New York Marathon ’17 – Opening Ceremony

This blog post will be about my experience as the Hungarian Flag bearer at the New York Marathon’s Opening ceremony. If you want to read about my time at the Expo you can read it on here 🙂

So it’s all started a few months ago, in the summer time I’ve found an application form at the marathon’s website about becoming either the flag bearer or a delegate. I thought I’ll try my best and apply for the Flag bearer position. In September to my surprise I’ve got the email that they have selected me as the Hungarian flag bearer.

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Hubby and I decided to get to Central park way before the suggested time, which was 4pm. Because mainly we wanted to have a look around at the Pavilion. Just before 4pm I said goodbye to hubby and sent him towards to the spectators area. We got him a free ticket to the grandstand seating at the Expo so he will be able to watch the whole ceremony in the first row 🙂

He had an awesome view 🙂 

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So 4pm came and i was petrified, I never done anything like this before and had no idea what to expect. Never met with the fellow Hungarians so I was even more nervous.

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As the flag bearer I wasn’t able to carry a bag with me, so was great that I had my new York marathon pouch, my passport and phone fitted in perfectly. Hubby had the camera so we were all set. At 4pm promptly I was able to go into the starting area, had a passport check and they made sure I was on the list. Went to find the volunteers with the massive flags. Told her many name and she crossed me off from the list and gave me my flag, oohh and also received a surprise present. All flag bearers received an Official Opening Ceremony Scarf. You can’t buy this at the shops so I was even more happy. When I got my flag I went to find our country sign and smaller flags. Still no other Hungarians were around :/ Met with a lovely guy from Honduras , he was by himself as well. So we took photos of each other and had a great chat about the marathon.

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Slowly the Hungarians started to appear and it turned out it was 14 of us, 1 flag bearer and 13 delegates 🙂

The whole ceremony didn’t start till like 5.30pm so we had a long time to wait, but at least we had the option to chat with each other and get to know each other.

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When it started the countries were going out in alphabetical order, and the announcer guy announced all flag bearers and had an interesting story about the country.

Ready to march. 

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Hungary ‘s interesting story was:  that we will have 30 runners on the day, and every summer olympic we attended we got at least 1 gold medal 🙂 Impressive, I think.

So when we marched down till the end , the delegates had been sent to a seperate area to continue their street party with the other nations. Me as the flag bearer was sent back to the top and been told to send on the side of the marching route and wave the flag as the rest of the countries walking down. Have to say it was totally amazing.

It really felt like we were famouse people and got loads of love from the spectators.

USA marched in last and they got the most and loudest roars, but I’m not surprised because it’s their home.

When they were done the massive fireworks started and they played Alicia Keys – New York song. Amsolutely amazing! Everybody was singing and dancing along.

When it was all done I had to go back to the starting area to return my flag. When i was done with that I got a unique pin badge saying ” New York Marathon 2017 Opening Ceremony, Participant “. All these little presents here and then made the experience even better.

Scard for the Flag bearer, flag for the spectators, Pin badge for everybody

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Close up photo of the pin badge.

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When they hit the gong, the marathon weekend officially started 

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It was a long and tiring day but if I can give you one advice, please apply to be part of the opening ceremony if you running the race in the upcoming years. It was awesome and you definitely wont forget it 🙂

I’ve made a short video about the whole opening ceremony, which you can watch below.

 

My next  blog post will be about the race day it self, so please keep tuned and thanks for reading.

Love,

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New York Marathon ’17 – Expo

After a long journey from London to JFK we finally arrived to New York just after 1pm local time on the 2nd of November.

W decided to check into the hotel and drop our bags off before we went to the Expo.  Our hotel was located on the 29th street and the Expo was on the 34th street, so we decided to walk there. Had enough sitting on the plane. The location of the Expo was in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th St, New York, NY 10001, USA.

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We arrived just after 5pm and have to say it wasn’t busy at all! Security was top job, with bag checks and sniffing dogs 🙂 Have to say this place is MASSIVE and need to spend a few hours there just to check everything out.

Who’s ready to pick up their number ? 

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So as soon as we got in we tried to find the bib pick up section, but as you can see in the photo above it was easy to find. My number was 71222 and there was absolutely no queue there. When I got there were loads of trainees because there was a main volunteer and she showed the other 4 people how to check my paperwork and passport, then gave me my pouch and showed me to the free t-shirt pick up section. I was done probably in like 5mins, so absolutely not a long wait at all. If I can suggest, then visiting the expo on the opening day is the best day.

My collection point with 5 volunteers 🙂 IMG_2619

The free long-sleeve technical top 🙂 I’m in love with it. 

The only negative thing to say about the technical top is the sizing, I’m a size Large but I had to get an XL, because they haven’t fit over my boobs :/ But luckily they had a trying on station so got the good size at the end  🙂

After the bib pick up we went to the shopping part of the expo. Ooohh dear me, all those things for sale, it was hard to say no lol. I knew that I wanted to get the official jacket, because I already had the one from London so definitely needed to get the New York one as well. New Balance had a massive stand with all the official merchandise. I wish I could have bought everything, but you can easily spend over $1000 just on merchandise.

But I was good, and only bought the official jacket, I have opted to get the red/black one. The reason being is that my London jacket is blue, so definitely didn’t want to buy that.

The jacket was $120 plus tax, and I also bought a New York marathon sew on patch. Not too sure what I’ll do with the patch as of yet but i couldn’t say no for $6.

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I have to say I’m LOVING this jacket, loving the colour and way it fits. Also this one was okay to get a size Large, no fitting issues at all. Also I was wearing the jacket all week-long, and was awesome to see other runners wearing theirs.

At the expo we tried all the freebies we could. we had free coffee, free beer, got a free photo printed, a photo emailed, and loads and loads of photo taken. See some of them below 🙂

The only time I was on the top part of the bridge. 

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Hello New York 🙂 IMG_2631

 

Left a note to the fellow Hungarians 🙂 IMG_2635

2 majors down, 4 more to go.

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Being silly with hubby 🙂

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What was in my starting bag? Also you can see the Marathon patch as well. 

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Font of the  top and jacket. 

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Rear of the top and jacket. 

