Monday, 14 April 2014

Running, away from home!

I’ve been working away from home this week and made sure that I packed the essentials (shampoo, phone charger…trainers!) so that I could go for a run when I was away. I finished work early on Wednesday and decided I would use the time by going for a run!

I was excited to be exploring somewhere new. I didn’t know how far I was going so I decided to start off gently just to see where my feet would take me. It was a warm day and I struggled in the heat (particularly as I wasn’t dressed for warm weather). I ran just over 5km in total and although I struggled it was definitely worth going out! If the weather had been nice when I was running at home, I could have chosen cooler running wear, but I was stuck with what I had packed.

After work on Friday, I travelled straight to London to visit my cousin Kirsty and I when I got there I suggested we go for a run on Saturday morning. At first, her face was a picture and she didn’t look at all impressed! I used my excellent powers of persuasion and she decided that as long as I didn’t run off and leave her (which I wouldn’t do!) we could go to the park for a run! Never did I think I would be visiting Kirsty in London and persuading her to run! Funny how life turns out!

Kirsty used to be in Gateshead Harriers as a teenager but it’s a while since she has been running. It made me smile to think that our interest/participation in running has gone the opposite way for both of us compared to what it was 10 years ago!

We got up bright and early and I had a banana and a glass of water before we headed out to the park. Kirsty didn’t want to run until we got to Hamstead Heath but I jogged there, as she powerwalked J Once at the park, Kirsty started running, and we both took it easy at a gentle pace. It was quite a warm morning (and I still didn’t have my cooler running clothes) and we walked a little in between running. There were a couple of quite big hills that I decided to run up with enthusiasm (which made the run more challenging!). By the time I got to the top my enthusiasm was somewhat less, but I did it! We used the opportunity to stop and take a few photos; anyone that knows Kirsty and I will not be at all surprised that we were taking photos even while out on a run!

We saw some parkrunners while we were at the park, and part of me wished I had my barcode and had planned ahead to do it, as it would be nice to do a run in another location. However, it was really enjoyable just having a gentle run with Kirsty and I am pleased that I didn’t have the barcode after all. It’s not every Saturday morning that I get the chance to run with my cousin!

We really enjoyed the run although my calves did hurt a bit again (I think this was a combination of having been wearing heels for work the previous day and the two glasses of wine on Friday night!)

Altogether we covered a distance of just over 3 miles. I was super proud of Kirsty as she hasn’t been running for a while! She kept me motivated when I wanted to give up and I did the same for her! We made a good pair and were full of energy (for shopping!) for the rest of the day!
 Yesterday, we got up and started watching the London Marathon on TV. We soon decided that we would like to go and spectate and cheer the runners on (and hopefully get a glimpse of Mo Farah in his debut Marathon!) We got ready and headed out towards Green Park so that we could go near the finish (we weren’t really sure where else would be good and knew that the athletes had already set off so wanted to make sure we’d see them).

We were standing in quite a good spot (about 385 yards before the finish) and really enjoyed cheering everyone on! The atmosphere of the crowd when Mo Farah ran past was amazing and the smile on his face showed his pride J
Mo Farah in action!

We continued to cheer people on for another couple of hours and I really enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere! It was incredible to see how the crowd pulled together to cheer the runners on, particularly when they were struggling, and it was clear to see how much this meant to the runners.

I was in awe of all the runners and I think each and every one is amazing! What an achievement to run a marathon! It was a lovely sunny day which made a nice atmosphere for spectating but I did really feel for the runners having to run in the heat. Well done everyone!

After a while, we decided we needed to go and get something to eat (should have taken a picnic!) and we watched some street dancers in Leicester Square. There were lots of people walking around the streets wearing their medals with sheer joy on their faces. It made me even more excited about doing the Great North Run in September! I wanted to say congratulations but couldn’t catch anyone’s eye and didn’t want to interrupt their celebrations with their families.

People keep saying they think the London Marathon will inspire me to run a marathon, however I am still not convinced! It did make me proud that I am a runner though!

On the tube on the way back to Kirsty’s house, four men got on at the same place as us. They were all wearing their medals and I smiled and said ‘well done!’ They seemed genuinely pleased that we were congratulating them and we started to have a chat! One of them said that yesterday’s Marathon was his 25th (and first in London). He said he has done the Berlin Marathon many times and never was the atmosphere as good as it was in London yesterday. This made me feel proud to be British and proud to say I was there! As we continued to talk, I told them that I am currently training for my own first half marathon and they seemed genuinely pleased for me. They said they started out running half marathons and never thought they could do a marathon (so I guess who knows what my running future holds?!)

Before they left the tube they wished me ‘Good Luck’ for the Great North Run, which made me smile! Talking to these runners really made my day and they were so inspiring!

Well done to everyone that ran yesterday (wherever you were and however far), especially my brother-in-law who did the South Shields 10k, and my 8-year-old niece (and sister) who completed her very first fun run!

Running, away from home,, has been quite exciting this week but I am on my way back to Newcastle and will be home in time for training tonight! Exciting. The Sunderland 10k is rapidly approaching and I still need to increase my distance.

Thank you for reading!

I was sad to wake up to the news that a runner died after crossing the finish line of the Marathon yesterday and my thoughts are with his family and friends L

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