most sports injuries seen in Podiatry Clinics are due to over-use. This can be as a result of increasing training too quickly, poor foot and leg function, weak muscles, poor footwear choices etc.

A Biomechanics Assessment looks at your whole lower limb function, identifies what is hurting and then puts an appropriate plan in place to manage and ultimately resolve your symptoms.

The Assessment involves looking at your gait (how you walk) in particular, as not many people get injured standing still! It is that dynamic movement that shows where the muscle imbalance may be or if too much load is passing through certain structures in your foot or leg.

Biomechanics is not just Sports Injuries!! Biomechanics is applicable to everybody.

Had to walk up and down in the corridor bare footed, then I’ve sat down and she asked me to relax my foot so she can move the  around. Than stood on the ground lift one foot up and then the other ect.

The diagnosis was confirmed and it is Plantar Fasciitis 😦

it turns out my ankle hasn’t really healed well since I’ve torn the ligaments last year. My whole foot is really tight and when I had to stand on it she seen loads of wobble. Also when I was walking up and down , she said she clearly seen that my left ankle is wobble way too much. Which means it’s not as strong as my right one. And because of that my whole foot is under constant stress. which causing the plantar fascia ligament to be incredibly tight. She said I came to see her in a good time, because if it gets too tight it can easily tear then I will need to have an operation.

So it’s not a good diagnosis at all, but at least it has been confirmed.

I’ve a special insoles for my shoes and i need to wear them everywhere, I also need to tape up my foot every single day. Also she gave me a few leaflets with different kind of stretches which I will need to do 3 times a day. After any kind of exercise I will need to Ice my foot for at least 10-15mins. Will need to get a proper foam roller as well.

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Special insoles

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The “Orange” one is for my bad foot. 

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Luckily I have loads of tape, left over from my ankle and knee taping. 

Will need to go and see her again on the 9th of May and see how I’m getting on.

She said I should see improvements after about 9-10 weeks and if everything goes well a full recovery within 6months.

Also advised me not to run anything further than 15k at the moment, well before the 9th of May and we will re asses my options after that.

She said if I follow her plan and advise I shouldn’t have any problem running the Berlin and Chicago mararthon later this year.

At least I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m on the way to get better 🙂

Love,

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How are we getting to Berlin?

When I’ve got my charity place for the Berlin Marathon I’ve managed to book a really good hotel via booking.com. The hotel is a 3 star hotel and it’s called Astrid am Kurfürstendamm. I’ve tried to book a hotel close to the start/ finish line so we won’t need to travel too much. According to Google this hotel is only 30 mins away from the start if we walk, or only 20 mins if we taking the train.

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From the Hotel to the Start

This hotel has 3 stars and it comes with free breakfast as well. at least we are going to save some money on food 🙂

Since I know that we are going I was keeping an eye on the flight prices. But to my surprise all prices are already over £160 / person, even with the cheapest airline.

At this point I started to wonder what other options we have to get there. I really don’t want to drive, because it’s expensive and takes way too long.

Then I realised what if we go with a train? I work for the railways, I like trains, I’m lucky to get great discounts and also its just over 9hours on the train. No hustle, no troubles, just a chilled out journey.

I was a bit worried that my other half will shoot my train plans off, but to my surprise he said yes. He’s words were ” This will be great fun “. Well he could have been sarcastic, who knows haha.

Now it’s time to start the planning. The one thing I was sure that we will need to use the Eurostar to get to the Continent. but had absolutely zero clue if its Paris or Brussels or anything else.

After a quick search I’ve found our perfect route:

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London – Brussels Midi – Köln Hbf (Cologne) – Berlin Hbf

  1. 06:13am London St Pancras International, UK  – 9.22am Brussels Midi , Belgium
  2. 10:25am Brussels Midi , Belgium – 12:15pm Köln Hbf (Cologne), Germany
  3. 12:48pm Köln Hbf (Cologne ), Germany – 17:07pm Berlin Hbf (tief), Germany

The London to Brussels route will be on the Eurostar, and the Brussels – Cologne – Berlin part will be on the DB ICE trains.

Velaro-Hochgeschwindigkeitszüge: Eurostar e320 / Velaro Eurostar e320 high-speed trains
London St Pancras International to Brussels Midi – Eurostar e320

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Brussels to Köln Hbf (Cologne)  – DB ICE 15 ( 406 )  

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Köln Hbf (Cologne) to Berlin Hbf (tief) – DB ICE 559 ( 402 )

The journey is not the fastest, but we’ll be on a comfortable trains, and check out the beautiful scenery. I never had a train journey like this before, but I do looking forward to it.

On the way back be taking the same route, and same trains.

The price break down for this whole journey is £313 for the hotel and £138 for the trains. This train fare already including our discounts, without that it would of been £460.

The subtotal will be £451. Which is way better than the original price with the really expensive flights.

Love,

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Crushed dreams – deferral IM UK

This wasn’t an easy decision to make, and I was the only one who had to make it.