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My next post will be about the opening ceremony, that will include a short video as well. But to start with it was a totally awesome experience. 🙂

Love,

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NYC Marathon Tracking

It’s almost race day and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Today I finally managed to check into my flight and selected my seat as well. I’m flying with Virgin Atlantic  ( flight nr. VS 3 ) , leaving Heathrow at 8.50am and should land in JFK at 1pm. Before I selected my seats I had a read about the aircraft, it turns out seat 61K has a slightly bigger leg room and it s a window seat, so will be perfect for me. Being 180cm tall is not the best when you have to sit still about 7-8hrs.

So back to tracking, you can track me on the official app or on the official website.

My race number is  71222 so please search for this 🙂

For iPhone users: 

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For Android users: 

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If you don’t like using apps and would prefer to follow me on the website, please use this link below

 http://liveresults.nyrr.org/e/NY2017?_ga=2.70025424.1386026848.1509537204-1931568342.1492335420#/tracker/RYLZNRSU

This link will get you straight to my tacking page so you won’t need to search for my name or race number  🙂

Also if you will be home and want to watch it on the TV , please see below the channels which will televise the event. If you are in the UK you’ll be able to watch it on    FreeSports ( Freeview + TalkTalk + BT : Ch.95, SKY Ch.424 , Freesat : Ch.252 ). It starts at 1.30pm ( UK time ) and broadcasting till 4.30pm ( UK time ).

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If you are in HUNGARY you’ll be able to watch it on Eurosport, not sure whats the channel number. It will start at 15.15 ( Hungarian time ) and finishing at 18.15 ( Hungarian time )

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All other Countries with suitable channels are listed below, hopefully you’ll find the channel and you’ll be able to watch the race 🙂

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I do feel ready for the race, now I just need get over the flying and get to race day 🙂

This is my last post till after the marathon but you still can follow me on Instagram or on Facebook. Please wish me luck and think about me on race day 🙂

Love,

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NYC Marathon – pacing strategy

A week from today I’ll be already in New York , hotel checked into and if everything goes well collected my race pack. New York will be my second marathon and I’m getting incredibly nervous. I think it’s totally normal but still worrying about the smallest things. It’s my first overseas marathon, how will I recover about the time difference, will I find my way around New York and specially to the start?

I’m trying to be positive and keep myself calm, but it’s hard.

Today’s post will be about my pacing strategy. I started my training sometime around may, a few weeks after the London marathon. Luckily this time my training went really well, no slips or falls, and specially not a torn ankle ligament.

I followed almost the same plan I had for London. Downloaded an app called ” My Asics ” and was following that throughout the training. Usually I done my runs on Wednesday, thursday, saturday and the long runs on sunday.

As i said I do feel my training went well. Had a few trial races and I managed to do it in my expected time. As you all know now I’m not the fastest but I’m slowly getting there.

  • Basingstoke Half Marathon:  2:43:45
  • Great South Run – 10 miles : 2:04:27

 

A few weeks ago I’ve seen something awesome on one of the running groups on Facebook. There’s a company ( Races2Remember )  in Kansas City, USA who makes loads of different personalised items for runners and supporters

First I have ordered a ‘ name bib ‘ . At least with wearing this I won’t need to get a personalised t-shirt which can be much more expensive. I do think it looks awesome as well. Arrived to the UK in 7 days, so I think it’s a really fast shipping service.

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After this arrived I came across their ‘ smart pace bands ‘. These are totally custom-made and the splits are following your estimated finish time, and also I was able to select the New York course.

First I had to select my ” pacing strategy” , I choose the  ” warm up” option.

Our Warm Up strategy starts out 60 seconds slow the first mile, 30 seconds for mile 2, 15 seconds for mile 3, goal pace for mile 4, and then settles into a faster than average pace until mile 20 to make up time and build a modest cushion for the end.

Then I choose my course  ( New York ) and they adjust the pace accordingly.

For each course, we carefully review the elevation and make adjustments for the terrain. We will consider how big the hills are, how steep, whether a mile is all up, all down or a mixture, and whether the hills early or late. It is a mix of art and science.

Typically, we suggest 5-10 seconds for a 50-75ft climb over a mile and 10-30 seconds for 100-150 feet. We start with the uphills and then find where to make time back up – starting with obvious downhills.

Finally I had to tell them my estimated finish time, a set of 3 pace band cost me $7.50 plus postage to the UK. I don’t think that’s expensive at all.

Also I choose a funny quote what will keep me going for 26.2 miles.

This one arrived in 7 days as well, so really please with the shipping time. They also offered me to post it to my hotel just in case it’s not arrived to England.

So back to my pacing strategy lol.

The pace bands I ordered are: 5:25 and 5:35 and 5:45

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As I said my training went really well, so feeling really positive about my chosen finish times.

I would love to finish around the 5hr 35mins mark, which I think is totally achievable according to my training. I’ve chosen the 5hr 25mins just incase I’ll smash the course , and being under 5:30 would be great.  If I struggle on race day I will try to follow the 5hr 45mins pace and I still be happy with that.

The fastest pace is 1 minute faster than my last half marathon ( Basingstoke ) and the other 2 is 5-8 mins slower. So all should be totally okay for the race.

I also love the fact that I was able to choose to have mines in KMs and not in miles.

But to be honest I’ll be happy with any time as long as I finish the race and if everything goes well I can get a new PB. The London marathon was slow and painful due to my ankle injury so fingers crossed NY will go better.

Love,

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Great South Run 2017 – Portsmouth

Last October I was at home and flicking  through the tv channels  I came across a running race called ” Great South Run “. I never heard of that before, and it was in Portsmouth. Which is about 50 mins drive from Basingstoke. Seeing all the amazing runners I’ve decided that it’s time for me to run this race. It’s a 10 mile race around Portsmouth and surprisingly really flat, but can be really windy.

the race this year was on the 22nd of October, but I travelled back to Hungary on the 16 just for a short holiday. Whilst we were away they announced it that Brian the storm is coming to england, so there’s a risk of cancelling the event. It’s by the coast and the sea can be temperamental. Unfortunately they had to cancel all saturday races, but luckily they haven’t cancelled the main race which was on sunday.

Because my expected finish time was over 2hrs I’ve been placed into the green wave, and our start time was 11.05am.

Woke up nice and early to eat my usual pre race breakfast, which is porridge. I usually eat just a plain one, because I haven’t found a great tasting one. Even when i bought the most expensive ones they tasted bland. So whilst I was back home I’ve bought my favourite porridge ever. it was roughly about 30p/bag so not expensive at all and also this only needs water , no milk required. If any oy you can suggest a great tasting porridge please let me know and I’ll try it out.

