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.

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 14.24.40 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.

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 14.26.19 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.

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 14.50.50 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

38862615_10217332793176232_5340510366189223936_n 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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