Due to not being able to give my 100% at trainings, because of my really painful heel ( read about it more here Plantar Fasciitis )  I had to defer from this years Ironman UK event 😦

Since January I’ve run twice, the furthest I’ve attempted to run was 13.1miles but that was with loads of struggle. After 6miles I was walking, just walked to get to the finish.

I’m someone who always give 110%, no matter what I do. Personal life. running or at work.  If I can’t give my best I feel bad about it.

Probalby I could have started the race in Bolton, and get around in 16:59:59. But that’s not the point. That’s not my aim. I can’t start an Ironman race if I only can swim and bike, but cant run. If I’d completed the race I would have wanted to go back next year to give my 110%.

So a few days ago I’ve filled out the deferring request on the IM UK website, and got my confirmation a few days later. Luckily when I signed up before the 29th of October 2017, so I was able to defer my entry to 2018. Otherwise I would have lost the £400 entry fee, and that’s a lot of money to lose.

I keep continue my swimming and cycling in the mean time and hopefully in a few months time I can slowly start some kind of running.

Till then off to see my physio a few times a week and hoping for a quick recovery.

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Love,

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What’s the costs of running the World Marathon Majors ( WMM ) ?

Since I started this journey, loads of people keep asking me how much is it exactly cost to run the races. But lets start with the beginning. If you new to running and have no idea about the majors, let me explain it to you briefly.

What is the Abbot World Marathon Majors?

The Abbott World Marathon Majors is a series consisting of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world. The races take place in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City.

So simple is that, the 6 biggest marathons all around the world, 3 in North America, 2 in Europe and 1 in Asia.

When you complete all 6 races, your name will go onto the Abbot’s Wall Of Fame, and you’ll be rewarded with a special 6 star medal. If you lucky you can run all 6 races in a calendar year, or run them in a much slower pace. At this moment there is no time limit to complete them . I gave myself a 3 year time limit, which means 2 in every year.

London – New York = 2017

Berlin – Chicago = 2018

Tokyo – Boston = 2019

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Now back to the most important and serious part, finances.

How much does it really cost to run the races?

There are a few options, but I start with the cheapest options, which is when you are successfully gained entry via the lottery  / fast runner systems. Then after that I’ll explain how did I managed to get my entries.

  1.  Cheapest option – via 5 lottery drawing + 1 qualification

For 5 races out of the 6, you can get in via lottery drawing ( Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, New York ) and for Boston you’ll need to run fast. You will need to get a qualifying time.

Let me get this straight, there’s really no cheap option. Yes, the race entries are not too bad, but you still going to need to travel. If you are from the US you can travel to the US races much cheaper, then someone from Europe ( like me ). But you still need accommodation, spending money, new running gear ect.

All 6 races have charity entries and Tour operator entries, but in this part I only focusing on the cheapest option, which is the Lottery or the Fast runner entries.

Tokyo Marathon:

Date: 1st Sunday of March

Entry fee if successful in the lottery:

Japan residents – 10,800 Yen  ( £73 )

Overseas residents – 12,800 Yen ( £86 )

The application period is usually in August, and the drawing takes place in Mid September.

Tokyo also has a scheme called ” RUN as ONE ” which is their fast runner scheme, but they only have 300 places for this. Also for this only residents outside of Japan can apply.

  • Men’s Full Marathon 2:21:01 〜 2:45:00
  • Women’s Full Marathon 2:52:01 〜 3:30:00

Tour operator: I haven’t found a list on their website unfortunately. The only 2 official operators I’m aware of : 2:09 events and Sport tours international

Charity application : 4000 guaranteed spots on the first come first get in basis. Have to pay the fundraising fee ahead. https://www.marathon.tokyo/en/charity/

London Marathon:

Date : usually the 3rd Sunday of April

Entry fee if successful in the lottery:

UK residents – £39 ( or £35 if you are a member of a UK-affiliated running club )

Overseas residents – £80

The application period is in May, and its usually only for 5 days, and the drawing takes place in October.

Also for London you can get in if you are part of a UK running club, they get a few places every year. The other option to get in via the Championship Entry, which means you’ll need to get a qualifying time. These 2 option are only open for UK residents thou.

Tour operators : Only for residents outside if the UK https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/how-to-enter/overseas-entry/

Charity application : https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/charity/run-charity/listings/UK/

Berlin Marathon:

Date: usually the 3rd Sunday of September

Entry fee if successful in the lottery:

Any residents – €108  ( £95 )

The application period last year was in Mid September – Beginning of October, and the drawing takes place in the end of November – beginning of December.

Also for this race small teams ( 2-3 people ) can enter as well, they have the same application window and the price is the same. Not too sure if their chances are better than the single participants.

Berlin also have a Fast runners scheme. Everyone who finished an AIMS-certified marathon in the last two years  under a specified time and can prove it with a list of results or race certificate qualifies to receive a starting spot once we have verified the submitted information. They will need to pay the same entry fee of €108.

