My first rr10…

“Do an rr10” they say….. “It’ll be fun” they say…

Tonight, was my first ever rr10, a bunch of free races that happen on a couple of Wednesdays a month. I have been part of the club for two years now and have always been too scared to take part… Why? Because what if I’m last??, that’s blooming why!!!

Of course, I was not last, but I was slow… I’m pretty sure I spotted a sloth over taking me at one point! The hills on the course were evil, whoever said ‘hills are friends’ is a liar… They deplete your energy levels after the first mile, no mars bar was brining me back from that hill! Despite my constant moaning the race went really quite fast, so fast that I did my sprint finish before I’d even reached the finish line! It was still down the road, around a few bends and over a little hill away haha!

I reached the end, looking like I’d been dipped in a pool of sweat and painted red, probably with about 10 half alive flies attached to my face… I smelt that bad that honestly there was roughly three flies circling my head space.

But… Looking back…. It wasn’t THAT bad, you never no, might see me at the next one 😉

Note to self, must get quicker and invest in multiple sweat bands…. I’m gonna look so sexy hahahaha

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When all else fails… Run.

There are times in life, when you recieve news you never believed you’d have to hear. And when those times come, what do you do? Some people eat chocolate, listen to music, binge drink down the pub… I guess I write blogs and run?

This Tuesday, the hardley social runners took on the lepe loop! I have only done this run once or twice…. I was not expecting to run through what felt like a jungle built up of mainly stinging nettles!!

Although, despite the nettles making your legs look like you have some strange skin condition, it’s actually a lovely route. You run through a corn field (actually wheat) then down to the beach where Ray and Linda even went for a dip in the sea!!…. Surely that water is colder than the North Pole?? On the way back to the pub we ran across some stepping stones…. And yes, I had a ‘danii’ moment… Where I wondered if the stones had always been there? Apparently not. Julie took the mick (as usual) saying that they were a ‘stepping stoneous’ a rare rock formation made into perfect concrete circles…. I am a twat aren’t I?

But it was a lush run on nice summer evening, my club as always managed to cheer me up when I didnt no how to put a smile back on my face.

This post, is for lewie. Thankyou for encouraging me every step of the way to my marathon, thankyou for listening to me moan about how bad my legs and feet ached while you were in a hospital bed, but most of all thankyou for being an amazing friend. You were an inspiration to every single one of us, I will always and forever miss you.

Follow the leader…

I don’t know why but since Endure24 on the weekend, I feel like I’ve been walking around like a zombie still half asleep from exhaustion. I may be 23, but my body is no temple and has the physical age of a 90 year old.

So, race updates, I currently have 3 on the horizon! I have another team event slightly like Endure coming up in august that I’m very excited to inform you all about when the time comes. This week I’ve also signed up to take part in Hell Down South, part of the Hell runner series, a gruelling 10 mile course with hills of hell and bogs of DOOOOOM in late November (must remember to pack thermals). And last but by no means least, I have another marathon on the cards…. balls.

I obviously have forgotten about all the weeks and weeks and WEEKS of training that a marathon takes, so much so that I think the training plan should have started a few weeks back… whoops. I followed the crowd and signed up for the new forest marathon, there is a big bunch of Hardley runners taking it on, so at least I wont be alone out there with my running family by my side 🙂 I plan to enjoy this marathon more than London, its quieter, nicer scenery and I will not make the mistake of removing my beloved headphones. The thing is I have definitely got the time to train for this marathon, after all I have next to no social life and I don’t have a boyfriend getting in my way (although for any single readers, the position is open and offers may comment below, wink wink) so I plan to smash this marathon and really enjoy myself 🙂

So here is to the next few months of training! I shall be Fat girl to maybe a six pack girl….. HAHA NOT, I like cheese too much.

A tale of endurance…

This weekend me and my fellow hardley runners took on endure 24, a race that lasts 24 hours, designed to not only test your mental stability but also perhaps slightly kill you…

I had never been proper camping before, so I tried to make the most of the experience, by going up the evening before… Silly, silly idea. You wake on the morning of your race, sleep deprived, slightly frozen and looking like a troll. All through the night your constantly woken by not only the smell of portaloos, but the constant banging of the doors closing every five minutes.

At 12.00 the race begins, all people who were smart enough to not camp the night before arrive looking fresh faced and ready for action. Everyone went down to the start line to watch the first runners set off, the atmosphere is electric, with music, cheering and thousands of runners.

I was second in the running order of my team, you wait in a change over pen looking into the distance for your fellow team mate. Every team has various different blow up items so you can find your team mate with ease. Our item, was a 6foot palm tree (flashing lights included) that everyone wanted to comment on…

The hardest part of the race is getting up in the dead of night, poor Sarah had the task of waking me up at 2.20am… I think everyone in my team was nervous that I wouldn’t wake up from my slumber… I grumpily dragged myself out of my condensation soaked tent only to realise my chest torch had decided it no longer wanted to work! Thankgod Sharon had a spare one and let me borrow it. On my trek back to the start line one of the fast guys stopped me (and the giant palm tree) to inform me that I was on the ‘graveyard shift’… It was strange out there misty and cool, with the odd head torch following you from behind. I nearly fell asleep on the palm tree in the change over pen, who knew you could fall asleep stood up?