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Went to pick up my sister at 8am and we were off to Portsmouth. Could of left a bit later but didn’t want to risk not getting there. They closed down most roads from about 9.30ish. So after that we couldn’t park at the shopping centre’s car park.

Got to Portsmouth nice and early, after a coffee break we started to follow the other runners and walked to the starting area.

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The wind was really strong so I was worried that my race will be hard and I wont be able to keep my pace up, but at least the sun was shining 🙂

Was debating to wear my jumper or not during the run, but knowing myself I had a feeling that I’ll be sweating after a mile, so left my jumper with my hubby.

11am came quickly and we were off with my sister. She’s a much faster runner than me but she didn’t feel too well so decided that we will try to run together as much as we can.

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The start was awesome, I never seen this many spectators cheering on a 10 mile course. But have to say the spectators were awesome all around the course. The only part without spectators were the dock yards, but that was only for a few hundreds of metre.

W started a bit faster than we were supposed to , ended up next to the 1h50 pacer bunny. But managed to keep up with them till around mile 4ish.

At the start area we have seen a few T-rexs and a whole squad of police force with ‘prisoners’. I managed to catch the police force and couldn’t say no for a selfie 😛 By the looks of it they clearly had loads of fun.

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So the race was mostly uneventful, I managed to keep up my pace and we got to mile 5 in spot on 1hr. I knew well that eventually I’ll be a bit slower so there’s no chance that I’ll get under 2 hrs, but I wasnt worried or stressed about that.

Quick selfie with my sister.

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The first water stop wasnt till like around mile 4 mark, but i didn’t want to get a drink because I really needed the loo by that time. But the queue at he loos were massive, if I’d stopped I would have lost about 1o mins and that wasn’t really worth it.

I’m pretty chuffed with my pace, other than a few 8mins once, most of them were in the 7mins mark. Can see it that I’ve slowed down a few times, but I mostly just wanted to enjoy the race.

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from around mile 6 I was running alone, my sister decided to walk because she got stomach cramps and told me to go and concentrate on my own race.

By this time there were still loads of spectators out and also loads of runners as well. managed to get some jelly babies from strangers and that kept me going. Have to remember to take some sweets with me for my runs. Used 2 gels out of the 4 I had, but it felt more than enough for the 10 miles. Usually I take one every 30 mins, but somehow I didn’t need them on the day.

The last 2 miles were the hardest part, we were out on the coast and the wind got really strong. Stopped for a bit of walking bread and then seen the 2h5mins pacer running past me. that gave me a massive boost to start running and also managed to take him over. After that point I haven’t looked behind me, I just tried to be as fast as I can to stay front of him. Seen my husband at the 400m to go sign, that gave me the finally boost to run the last part of the race. When I got there I’ve changed my tomtom’s display to show just the time with seconds. I think it was roughly around 3h3 mins, I really wanted to be under 2hr 5 mins so tried to sprint off the last few hundreds of metre. The spectators must have thought I’m crazy cos sprinting off the last bit. But I have crossed the finish line in   2hrs 4mins 27secs. I felt awesome that I managed to get under 5mins. i know others running much faster than me, but this is still an achievement for me. My next goal is to get under 2hrs.

 

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Shaving off 4.5mins is a hard job, need to keep up my faster pace longer and make sure I still have the energy for the rest of the race. I don’t have a set date to beat this time, so hopefully by the end of next year I’ll be under 2 hours.

After crossing the finish line I went to collect my goodie bag, at first I was worried that I have missed the medal collection point but after looking in my goodie bag I’ve found my well earnt medal. the goodie bag had some great items in it, loved the chocolate and also ordered the newspaper to get it delivered to my address.

Have to say I loved the race! It was nice and flat, the supporters were awesome, great medal and goodie bag. Perfectly organised race. I have a feeling that I’ll be running it next year as well. Because I have a time to beat now lol .

This was my last long run before the upcoming New York marathon, I’ll have about 5-6 more runs before the 5th of november but all those will be about 3-4 miles long.

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Love,

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Why so negative?!

I was thinking about this in the last few days to write this post or not. but at the end this is my blog and I can write about negative stuff as well.

So I’m part of loads of Facebook groups, about running and recently joined a few triathlon and specially Ironman ones as well.  Most of these groups are in english, either based in England or at the USA. Only a few of them are based in Hungary, which is where I originally from before moved to the UK.

So back to the main question, why so negative?!

When I told others on the English Facebook groups that I’ve signed up for my first triathlon they were surprised, when I also told it’s not any kind of triathlon it’s gonna be an Ironman then they were even more surprised. But they were supportive. Got loads of newbie tips already, and added a few people as friends on Facebook as well. So we can keep ourselves motivated. Also have been added to a totally new group, it’s for ladies who attempting Ironman UK Bolton next year. Totally newbies in the Ironman world , with or without any prior triathlon experience.

As you can see it’s all supportive and motivational. I havent been called crazy or stupid. Maybe some people think that but I’ve got hundreds and hundreds of comments all of them being supportive.

But at the other hand, I’m part of 1 hungarian triathlon group. When I joined I thought it will be nice to introduce myself, and tell the others my story. Who am I  and why I’m trying to complete an Ironman race. As soon as I mentioned that I’m a total newbie , I haven’t got one supportive or positive word from them.

I’ve been called in all kind of  names, been told that I don’t respect the sport and that I am a joke. According to them only people who training for at least 4-5 years should attempt an Ironman, or any even worse any kind of triathlon. Me being only 9 months away from Ironman Bolton I am a total JOKE and not respecting them.  They said there’s literally no chance that I will complete the race.

I’ve tried to explain to them that I’m not trying to break any record or even be close to be 8 Hours, I just want to complete it. I’ll have 16 hrs 59 mins 59 seconds to complete it.

I am strongly belive that I CAN and I WILL do it. I do believe that 9 months training is more than enough to finish and Ironman race. I already have a begginer plan, which will start ont the 18th of december, and I’ll follow an awesome triathlete training plan, which is the ” Be Iron Fit: Time-Efficient Training Secrets for Ultimate Fitness ” written by Don and Melanie Fink.

Probably if I want to be close to 10 hours then I will need to train for years and year to achieve that.