Tour operators : http://www.bmw-berlin-marathon.com/en/plan-your-race/tour-operators/

Charity application : http://www.bmw-berlin-marathon.com/en/plan-your-race/charity.html

Chicago Marathon:

Date: usually the 1st Sunday of October

Entry fee if successful in the lottery / guaranteed entry:

  • U.S. residents (those who live in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or other U.S. territories): $195 (USD) ( £140 )
  • Non-U.S. residents: $220 (USD) ( £157 )

The application period last year was in end of October – end of November., and the drawing took place on the 12th of December.

Chicago also have a Guaranteed entry option:

  • Time qualifier: Runners who have met the event’s age graded qualifying standards or qualify for the event’s American Development Program.
  • Legacy finisher: Runners who have completed the Chicago Marathon five or more times within the last 10 years.
  • 2017 Cancelled entry: Runners who cancelled their 2017 entry through the event deferment/cancellation policy.
  • Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle: Runners who have completed the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K four or more times since 2000 and have signed up for the 2018 Shamrock Shuffle.

Tour operators : https://www.chicagomarathon.com/charity-community/international-tour-group-program/

Charity application : https://www.chicagomarathon.com/charity-community/charity-program/

New York Marathon:

Date: usually the 1st Sunday of November

Entry fee if successful in the lottery / guaranteed entry:

  • U.S. residents (those who live in the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia)
    • NYRR members: US $255 ( £182 )
    • Non-members: US $295 ( £211 )
  • Non-U.S. residents: US $358 ( £256 )

The application period  was from the 15 January –  15 February , and the drawing took place on the 28th of February.

New York also have a few guaranteed entry options:

  • Entrants Through the 9+1 or 9+$1K Program
  • Entrants Who Officially Cancelled Their Entry to the next TCS New York City Marathon
  • Runners Who Have Completed 15 New York City Marathons
  • Time Qualifiers

Tour operator : https://www.tcsnycmarathon.org/plan-your-race/international-travel-partners

Charity application : https://www.tcsnycmarathon.org/plan-your-race/run-for-charity

Boston Marathon: 

Date: always on Patriots day

As I said at the beginning, this race is totally different from the other 5.

There is no lottery for this race, you’ll need to get a qualifying time to be able to get into the race, of course if you want the cheapest option.

Entry fee via time qualification:

U.S. residents – $185.00 (USD) ( £132 )

International residents – $250.00 (USD)  ( £180 )

Boston Marathon has a “rolling admission” schedule, beginning with the fastest qualifiers. Runners will be seeded based on qualifying time. The date you are allowed to register will correspond with the amount of time by which you’ve beat your qualifying standard. For more info click HERE, this is the official site and explains it really well.

Tour operators : Since B.A.A. updated their website they took off the official tour operator list. I saved it in a PDF so happy to email it to anyone 🙂 Also only non USA / Canadian residents can apply via this route.

Charity application : https://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/charity-program

   2. How did I got into the races? 

Because I’m not a fast runner and I havent had any luck with the lotteries I’ve already paid a lot. Most of these prices just for the entry, doesn’t include airfare or hotels. The only good thing is that luckily i get great price on train fares , so mostly that’s free.

If you light-hearted and don’t want to get a shock do not read any further lol

London Marathon 2017:

Charity entry –  the cheapest I’ve found was with a charity called MACS and they have requested to raise £1250. I’ve raised about £500 and the rest was paid out from my pocket.

New York Marathon 2017:

Official tour operator – 2:09 events UK

Their flights + entry package cost me £1200

Berlin Marathon 2018:

Charity entry– The cheapest I’ve found was with Prostate cancer UK and they asked me to raise £500. Because i feel bad asking money from friends and family I’ve paid this off as well. I don’t feel that others should pay for my races, even though all the money going to charities.

Chicago Marathon 2018:

Charity entry – it’s with a Chicago based charity called Paws Chicago, and they asked me to raise $1000 ( £717 ). It’s the same as Berlin, because I feel bad asking money from friends and family I’ve paid this off as well. I don’t feel that others should pay for my races, even though all the money going to charities.

Tokyo Marathon 2019:

Charity entry – But because the registration hasn’t opened for 2019 I can’t say I’ve got a guaranteed place. But when they open it up in July I’ll apply for a place. Their charity called ” Run with Heart ” and they have 4000 spots, it’s a first come first get registration. The money need to be paid is 100 000 Yen ( £680 ).

Boston Marathon 2019: 

Official tour operator – 2:09 events UK or Sport Tours International.

Their prices will include : flight  + entry + hotel for 4 nights

Because none of them started their registration process I can’t say what their fees will be for 2019, but 2:09 events prices for 2018 were:

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The final balance is due 10 weeks before travel.

So that’s all, it’s definitely expensive but my motto is ” We only live once ” so at the end it’s all worth it 🙂 And to be honest I’m good with savings , once I set my mind into something I save up for it.

When I got my entry confirmation for Tokyo & Boston I’ll update this post.

Since I’ve wrote this post I managed to get into Tokyo and also to Boston as well. Click on the links to read more about them.

