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.
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.
Working hard filling up the cups:
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.
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 .
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.
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.
After that we had to answer 2 questions.
- 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:
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:
I think after this day I will definitely will visit Decathlon more.
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 :
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
Below you can see Michelle running at the start 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Awesome photobomb by Emily :
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 🙂
Want to say thank you to the UK Mudd Queens for letting me join to the team and also to organise the whole journey 🙂
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.
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 🏊🏼♀️🚴🏼♀️🏃🏽♀️
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ✌🏼🙌🏻