I really don’t understand why my own kind of people are so narrow minded, compared to the rest of the triathlon / running community. Of course there are others who don’t believe in me but they not slating me off on Facebook.

But to be honest it doesn’t bother me at all. I’ll keep sharing my stuff , training, struggles and everything else. If I fail at Bolton next year I will know that I given my best and try my hardest. But please remember my lovely naysayers even pro athletes pull out from races for whatever reasons they have and they do train days and nights.

Also I’ve noticed the same negativity in a few hungarian running groups as well. Somehow back at home people don’t agree with the run/walk method and been told off that I’m not a proper runner because I have walk breaks. But just remember I doing my OWN race, and I don’t compare myself to others. I’m breaking my own PBs and not yours.

So watch this place – if you still want to – and see where I end up in July next year.

Love,

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New York Marathon – Confirmation Form

Few days ago I was checking my NYRR profile and noticed that they have added a new tab onto my home screen.

It said ” Download my confirmation form ” or ” Email my confirmation form ” .

I got super excited about this, because it means that from now on I’ll know my start time and starting coral.

 

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As you can see my race number is 71222, so if you want you’ll be able to track me on race day. There’s no app / website been released yet, but it will be available at the end of October. Please keep an eye one this web page .

I’ll be starting in Green Wave 4 and Coral E, and  my starting time will be at 11am. I have put down a slow finish time so i assume that’s why I’m starting at 11am.

I was a bit disappointed that I’m starting from the Green area, because that means I’m running at the bottom part of Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It still okay, but I won’t have as awesome views as the people running at the top part.

See the starting colours below, GreenOrangeBlue

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The website been updated with a few other bits and bobs.

Start time line:

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The race village and starting area : 

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Ps, have you noticed the doggie paw sign?? It means they will have dogs and puppies and runners can stroke them to make them-self feel calm. I think I will spend my morning there cuddling puppies.

The finish line and finishing area: 

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I have chosen to get the post race poncho, so after I’m finishing the race I’ll be able to leave Central park at the 73rd street. Saves me walking a few miles to collect my bag.

Will need to plan my meeting point’s with my husband, because I really would love to see him at least 3-4 times during the race.

As soon as I have more information about the race I’ll post it up into a new post.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Love,

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Oxford Half Marathon 2017 – Volunteering

A few weeks ago I’ve seen a post on Facebook in one of the running groups that a lady was looking for Volunteer team mates. She was planning to get 15 people to help out at the upcoming Oxford Half.

I never volunteered before, but in return to spend almost a whole day volunteering we were going to get a free entry one of  the upcoming Virgin Sport’s race. The available races are : Hackney half, British 10k and Oxford half.

I signed up straight away, because helping out and make others race awesome is already a great feeling, but also getting a free entry for a running race. It was hard to say no.

I’ve messaged my sister straight away asking if she wanted to take part as well. She said yes 🙂

The race was on the 8th of October, and we had to be there by 7.30am. Which meant we needed to leave Basingstoke at 6am. Way to early on a Sunday, but I was thinking about the bigger picture.

Luckily I was able to park in a pub’s car park and because the roads were closed I could have stayed there for the whole duration. Didn’t need to worry about the car at all.

We were station at the Lucozade station n3, which was roughly 9.7 miles into the race.

The rest of the team was lovely, and it turned out all of them were from Oxford and they working for the same company.

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Our ‘boss’ handed out the uniform we had to wear for the day. It was a read high visible vest and a white Oxford half cap. At the end of the day we were able to keep the cap but not the vest.

We had thousands and thousands of Lucozade bottles, all 500ml and we had to portioned them out by roughly 100mls. It wasn’t a hard job but took a long time.

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Working hard filling up the cups: 

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When the race started my sister and I decided how to organise the re-fills. We agreed that she goes from right to  left ton the table and when she runs out a section of Lucozade I had to be fast to re fill them.

The race started at 9.30am but we haven’t seen the first runner till after around 10.15am. but after that we didn’t have time to stop.

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We also cheered on the runners and give them all the motivation and support we could have.  Looking at them they were absolutely great about our work, and loads and loads of them thanked us. It felt really good to help them out and keep them going.

We finished our day roughly around 12.30pm, then done a quick tidy up and rubbish collection, said good-bye to the others then we were on our way back to Basingstoke.

The journey to home took a bit longer because loads of roads were still closed in Oxford, but as soon as we were on the motorway the journey time went back to normal.

I think I will keep an eye on the volunteering opportunities because it was absolutely awesome and had a lovely day there .

Love,

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Decathlon UK Discovery Morning

A week or so ago I’ve seen a post on facebook that Decathlon was holding a Discovery morning up in their head-office in London. They were looking for different kind of people to give feedback about their experience in Decathlon, or someone who wanted to try the items out but wasn’t too sure about it.

Filled out a really easy questionnaire made by google forms. They had a few different time slots, 2 weekday one and one on the Saturday. I decided to apply for the Saturday one, it meant that I don’t have to rush up to London straight after work and i can spend some time to do some shopping in London on Saturday.

Few days later I’ve got an email confirming that I was a successful candidate and they cant wait to see me on Saturday.

Forgot to mention that every participate will get some Decathlon freebies and they supply lunch and drinks. So it’s all sounded really good to me. I can take the train to London for free ( perks for working to the railway ) then get the underground which is always only a few pounds.

Canada water: 

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I had to be there at 11am on the Saturday, because I don’t like being late i got there just after 10.30am. They have offered a free 30mins pilates class at the beginning but because I just bruised my knees I didn’t really wanted to make it worse. While the others were doing their pilates I had to wait in the conference room till 11am. Which meant I was the first one who was able to pick the colour of my goodie bag 🙂 So it definitely wasn’t the worst idea getting there first and not doing the pilates session.

Wasn’t many of us participating on the discovery morning, 8 of us all together. Which went down to 7 , because one of the guy was working for decathlon so he wasn’t able to stay.

We all started with a casual introduction, name, where we from, do we know decathlon ect.

 

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After that we had to answer 2 questions.

  1. Our best customer experience

I didn’t specify one, but I said that warranties and returns are handled much much better in England compared to the Hungarian system.