If any of you have any question about any of the races please do not hesitate to contact with me.

Love,

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Struggle?! Why I’m so unlucky?

I haven’t been active here for a really long time, and I feel really bad about it. But the last few weeks were horrible.

It’s all started after I completed the 10k race in Greenwich park.  During the race my left foot started to hurt, it felt like a strange burning numbing feeling. It’s really hard to explain. First I thought that I run too hard or haven’t trained enough for it. the next morning I could not manage to stood on my left foot, I never felt this kind of pain in my life before. My heel was incredibly sore but the rest of my sole was hurting as well. Slowly managed to get to work but I was worrying about it a lot. After a few hours the pain was gone , like nothing happened before.

When I got back from work and sat down a bit, and stood up the pain was back. I had no clue what this could be.

A few days later I went to see medical advice because I started to realise this is definitely not normal. Well it turns out it’s a really common but awful injury called Plantar Fasciitis.

What exactly is this?

Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).

Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As you get up and move more, the pain normally decreases, but it might return after long periods of standing or after rising from sitting.

 

Plantar fasciitis is more common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support have an increased risk of plantar fasciitis.

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Two words:  It Sucks !!!!

There’s not much I could do about this, other than resting and stretching it gently. I’ve spoken with many other runners and some of them been out of running 6-10 months because the pain is unbearable.

I’ve got one of these special night casts, which should gently my ligament overnight so I wouldn’t be in as much pain in the morning.

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It seems to work, because I don’t have as much pain in the mornings, but running is still a struggle. So most days I just fast walk :/ I thought if i keep resting it gets better, so I haven’t done any cycling or running since the end of january. Attempted a half marathon on the 4th of march and I was perfectly fine till about mile 6-7 after that the pain was back and had to walk the remaining miles. Which resulted to my slowest ever half marathon 😦

At this moment I have no idea what’s going to happen with my Ironman race in July. I could defer it for a year, but I really wanted to do it before I turn 30 next February.

Some days if I walk more at work than usual then the next day the pain is back and I hardly can walk. So even when I’m not running the pain is coming back.

I do feel really unlucky because every time I’m training for something I’ll get injured. Last year torn my ankle ligament before the London marathon. During New York I’ve dislocated my knee and now I have this.

I have so much stuff to do this year, Ironman, Berlin and Chicago. I paid in loads and loads of money, which I can’t get back. The only one I can defer is the Ironman. The marathons are charity places, so can’t defer.

Life sucks sometimes.

I need to get better, I need to feel well to continue my training. I love my training, it refreshes me and let me relax after a hard day at work. Now I totally incapable to do anything other than walk.

I do hope that a few more weeks of resting and I’d be okay with my training. How could I even attempt an Ironman without training for the bike and run? It’s so sad 😦

Love,

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Greenwich Park 10k

To keep myself on track with my trainings I’ve decided to run at least 1 race in a month.

I’ve run a few races organised by Runthroughuk and I really enjoyed them. Really well organised races, chip timing, medal, banana , flapjacks and free race photos. Who needs more than this?

I headed to London early Saturday morning, because the races started at 10am. My train arrived to Waterloo well on time, then took the underground to get to Greenwich park.

Unfortunately the weather was horrible, and rained all day long.

The course was a 3 lap course in the beautiful Greenwich park. I don’t really like lap races, but 3 laps are not as bad. But at the end of each laps there was a massive hill.

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I wasn’t too sure what to expect , because my last race was in New York, but I tried to do my best. I’ve decided to run as much as I can, then walk/run up that massive hill.

With that plan in mind my first 3km was well under 7mins/km, which I was pleased with it.  Unfortunately because the weather was bad we didn’t have much crowed support but the marshalls were awesome.

After the first hill climb I realised that I do need to do much more hill training. There were loads of runners who easily run up the whole hill.

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To be honest I’m pleased with my time, I’ve crossed the finish line in 1hr 14mins 7secs. Which is a bit better than my normal flat 10k time. My last 10k race was in Reading and I’ve finished that in 1hr 21mins.

Massive surprise. I’m starting to believe that cycling and swimming help with my cardio and it makes my running faster.

What’s your thoughts?

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Finished the race with an awesome 7:26mins/km, and I’m really happy with that. There’s still place to improve and get better but slowly I’m getting there.

 

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Happy Finish

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First Medal of the year

Love,

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6 months to go – IM UK

Race day is now less than 6 months away, its scary to think that this time I’ll be in the water and swimming towards to the finish line of Bolton.

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But 6 months is a long way away as well. Loads of training and also some planning ahead of me. When the weather gets better and I’ll do longer on the bike I will have to start practicing my fueling strategy. I’m really comfortable with my running fuelling, so just need to concentrate for the cycling part.

In the next couple of months I’ll do some blog posts about the different race locations, pre and post race activities etc.

Also ever sunday after i finished my last training session of the week I will publish my weekly training summary. It will be a good reflection to see where did I struggle, what did I smash and just simply to compare my results.