I think I slept most out of all the runners, I have a talent of being able to sleep anywhere, in wet tents, on inflatable palm trees and on a bean bag with roughly ten other conversations going on around me…

The best lap was my fourth and final lap, two of my team mates Sarah and Andy went with me for moral support. Andy Beasted me around that course, making sure I put 100% effort into my last lap, I couldn’t of done it without him! At the end everyone was cheering me in, telling me not to cry… I replied with ‘f*** that sh*it’… After all I’m an endurance runner now, there’s no time for crying 😉

Endure 24 was incredible. It was insanely hard, with hills the size of mountains…. But every hardley runner out on that course, despite how many laps they did were legends.

So now…. Im currently burnt to a crisp, with ridiculous burn lines, stupidly dehydrated and slightly sleep deprived… But would I do it again? 100%.

Quick sand….

At 6pm this evening I believed that I was going for a nice little plod in the beautiful New forest. By 7.30pm I realised the forest was an evil place ready to pounce and kill you when you least expect it….

We weren’t on for the quickest run of our lives, most of the run we were walking up hills or laughing at the dog as per usual. But when we’d decided to return back to the car and take a short cut the ground swallowed me whole! In the blink of an eye I was smack down on the floor, face down, with my legs submerged in what I can only describe as quick sand… Dramatic I no, but dramatic is what I do best. Julie was trying her best to be ‘sympathetic’ but couldn’t actually look at me due to wanting to laugh so much. It’s fair to say that quite a few swear words escaped from my mouth…

The quickest part of the run was when two male runners plodded past and I ran after their perfectly toned bottoms (I’m single it’s allowed) bad knees or not due to the quick sand incident, nothing was stopping me from catching up with that eye candy! 😂

But be warned, when they say forest running is nice… It’s not… Its evil.

Alriiighhhttt…

So…. How amazing has this week been? Pretty dammm sweet. After last weeks marathon hype, it’s been so nice to go and let my hair down! I’ve been to the pub and actually had alcohol…. Had a long awaited green Thai curry… Had some much needed quality family time 🙂

But I also managed to go running just for me, no marathon training pressure. It felt amazing, I’ve missed my care free runs!

Today me and the running clan ventured back out into the forest, I can’t actually remember the last time I’d ran in the mud on a Sunday…. Maybe January? Running is never easy, but today it was fun. We were being chased by daisy the dog with gigantic sticks, taking the mick out of the way Steve says ‘alright’ and my forest running sound effects have returned.

During the run we stopped our watches and completed the 3.7 miles in memory of matt, the poor guy that passed away at the marathon on Sunday. As ever the spirit of running amazes me, something so sad and tragic has raised thousands and thousands for charity, I just hope that plenty of other runners went out and completed the miles for matt 🙂

Anyway… Onwards and upwards, what could be my next challenge? I don’t care for the moment, just enjoy the fresh sweaty running air… 😀

Fat girl no more…

Twas the night before marathon, when all through the house
every creature was stirring, even the mouse.
Lightening was cracking in the sky with no care,
While a sleepless danii hoped that london soon would be there…

Finally, after months of anticipation, it was April the 22nd. The day had arrived to complete the impossible. Bright and early, we arrived in London where 40,000 runners made their way into the three different coloured pens. All around you were runners, of all different shapes and sizes, people layed out on the floor sleeping in the sunshine…and the people like me who were sat eating left over pasta.

The race began at 10am, but because of a staggered wave time I didn’t cross the start line till 10.40. With my marathon playlist at the ready I started to run, the noise of the crowds was louder than my headphones at the beginning! I remember thinking to myself, here we go, this is it the moment I’ve been waiting for.

It was emotional, I cried so much. The tears were probably a bad thing considering it was 24 degrees… Extra dehydration from all the crying! The first 6 miles flew by, then I saw my mum and my friends and cried some more! At half way, the heat was so intense that I thought I was being cooked…. The crowds, supportive as they were, annoyed the hell out of me… How was I supposed to do all that again in this heat? I poured bottles of water over my head, ran through fireman’s hoses, went into every shower stop just to try and cool down!

At 20 miles I hit the wall. I couldn’t run anymore, I wanted to but my body wouldn’t let me, I wanted to fall into a heap on the floor. A song came on, that reminded me of my grandparents and I cried some more… And then as if from no where, my friends, my amazing amazing friends, I ran as fast as my little legs could take me and threw myself at them, pouring my heart out and saying how hard it was, talia grabbed my plaits and gave me a well needed pep talk… Do I remember what she said? Not a clue, but I think it worked, I just had to finish it.

Nothing prepares you for the last mile, there are people everywhere. My mum was screaming words of encouragement, total strangers were cheering me on, screaming my name. Again the noise completely overwhelms you, and before you no it as if by magic, its there, the finish line is within touching distance. After id crossed the line, I couldn’t stop running, I was so worried I wasn’t really there that my chip timing hadn’t worked. All the marshals were telling me I could stop, I burst out crying when the lady gave me my medal and I threw my arms around the poor lady and gave her a massive ‘B O’ hug.

The greatest feeling, was seeing my friends and my mum. I couldn’t of done it if it wasn’t for their support, I’m the luckiest person in the world to have people like them in my life.

This time two years ago the thought of exercise repulsed me. And now, look at me, I’m a marathon runner.

I’m officially, marathon girl.