2.  Our worst customer experience. How they company could of made it better ?

I said my worst one was at the airport. I travel a lot, visiting family back in Hungary. I always taking the same suitcase and its a tiny little hand luggage. It’s always fits into the measuring box in England, but never in Budapest. So I have my measuring tape with me and measure it for them. So they can’t fine me.

The next 2 exercise was a group exercise. For the 1st one we had to make an ‘ inspirational ‘ board with pictures and quotes from the magazines and newspapers we had on the table. If i remember correctly we had around 10-15mins to make one, and when we were done with it, we had to explain the reasons why we put them onto the board.

Here’s ours below:

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After this we had our 2nd team exercise. We got a paper with loads of questions and had to go over to the Decathlon shop across the road and answer as many question as we could in 30mins. It was all about the brads and items. For example we had to find a specific bike and write down different specifications. The whole exercise wasn’t too hard, it just take us a long time to find everything because most of us wasn’t familiar with the shop.

When our time was up we walked back to HQ, to get our scores. Not too sure how but our team won 🙂

We went over to the lunch area, where there were about 10 boxes of pizza, fizzy drinks, beer, sweets etc. Had a few slices of everything and a beer as well. Why not? It was all free, hehe.

I think we finished roughly around 1.30pm, so it wasn’t a long day at all.

Back to the freebies part, everybody got a backpack, water-bottle and a Large towel. Because I went into the room fist i had the option to pick out the one I want first. I got the grey / yellow one so it matches with my Puma leggings. Colour coordination is so important haha.

To my surprise the backpack is the cheapest, and the towel is the most expensive.  But still its totally affordable and great quality, also Decathlon offers 356days long returns.

Check their prices out below. 

 

Hmmm needed to model the items with my matching pants: 

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I think after this day I will definitely will visit Decathlon more.

Love,

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Tikiboo capris – my first one

I’m part of a few ( can’t even count how many ) running groups on facebook. That’s where I’ve seen the brand Tikiboo first. They make the most awesome leggings in the World. I always wanted to buy one but never could really afford to pay £30+ for a single pair of leggings :/

Last Friday was my payday, and I really wasn’t planning to buy anything running related, because we going back to Hungary in a week time and after that we flying to New York. So October and November will be really expensive months.

BUT… I’ve received the below email on the same day :

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25% off from selected summer stock. Hmmm I thought I’ll have a look, because I can’t resist an awesome sale.

Went through the items and have to say there was a fair few I really liked. But I couldn’t buy all of them unfortunately.  I really wanted to buy a colourful and funky design one.

Everyone who knows me they know that i love colourful stuff. I don’t really have just black running pants, I prefer the multi colour ones.

I decided to buy the one called ‘ Pop Art‘ and in the capri design. So i still can wear my funky colourful compression socks with them.

Luckily they had it in my size, so I placed into my basket. Originally it was £32.99 but with the 25% off I managed to buy it for £24.74. Absolute bargain 🙂

I’ve choose the normal 1st class delivery, and my lovely postie brought my parcel on Saturday morning.

It fits absolutely perfectly, love the little pocket at the back, the material is nice and stretchy. I’ve done the squat test and it’s definitely not see through!! So far I’m absolutely loving it.

I already bought a capri to run New York, but I think I’ll use my Tikiboo instead. Its fun, colourful and the Americans will love it 🙂

Check the pictures out below, and let me know what do you think.

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Love,

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Basingstoke Half Marathon 2017

01.10.2017 the date of this year’s Basingstoke Half Marathon. I have run it last year, and as soon as registration opened for the 2017 race I have signed up.

Last year I’ve run it with my sister and my finish time was 2:44:13 so my plan for this year was to beat this time, even if it’s only with a few seconds.

All week before the race I was constantly checking the weather forecast, I was really worried because it said it will rain. I don’t mind rain, but running a half marathon in rain is definitely not my ideal race.

Luckily because it was my local race and the start was across the road from me I was able to wake up at 8.30am! Usually when I travel to races I need to wake up much much earlier, sometimes even 5am.

So had a nice lay in then made my usual pre race food, which was a big bowl of porridge , banana and a massive cup of coffee.

We left the house at 10.15am because my sister was waiting for me at the start line to wish me good luck.

Hubby and I on our way to the start:

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Me with my sister:

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When we were waiting around for the start of the race I spotted the ‘pace makers’. To my biggest surprise they even head a 3hr one. I don’t remember having one last year.

I put myself between the 2h30 and the 3hr one, because last year i finished in 2h 44 so was hoping to finish in a similar time.

The race started bang on at 11am, weather was okey. No rain or wind, for me it was the perfect running weather. Not too hot and not too cold.

The start of the race was really uneventful. Probably I started out too fast, but slowly managed to get back just under my planned pace.

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Also started my Gymboss, which helps me with my ‘ jeffing‘ strategy. I do 1min run then a 30sec walk and I keep repeating this till the end of the race. Some spectators find this weird and kept saying ” keep running” or ” you can do it”. They not really understanding this whole run-walk-repeat strategy.  But I got used to now, don’t really listen to them, usually give them a big smile and keep continue my own thing.

I always start at the back of the pack and keeping myself to the side of the road. I don’t want to hold any faster runners-up, or make them tripping over me when I stop.

During the race a few runner asked me about my strategy then I happily explained to them what I’m doing and why. They took me over but I took them back over at the  2nd part of the race. That’s why I love ‘jeffing’ i’m not getting as tired and can keep up my pace for a whole half -marathon.

The Basingstoke course is really really hilly :/ Have a look at the elevation, pace and heart rate chart below.

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My pace was pretty constant throughout the race, expect the hills. I tried running as much of them as I could, but when I could not then I just started walking.

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I’ve met a lovely girl ( forgot to asked her name ) but she told me that she follows me on Instagram and that I’m awesome with my running, and she has no idea how can I do this much running. So if it was you – girl with a green charity top and a knee brace THANK YOU!! This is one of the reason I share my good and also bad days on social media. Even if I motivate 1 person I done my job well 🙂

I’ve reached 10.2km in 1h 16mins, which is around average for me. I was pleased with it, could have been a bit faster but because of the hills I didn’t punish myself being upset and disappointed. I knew that almost half of the race is done and I needed keep going to finish and to beat last year’s time.

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I’ve seen some AWESOME people on course. See below a guy wearing his full army kit ( includes a 25kg bag, I’ve asked ) and the guy next tim him wearing his full fire department kit. I totally respect them ! I was struggling on course sometimes without anything extra, and they smashed the course even with the extra kits.