I’d love to have it in writing how much I achieved and got better in the next 6 months.

To have that I have to write down where I started.

Swimming:

I’ll be honest, I’ve started swimming on November. Before that probably I’ve done 2-3 swimming sessions in a whole year. As of today I only feel comfortable to swim in breaststroke. I’ve tried to do front crawl but it feels like I’m drowning and all the water keeps going into my nose :/

My average swimming pace is : 3:42mins / 100 metres 

If the race would have been today I’d swam the 3800 metres in 2hrs 20mins 36 seconds. 

Which is pretty bad because the swim cut off is : 2 hours 20 minutes + a further 10 minutes from the swim cut off to start the bike

As you can see I need to get much much faster. I just looked through my Garmin swimming records and can see the fastest 100m I swam was 3:09 mins, if I’d be able to keep that sweep up I’d finish it in 1hr 59mins 42secs.

But my plan is to get as fast as 2:45mins / 100m in the swimming pool, that is 1:44:30. Because I managed to keep that pace up then in open water I’ll have some spare time and wont need to rush as much. As you can see I’ll definitely need to get faster and shave off almost a whole minute from my swimming times. But I still have almost 6 months to achieve this step.

Cycling:

I used to cycle in my mountain bike and done a few casual races back in Hungary, but nothing as competitive as an Ironman. I’ve got my road bike in the beginning of december and since then we are best friends lol.

the Ironman cycling distance is 180km, which is a really long way and I’ve done a bit of a research and it turns out Bolton is really really Hilly course.

My average cycling speed is : 20.4km / hour

If the race would have been today I’d cycle the 180 km in 8hrs 49mins 24 seconds. 

Its far from fast and I also need to remember that the cut off for the Bike: 10 hours 30 minutes (after you cross the swim start timing mat) + a further 10 minutes from the bike cut off to start the run

Also will need to keep in mind that the cycling route will have internal cut off points as well. When Ironman releases that date I’ll memories it back and forth so when I’m out there I will know which km mark belongs to what cut off times.

My plan is of course to get faster and average something like between  23km/hrs and 25km/hrs. With an average 23km/hrs I’d finish the cycling part in 7hrs 49mins 33secs, and if I get even faster to 25km/hrs then I’d finish it in 7hrs 12mins.

I do beleive I can get as fast as I need to be, and also currently with my slowest speed I’m only on my turbo trainer. So outside will be much better. I hope.

Running:

To be honest this is the part I’m not worried of at all. I know I can run a marathon, I mean I’ve run London and New York already. The only difference will be is that I’ll run the marathon after the swimming and cycling.

It’s hard to calculate what could be my running speed, because there’s absolutely no point me writing down my 5k speed because that won’t last for 42km.

Lets see what was my average pace for the NY marathon.

I’ve averaged 9:09mins/km in New York for 42km.

If the race would have been today I’d run the 42km in 6hrs 26mins 07 seconds. 

With 6 months constant training I’ll try to get faster with my running so I’ll have more spare time in Bolton.

I’d love to average an 8:30mins/km so I’d finish the run part in 5hrs 58mins.

The cut off for the whole race is: 17 hours (after you cross the swim start timing mat)

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Would FAIL with my current speed

 

In 6 months time I hope I’ll be able to achieve the below paces and complete my first IM race. The most I need to improve is my swimming  then the cycling part. 180km is a really long way and a long time to sit on a bike.

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6 months time?

I’ve used this website to calculate my total Ironman finishing times: http://www.triathloncalculators.com/

As you can see I’m far from ready, I’m far from perfect but I’m the one who never gives up. 6 months bloody hard work is ahead of me to be able to achieve my planned paces. But when I’ll cross the finish line in Bolton town centre at almost midnight I’ll be happy and will know that all the sacrifice worth it.

Love,

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Hotel & Flights for Chicago

A few weeks ago when I signed up for the upcoming Chicago Marathon with Team Paws I wasn’t too sure what kind of hotel to book.

First of all I’ve tried to book one as close as to the start as possible. But than it turns out they are really expensive, even if I booked them on Booking.com 😦

So after a bit of disappointment I’ve checked Chicago’s public transportation system and realised its pretty good. When I run New York in november I had to travel almost 25 mins to get to the Staten Island ferry station so I think I can travel around them same for Chicago.

The race is starting from Grant Park, so I decided to look for hotels within a 6 mile radius, according to google its only a 10 minutes car/taxi journey or if I would take any of the trains / subways it’s still only a 25 mins journey. Not bad at all 🙂

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So after searching on booking.com for a few days I managed to find a not  too expensive, but still a good-looking hotel within my travelling range.

It’s called Chicago Lake Shore Hotel and it has 3 stars and it’s only 5.5 miles from the start area. Just above the University of Chicago.  I can easily hop on to the Red tube line and that gets me to the start in 24 minutes.

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Have to say I’m pretty chuffed with the hotel. It turns out it has an outdoor pool as well, I mean I’m not too sure how hot the weather will be in October but I could give swimming a go.

We staying in the hotel from the 4th till the 8th of October and it’s only costs us £381         ( $522) and this already includes all taxes and extra fees, and we only pay it when we get there. This is another reason i love booking.com 🙂

Few days ago we also managed to book our flights. Searching for flights I used a website called ” skyscanner.com ” . If you haven’t heard from it, it compares all different airlines and ticket selling sites prices and you are able to pick whichever you prefer.

On our days the cheapest airline turned out to be Norwegian, but after reading through their terms and conditions about check in, food on the plane, extra luggage etc. I decided not to use them. too much extra fees to pay.

Surprisingly the second cheapest airliner turned out to be British Airways. With BA you get everything in the price. We choose to travel on their Economy class ( World Traveller ).   Free food and drink on the plane, 1 free check in luggage and carry on luggage and also online check in etc.  The flights cost us exactly £900. I don’t think its a bad price for BA.

As you can see on the photos above, we are leaving from Heathrow on the 4th at 08:40am, and getting to Chicago at 11:20am. It’s a british airways flight, but will be operated as an American Airlines flight, but we getting the same benefits. If my research is correct the plane will be a Boeing 787-8 (twin jet) plane.

On the way home we are leaving chicago at 19:25 and will get to London the next morning at 09:05. I’ve chosen the later flight in the evening, so will have plenty of time to do some last-minute shopping in the morning. This flight also will be operated as American Airlines and the plane will be the same Boeing 787-8.

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The only other thing to need to buy is the Chicago sightseeing passes, but there’s no rush with them at all.

With BA we only can check in 24hours before the flight, so still a bit far away.

Just check out my ESTA and it turns out they are valid for 2 year, so I don’t need to renew it luckily . Its valid till May 2019, so hopefully I can use it for my Boston Marathon as well in 2019.

Love,

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House moving, Ironman training and 2018

First of all Happy New Year all of you 🙂

So much has happened in the last couple of weeks. A month ago we successfully bought our house and moved into it. That’s the main reason I wasn’t blogging at all. We still don’t have the computer room set up, need to buy a computer desk, chair and storage cupboards so currently sitting on the ground but typing away haha.

 

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My World Marathon Medals and frames hanging nicely in my new workout room. 

I really wanted to move to happen quickly because my Ironman Bolton Training was starting on the 18th of december so us moving on the 8th was a great timing.

As soon as we moved in I started to buy all of my cycling equipments. We didn’t have much space in the flat so I am really pleased with the space in the house.

I got myself a new road bike, so no more mountain biking. Also because the weather is not too good I decided to purchase a turbo trainer as well. So I can sweat inside but still getting the mileage in.

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My new toys 🙂 All ready for the next 30 weeks training.

I absolutely loving my new bike. Its comfortable and fits well and the colours are bright.

Didn’t really have any idea what kind of “turbo trainer” to purchase , so after looking through different ones on the internet I decided its better to spend a bit more money on it and buy a “smart” one. It means I am able to connect it with my phone and comes with all different kind of sensors ( speed, cadence etc ). Luckily I found one on sale in my local Halfords store so it only cost me £120  because it was on sale. The bike was a fair few hundreds, but better not to mention the price. I’ll spend house on it so needed to be well fit and good bike.

Currently I’m in my week 4 of my training, have to say some days are harder than others. Finding really hard and boring to sit on the bike and cycle for hours. Currently the longest I was on it was 1hr 45mins. But after moving my set up to the living room I can watch Netflix on the tv so it’s not as bad anymore. But I can’t wait for the cycling outside part.

Signed up for the local swimming pool as well. It’s just much easier to get there straight after work or early mornings. Andover only has a temporary 4 lane swimming pool but its 25m long, so perfect length. Because I going swimming in non peak hours it’s never been busy yet. I think the most I’ve seen was 6 people and me.

Running around Andover is great, I loving the new scenery and the different running routes. We live not too far from the ponds, so usually when I have my brick sessions I run around the pond 2-3-4 times and that’s it.

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I also treated my self with a new workout watch. I had no problems with my Tomtom Runner 3 at all, but the battery life wouldn’t have been long enough to last an Ironman. Always wanted to get a Garmin, so opted to buy the Fenix 5.  Loads of people recommended it, and the battery life will last much more than the 17hrs I’ll need it for.

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My cycling is not the fastest yet, currently I’m around 20.5km/hr so will need to speed up. But I still have loads of months to get better. Currently I’m training my bum to just get use to the saddle for long hours. Also do believe cycling outside will be a bit better and faster.

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Cycling on boxing day. Swapped my prosecco bottle to water bottle

I know well that I’m really far from where I wanna be, but I still have 26 weeks to get better. I promised my self that I’ll give my absolute best and that’s enough for me. There’s no point comparing myself to other faster people. Everyone is totally different, this is my journey and I’ll give my 150%.

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1st week of 2018 DONE. 

From now on I’ll try to share my training a few times a week. Also will write-up some statistics so will be able to see how much did I improve from week 0 to week 30.