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Because I run the race last year, I knew where the photography guys will be. As soon as I spotted them I knew what I had to do. See the results below. Hehehe

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They even managed to catch a few ‘flying feet’ photos.

There was loads of volunteers around the course. I loved the fact that they were handing out water and energy gels. Loads of them were children but have seen a few elderly as well. I want to thank you for all their time and effort, they really have made my race day better.

Also there were loads and loads supporters around the course. There was a guy with his dog and a massive cowbell at the top of one the hills, another guy had a boxing glove and the Rocky music was playing in the back ground. I couldn’t stop smiling when I got to the top of that hill. Loads of people had a proper family day out there, just to support us. The only time when I can take food from strangers is on race day lol, loads of jelly beans and harribos were handed out. Basingstoke half marathon is nowhere near as big as the London marathon but have to say our crowed support is absolutely incredible.

On my way back when I’ve seen the Holiday Inn I knew that I only have probably another 7 mins running to go. I’ve stopped my Gymboss and was planning to run the whole last km. Everything went will till I got to the massive hills by the tennis court.

I checked my watch and seen that I was below my target time I decided to walk up the hill a bit. As soon as I was on the top of the hill I knew I’ve done it, even if I have to crawl across the finish but I’ve done another half marathon!

At the finish tunnel I’ve seen my other half waiting for me and cheering for me.

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I’ve crossed the finish line in 2:43:05, which is faster than my last year time! I beat my time, only by a minute and a bit but I still done it!

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I was also happy with my splits, and even managed a few fast ones at the second half of the race. You can clearly see when I had the hills to climb.

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But I am happy with it, my target New York Marathon pace is 08:08mins/km so completing a half marathon at 07:40 is pretty good for me. I feel really confident about New York.

At the end I’ve collected my race medal, a few bananas, chocolate bar and a bottle of water from the volunteer kids.

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So in summary I had a really good race, to be honest for next year i really need to practice those brutal hills, but I’ll get there. i have another time to beat and I know well I’m capable of it. Maybe I even try to do it 5 mins faster, lest say to be under 2h 40mins that would be awesome. I have the plan now I just need to do the action to make it happen.

On the thursday after the race I went to buy the local newspaper called Basingstoke Gazette to see if I made to the finishers list or not. I did indeed 🙂

920 Gabriella Waller 02:44:17

They have used my finish time, not my Net ( gun ) time. I always use my net time because I never start from the front line and it takes me a few minutes to cross the start line.

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Also see below the official finish times from the website:

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If anyone fancy signing up for this race, than click here 🙂

Love,

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Flag bearer for Hungary at the 2017 TCS New York City marathon’s opening ceremony

During the summer I was reading through the New York marathon’s website and I came across an interesting article. During race week they will hold an ” Opening ceremony “, which will be on the Friday. This sounds totally new to me, because when I was running London earlier this year, they did not have any kind of opening ceremony.

What is it? 

The TCS New York City Marathon Opening Ceremony Presented by United Airlines, a spectacular event that celebrates the diversity of the race, kicks off TCS New York City Marathon weekend!

Following a pre-show at 4:45 p.m., the Parade of Nations begins at 5:30 p.m. and showcases runners from around the world as they parade across the finish line. Representatives from NYC running clubs and several U.S. organizations, as well as professional runners and wheelchair athletes, are part of the procession. The TCS New York City Marathon Fireworks Presented by Poland Spring lights up the night sky after the parade.

The festivities are free and open to everyone—tickets are available at the TCS New York City Marathon Expo Presented by New Balance and the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion throughout race week, as well as on site. Come out and be a part of the celebration!

 

There was an option to apply to become a “delegate” or the “flag bearer “. I decided to apply to become Hungary’s flag bearer. I have no idea how many people applied for it, or what was the other runner stories, but I have nothing to lose. I’m only planning to run the race one, so I really wanted to get the full package.

 

Because I haven’t heard about the application in September I thought I was unsuccessful. But last Friday ( 29th September ) when I was sitting at the cinema I got a notification on my Apple watch. Only was able to read the subject of the email : You’ve Been Selected to Be a Flag Bearer on November 3.

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I almost jumped out of my cinema seat in happiness. As soon as the movie finished I rushed to get my phone to read the whole email.

Not sure how but the organisers selected ME to carry the Hungarian flag.

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I feel incredibly proud, honoured and happy. I never in a million years thought that they will choose me. I thought maybe I could be a delegate or not even that. I thought they usually give these positions to pro runners or celebrities. Well, I’m none of them but they still choose me.

Now just need to decide what to wear, what clearly shows that I represent Hungary. I really want to wear something with the really popular and unique Hungarian folk flowers. Luckily I’m travelling back to Hungary in a few weeks time so will pop in to some shops and try to buy dress or just a lovely top.

Anyone fancy sponsoring me with a new outfit?

The TCS New York City Marathon Opening Ceremony Presented by United Airlines takes place in Central Park south of the finish line.

Watch the TCS New York City Marathon Opening Ceremony Presented by United Airlines on ABC7NY.com starting at 5:25 p.m ET (9.25pm UK time, 10.25pm HUN time )  and live at 5:30 p.m ET (9.30pm UK time, 10.30pm HUN time )  in the NYC-metro area on WABC-TV, Channel 7.

As soon as they provide me more information I’ll give you an update.

Love,

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Ragnar Relay – White Cliffs UK 2017

What a weekend ?! When I signed up for this I literally had no idea what to expect. Run 170ish miles with 10 friends on the coast of England, day and night!

From Maidstone to Dover to Brighton. Long long way in a car, even longer when you have to run it.

If you want to read the proper description about it please click here and it will take you to the official Ragnar site 🙂

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So at the beginning of the year I’ve seen a facebook post in one of the running groups I’m part of, that they looking for 10 “crazy” ladies to complete in the first ever UK Ragnar Relay. It was a no brainer for me to sign up. I love challenges and it was the first one ever her, I wanted to do it. I never met the others before but we all have a common interest, which is OCR ( obstacle course races ) so at least I had some common interest with them.

This is how I become part of the UK Mudd Queens team, we chose to run it as a team of 10, not 5 like the ultra runners.

After a few months preparation and training the day was finally here.

The day before the race I baked some vanilla and chocolate cupcakes for the team, and they were all decorated with our logo.

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Some team members stayed in a hotel the night before up in Dartford, and they drove to Maidstone on Saturday morning.  Because our allocated start time was 10.30am I decided to take the train in the morning, it saves me on hotel fee. I took the first trains from Basingstoke to London Waterloo on Saturday morning, then another train from Waterloo East to Maidstone. I’ve arrived to the start around 8.30am, had a bit of a looking around then waited fro the rest of the team to turn up.

Met up with the others shortly after and they even managed to speak with the race director so we were able to start at 9.30am.

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Below you can see Michelle running at the start 🙂

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Before the race we agreed about who runs which leg of the race, it was 30 legs and 10 of us, so every team member was running 3 times.  I choose to be runner nr 10, which meant I was running leg 10-20-30.

By the time it was my turn to run it was already dark. I set off at 19.15 to tackle 13.15km. I had all my high vis and head torch on and was totally ready to do my part.

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Luckily it wasn’t really hilly, and some part was even on the coast. Seen beautiful boats and loads of people on the seaside. But I also had to run through the middle of nowhere. Running with just a head torch on and no people around me was totally scary. I was thinking to walk some part, but I was too scared to stop. Probably I watched too much horror movies. But have to say I wasn’t disappointed with my finish time and pace. Could of been a bit faster  but it was in total darkness and in a totally new route.  My pace turned to be 07.49mins/km, which I was really happy about it. Because my planned New York marathon pace will be 08.08mins/km.

 

 

Ater the run I tried to get some sleep in the van, but it wasn’t the most comfortable sleep. But a few hours were better then no hours at all.

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I tried to be awake at changeover points, just to cheer on the finisher runner and wish good luck for the new one. I didn’t always managed to do it, but most time I done it.

I have’t started my 2nd run till 07.09am on the Saturday morning. I was really happy with this, because I was able to run in the sunrise.

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Leg 20 was another flat course, it was a bit shorter distance ( 10.67km) and most of it was on footpath. Luckily no night time running or running through the dark forest.

Beautiful scenery, seen some kind of  Military base, loads of ponds and some cute cows.

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My second leg was a bit – 10 mins – slower than I wanted, but because of the lack of sleep I wasn’t really disappointed.  Finished still within my New York marathon pace so it was all okey.

 

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Since last night we had some issues with the front left tire, but by this time it started to really giving up. They called up AA to get our tire changed so we could be back in motion. Been told that they guy will be with us in 2hours, but luckily he turned up in like 30 mins and it take hime about another 20 to fix the issue and we were back on track.

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A we tackled the distance we got closer and closer to the beautiful White Cliffs. At one point we got upto a massive hill and view was absolutely breath taking. I think I could of spent a whole day there and just to chill and enjoy the view.

 

After a few more hours it was my turn to run again, my final leg, our team’s final leg. We agreed with the ladies that they will join me just before the finish line so we can cross it together 🙂 When I started my last leg I was already knackered due to the lack of sleep , but I know that I only need to tackle down another 8.45km and we are officially finished.

My last run was mostly on the coast and was able to enjoy the lovely breeze, I really took my time with the run and just enjoyed ” jeffing ” ( 1min walk – 30sec walk – repeat ). I was “jeffing” the previous 2 runs as well, and it really does work for me.

When I got closer to the finish loads of people were on the foot path and got loads of cheering as well. Felt really good to get motivation from total strangers, it gave me a kick just to continue.

As you can see my time got slower and slower as the race progressed, but have to say its all due to the lack of sleeping and not eating proper food.

 

 

Getting closer to the finish line I spotted the others and they were waiting for me to get there so we were  able to cross the finish together.  When we crossed the finish I felt relieved and proud. I was proud that we completed the race even with a few hiccups during the race but we never given up.

W have finished the race in 31:37:18.2, which I think is really impressive

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Awesome photobomb by Emily :

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As a celebration we got a free pizza ( 8 slices for 10 ppl :/ ) and a glass of free beer.

After that I packed my bags , asked for a lift to the Brighton train station and started my journey home.

Am I gonna do it again? Hell yeah!!! Absolutely awesome days, and loved every bits of it. Lack of sleep wasn’t the best but at least I will know for the future to what to expect 🙂

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Want to say thank you to the UK Mudd Queens for letting me join to the team and also to organise the whole journey 🙂

Love,

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Social Run Group by Up & Running Basingstoke

A few weeks ago I’ve seen a post on facebook that the local sport shop – Up & Running Basingstoke –  starting a ” Social Run Group”. They plan to run the sessions on Wednesdays and the distance is an easy 5km. According to their leaflet ” all abilities ” are welcome and no one will be left behind.

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When I seen it I was really sceptical ,because I’ve attended 2 training session with other companies earlier this year and I was left totally behind. Even when their advertisement said everybody was welcome to attend.

 

When I turned up on the 13th of September I was totally nervous. Most days I run alone, or with my sister, but never with others. I’m always scared that I’m too slow and just holding people back.

The meeting point was in the shop, which is about 5 mins walk from my house, so I can’t really have an excuse about not turning up.

When I got there a few runners were already in the shop and also the shop assistants. Everybody seemed nice, talkative and friendly.  I have to say I’m awful with names so I still don’t remember anyone’s name :/ But I spoke with a few lady runners and turned out 2 of them only just started running and never run in a group before.

Shortly after 5.30pm we left the store and walked towards to our starting point,  which was just opposite Domino’s pizza.

The run went really well, it was not my fastest but I totally enjoyed it. Have to say that the organisers kept their promise and they waited for everybody ! I was in the middle of the pack, and when the fast runners got far ahead they done a loop and went to the back of the pack. So no one was left behind. I felt really good about it, because I was totally worried that I gonna end up being last and lost.

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Here’s an after photo :

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Sine this I’ve done 2 more session, and all others were the same. Not once people were left behind. On our 3rd week we  went on a different route, which ended up a bit shorter than 5k, well according to my TomTom watch. But I didn’t really mind because I just want to enjoy these runs and get to know more and more people.

 

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It’s really good to see new people turning up to these runs, and I love seeing all abilities. I know well I never going to be the fastest and the person who finishing first, but I do like attending these.