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Guess what ?!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Love,

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Chicago Marathon 2018 – Application

As I mentioned in my previous post I’m planing to run 2 World Marathon Majors in 2018.  You can read about my Berlin application and acceptance in HERE.

The application opened up on the 24th of October 2017 and it was closed on the 30th of November 2017.

If you planning to run the race there are a few options to enter the race. Loads of options for Guaranteed entries are available and there are also the Non-Guaranteed Entry ( Lottery ).

 Guaranteed Entries:

  • Time qualifiers who have met the event’s age graded qualifying standards (not me ).
  • Legacy finishers who have completed the Chicago Marathon five or more times within the last 10 years ( not me ).
  • Runners who cancelled their 2017 entry through the event deferment opportunity   ( not me ) .
  • Charity runners who are fundraising for an official charity as part of the Chicago Marathon Charity Program ( could be me ) .
  • International runners (non-U.S.) participating in the official International Tour Group Program ( could be me ) .
  • Runners who have completed the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K four or more times since 2008 and have signed up for the 2018 Shamrock Shuffle ( not me ).

Non-Guaranteed Entry:

If you don’t qualify for any of the above or just simply don’t have / want to spend money on fundraising / tour operators then your only option is to apply for the Lottery.

I was really hesitant about what to do. I knew well that I want to run the race no matter what. I was thinking about signing up for the lottery and if I don’t get drawn out then I will sign up with the same travel agency I used for New York ( 2:09 Events ). But unfortunately when the announced their 2018 prices I was surprised that they not offering the ” flight + entry” option any more. It turns out there was some changing in the rules so they only can offer ” hotel + entry” or the full package. I’ve done some calculations and for me and hubby the full package would have been well over £3000!  £1941 for me and £1599 for hubby for 4 nights, this price includes flights, hotel and my entry fee. Plus all the spending money we wanting to take. I really can’t justify spending this much money just to run the race and just for 4 nights :/

So after being disappointed I’ve decided to try my luck with the lottery. I’ve applied for it on the 24th of November.

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I was thinking if they draw me out I only have to pay $220 to register , which is not too bad at all. They are notifying the runner about their results on the 12 of December. Which coincidently is my Name day. maybe luck will be with me this time.

But then after the application the more I thought about it the more worried I become. What if they don’t draw me out? I dint have luck with London x2, Tokyo x1 and Berlin x1. So as you can see I’m not succesful at all.

At this point I started to look into the Charity options. Most charity takes on International runners and their pre-lottery fundraising minimum is only $1000 (£750) which will increase to at least $1500 post-lottery.  In the next few days I was calculation which option is the best, should i risk not getting in with via the lottery then I will need to pay out $1500 for the charity. You read it right, I pay out the charity funds, wont do any fundraising. The reason behind this is I feel really bad about asking money from others for my races. I have 10 months to save up the $1000 which is easy doable, I can easily pay in over $100 / month. I could pay it off right now but I’m not in the rush.

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. Their sign up fee was $100 which includes loads of great stuff. Will explain it a bit later.

So because I already had my name in the ” lottery ” I had to ask the charity to contact the organisers and cancelled my lottery application and transfer it to the charity panel. Within a few hours I’ve received the below email stating that I am running the marathon 🙂 The fundraising minimum need to be reached by the 18th of September 2018.

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They are raising funds for an incredibly thing, and it really worth every penny for me.

As I said earlier I had to pay a $100 registration fee, but for that I’ll receive 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 I also looking forward to their Paw-sta party. Hubby can get of the supporter Tshirt and cheer me on all the way round.

Some people would say that I’m crazy spending this much on for races but I only live once. I run whilst I can and I spend the money whilst I can easily afford it, without using any credit cards and go into debt.

Hotel already been booked via booking.com and we are staying in the Chicago Lake Shore hotel for 4 nights, from the 4th of October 2018.  The price for that is £388 ( $522)  which induced all the local taxes already.

Flights hasn’t been booked yet, but they are currently on £710 for 2 people. Will buy this after the new year, we are not in a rush at all.

Just a quick summary of the costs for the different options, it’s for 2 people but only 1 running.

 Lottery  Tour Operator  Charity
 Entry  £163 ($220)  £382 ($500)  xxxx
 Hotel  £388 ($522) xxxx £388 ($522)
 Flights  £710 ($954) xxxx £710 ($954)
 Tour operator fee:  xxxx  £3118 ($4191) This includes the hotel and flights x2  xxxx
 Charity fundraising   xxxx xxxx  £750 ($1000)
  Total £1261 ($1695)  £3500 ($4704)  £1848 ($2476)

As you can clearly see the Lottery option is still the cheapest option, but then if I wouldn’t have get drawn out then the charity fee goes up from $1000 to $1500,  but still wold have been cheaper than the tour operators. Don’t get me wrong I loved my New York experience with 2:09 events, this time I simply didn’t chose them because of the massive price difference, from that money I’m saving for not using them ( £1652 ) we can use that for race merchandise, spending money, food money whilst we there  or even use some of it to pay off my Berlin entry.

As soon as I have any more update about Chicago I’ll let you all know 🙂

Love,

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Berlin Marathon 2018 – Application

My plan is to run all 6 World Marathon Majors by the end of 2019. Completing London and New York this year I’m well on track. My plan is for  2018 to run Berlin and Chicago.

This post will be about Berlin and the application process.

The lottery application opened up on the 18th of October 2017 at 12pm CET.

I didn’t rush filling out the application form because it’s going to get decided via a lottery system. So as long as I applied between the 18th of October and 8th of November 2017, my name was in the pot.

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I had to put in my Bank Card details, but they not charging anybody till the lottery been drawn. but if you get drawn out your card will be charged straight away. So will have to make sure there are enough funds on it.

I had options to choose extra stuff, but if you didn’t want anything ( finisher top, jacket, video, photos ect) then the registration fee was only €108 plus €6 for the timing chip.

I had to decided if I want the ” bag drop off ” or ” post race poncho “. After running New York I knew well I need the poncho.

I’ve also opted in to buy the adidas Finisher-Shirt, I do think it’s better to pre-order it. Just in case they run out of it at the expo.

Also selected to get my Medal Engraved and getting my Race Video.

DETAILS OF YOUR REGISTRATION

Booked Services Selection Quantity Price
Participation fee 1 108,00 Euro
Rental Chip (ChampionChip®) 1 6,00 Euro
Clothing Drop-Off or Poncho I want to order a poncho (free of charge, instead of clothing drop-off) 1 0,00 Euro
adidas Finisher-Shirt Women L 1 30,00 Euro
Personal best time * Enter personal best time 1 0,00 Euro
Medal Engraving 1 9,00 Euro
MySports HD Race Video 1 4,99 Euro
Privacy settings for the tracking Public 1 0,00 Euro
Kreditkartengebühr 1 4,74 Euro
Total 162,73 Euro

They started to announce the results from the 30th of November. So by the looks of it Berlin done this much faster than London. I kept refreshing my email system all day long, I was hoping for a “You are in ” email.

My email arrived at 20.45 GMT and unfortunately it was the refusal one 😦

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Well I’m clearly not one of the lucky ones.

  • 2x refusal from London
  • 1x refusal from Tokyo
  • 1x refusal from Berlin

Because I really want to run this race I spent all night thinking about my options. There were 3:

      1. Donate and Run

On December 7, 2017, we will open up 1000 additional spots for 168 Euros as part of the RTL Donation Marathon for children in need. 60 Euros of the payment for those spots, which are limited at 1000, will go directly to the RTL Donation Marathon. The amount of donations will be donated in full to a charity project for Berlin children.

     2. Tour operators

 2:09 Events Ltd , Sports Tours International , Running Crazy Ltd. , Swinley Travel Ltd

The problem I’ve found them that  almost all of them only offered the full package, Swinley travel offered just the bib for £259 but I never heard of them so didn’t want to risk it. Done my calculations and money wise it would not worth for us (me and hubby). Really expensive hotels, plus paying for the registration fee and then was supposed to buy our own flight tickets.

    3. Charity

The official 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 need 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. 

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So I’m running the 2018 Berlin Marathon. World Marathon Majors #3.

When I applied for the ballot I’ve already booked in our hotel via Booking.com so we got a really great deal. Only £315 for 3 nights ( Friday to Monday ) for 2 people. Also the hotel is not too far from the start and finish area, it’s only 3km.

Astrid am Kurfürstendamm

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The only other thing I need to purchase is the flight tickets, currently its £75/person. But hopefully it will go lower a bit.

Total cost of the races is without the optional extras are: £985

As soon as I have more information regarding starting times, bib numbers I will make a separate post. You’ll find it under the ” World Marathon Majors ” – ” Berlin 2018 ” tab.

Love,

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New York Marathon 2017 – Race Day

When I went  to bed the night before I knew that I will have a really long day in front of me on Sunday, so tried my best to be in my bed by 9pm.

Set my alarm for 3.45am, so I’ll have time to dress up, check my gear, have breakfast and make our way to the subway station.

Good night ZzZzZzZz

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I woke up at 2.30am on sunday, which was supposed to be at 3.30am but because the clock had to go back an hour on sunday I was wide awake  an hour early. I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t. So decided to stay in bed as long as I can and tried not waking hubby up. When my alarm went off I had my breakfast ( porridge ) and braided my hair as well. Just had to do a final gear check and dress up. We left the hotel way before 5am and got on to the number 1 subway to the ferry station without any issues. The subway was almost empty, 4 other runners were in the same carriage as us.

When we got to the Staten Island ferry station there were only a few runners, but loads of NYPD officers with dogs. Went through them easily, they just wanted to see my clear bag.

Staten Island Ferry Station – Manhattan 

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When we got in around 5.20am we took a seat, because my booked ferry was the 6am. It turned out they were running ferries in every 15mins.

Waiting patiently for my ferry