Also on the positive note, when a runner attends 5 runs he/she will get a lovely bright yellow ( high vis type ) running club t-shirt 🙂 2 more runs to go for me 🙂

They also told us that will have different kind of competitions, like running without a watch/phone and will need to guess our finish time etc.

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I’m really looking forward to next run, which will be in 2 days time 🙂

If anybody wants to sign up for the runs, you can do it on this website and it’s totally free.

Love,

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Be Iron Fit by Don & Melanie Fink

I was planning to buy this book ( click here for Amazon )  for a few weeks now, but had to wait till payday to get it. Ordered it on last week Saturday and to my surprise Amazon offered a Sunday delivery to a near by Amazon locker.

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When I got the text message from Amazon on Sunday morning that my book is ready for collection, I felt like sprinting to the shopping centre just to get my book.

I’m already half way through reading it and making notes and can’t wait start my ” just finish ” plan in mid December and be ready for Ironman Bolton UK in July 2018 🏊🏼‍♀️🚴🏼‍♀️🏃🏽‍♀️

 

Love,

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Swimming here I come

A week ago Friday I finally managed to sign up to do swimming in my local swimming pool. The gym offers loads of different gym packages, including ” just swim ” for           £26/ month. I don’t think that’s a bad price at all. Before i signed up I have checked their timetable and it suits my working hours perfectly.

Will plan to go down and do an hour swimming at least 3 times a week. My Ironman plan doesn’t start till the 18th of December so till then I just need to learn swim properly so I’ll be ready for the proper training plan.

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Swim session nr1.

Decided to have my first swim on a Sunday morning at 8am. I really thought it will be empty because its Sunday, but to my surprise it was totally packed. My pool offers 3 different speed lane ( slow, medium, fast). Because I just starting out I decided to swim in the “slow” lane.

On my first session I was just concentrating to be able to be in the water for a whole hour, distance wasn’t really important. I’m absolutely awful with front crawl, so I just swam in breaststroke. First I didn’t feel too great about it, but when I got home and done a bit of googling it turns out its totally acceptable to swim in breaststroke on an Ironman.

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Swim session nr2.

Did you know 64x 25m is exactly 1 mile?

Second time back at the pool. This time I went there at 5.30pm and surprisingly it was not busy at all. Started my swimming on the “slow” lane. I swam 30 lengths in the slow lane, but it started to get really crowded with all casual swimmers. So I decided its better if I go over to the  “medium” speed lane and continue my session there. Because it wasn’t busy at all I didn’t feel bad about swimming in the “medium” lane.  Still was only swimming in breaststroke. Have tried a few metres in front crawl, but my breathing is horrendous. Water was going in and out of my nose and mouth. Felt like I was drowning, so i went back to do breaststroke.

By the time I finished my 64 lengths it was only 57mins into my swimming, so compared to my 1st session I was already faster, slowly but surely I’ll get there.

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As soon as I feel more comfortable and can see that my swimming is improving I’ll definitely will get a few 1-2-1 sessions with a coach to improve my swimming even better. Also when the weather will be better I’ll go out for a few open water swim session.

Love,

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Ironman Bolton , UK 2018 

Ironman , Bolton , UK.   15. July 2018
Swim 2.4 miles. Bike 112 miles. Run 26.2 miles. All. In. One. Race.


I’m 28 and a chubby female. I run the London marathon this year and straight after I decided that I’ll do all the Marathon Majors by 2019.

A week ago I was wondering what else could I do , what should be my next challenge side by side with my 5 other marathons.. That’s when I came across triathlons, further searching i’ve found Ironman.

Never done a triathlon before, last time I swam was about 15 years ago back in primary school, I do casually cycling but not further than 15-20 kms. So this will be probably the biggest challenge in my life.

 I know I don’t fit the mold of the “normal” triathlete by any means. When most people think about an Ironman athlete , they think of a 30 or 40 year-old man who is absolutely ripped and muscly. His body fat is 9%, he rides a bike like he was born doing it, and he can run a marathon in 2hours.

And then there’s me. I am 28, female, and while I’m somewhat athletic, can run/walk a marathon , I’ve never been described as “ripped” in my life, more like someone who’s chubby, and who like cakes and pasta

But as the motto of Ironman is ” Anything is Possible ” I want to show it to everybody that I’m capable to do it.

320 days till race day. Till then I’ll swim + bike + run and then repeat all day and night ✌🏼🙌🏻

 

Love,

Vlog of the 2017 London Marathon

I will forever remember this day, what a day ?!

This was my first marathon so I really wanted to take loads of videos and photos for the future.

Everything was going really well till half way point, and after that everything went downhill. We were on target for 6 hours finish but at the end I managed to finish in 6h 57mins 31sec.

This wasn’t what I planned for but due to my dodgy ankle I was happy just to complete it.

 

 

Love,

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Welcome on my site :)

Hi all 🙂

My name is Gabi or can call me Gabriella, I don’t really have a preference.

I’ve started running in  November 2015 when I signed up for my first ever Half marathon . I never run that distance before, but I knew that hard work and dedication I can definetly run that distance.

From November 2015 till April 2016 I was training really hard for the race which was in Reading, Berkshire, UK.

The half marathon was really hard, not physically it was more hard mentally. When I crossed the line at 2h 47mins I cried in happiness. I hoped that I am capable to running and when I did it I was relived.

Since than I run many more half marathons and countless 5-10ks.

Running a marathon has been bucket list material for me and something I have always wanted to do. I managed to secure a charity place for the 2017 London Marathon and I fundraised over £1350 for MACS.

The race was incredibly hard, unfortunately I injured my ankle ligament in February so I hardly done any training for the marathon.

But as soon as I crossed the finish line I felt awesome, i felt I could do anything I wanted, nothing could of stopped me.

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A week later the marathon when I recovered from the soreness I was thinking about my next challenge. That’s when I came across something called ” World Marathon Majors”.

This consist of 6 marathons across the globe:

  • Tokyo
  • Boston
  • London ✓
  • Berlin
  • Chicago
  • New York ✓

So me being enthusiastic I’ve signed up for the upcoming New York marathon. I missed the ballot or charity applications but I’ve found a tour operating company ( 2:09 events ) who offers places to the WMM events.

So here I am training for all these marathons.  I do believe with hard work I can achieve anything I want.

I set this page up so i can share more of my experiences and stories.

You stil can follow me on Facebook or Instagram but the longer details always will be here.

 

Thanks for reading,

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