Little Runner Gal

Running, eating, sleeping and all the bits in between

After the Marathon…

Here’s a little blog piece I’ve done for RunLounge…

http://www.runlounge.com/2014/04/sarah-life-after-the-marathon/

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Why YOU should run a marathon….no, really!

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After watching so many people of all shapes, sizes, abilities and experience, complete the London Marathon, I stand by what I’ve always said…anyone can complete a marathon. England Athletics Coach, Nick Anderson, once said to us that 26.2 miles might seem like a long way to run, but if someone you loved was 26.2 miles way and needed you there, and you had no other way of getting to them, you’d run 26.2 miles without a second thought. We all ran it out of choice, for various reasons, but here’s why I think you could, and should, run a marathon.

Achievement
The achievement in itself is so empowering. You’ve completed a marathon! There’s nothing that you can’t do now. Crossing that finish line and knowing what you’ve done makes you feel like you can take on the world. There’s no other feeling like it.

Learning
About yourself, about your potential, your possibilities. It helps me to step back and analyse situations, not just races or running, but things in everyday life, and analyse what goes right, what goes wrong and how you can learn and develop from it.

Advancing
Goal setting, bettering yourself, whether this is in running, physical challenges, or anything else. Being able to use a marathon as a starting point and getting better from there means you’ll always be the best version of you.

Cause
If you have a cause or charity close to your heart, there’s nothing better than to be able to give something to them to help fund their support or research. If anything will get you round 26.2 miles, the thought of your cause will.

So forget the 3,4,5,6,7 hours it takes you to complete the distance, and think about everything you could get out of it for weeks, months, years to come.

And if 26.2 miles still seems a bit crazy, why not try a shorter distance, a 10k or half marathon? You’ll feel on top of the world once you’ve achieved your goal and you may even rethink that marathon!

LRG x

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LRG Runs LDN!!

So this is the lengthy version of my amazing marathon experience….sorry, not sorry!

I made a weekend of it, meeting Jeff and some of the amazing #UKRunChat crew running London at the expo on Saturday. What a fantastic experience! It was rammed, but we chatted to so many people, runners and exhibitors alike, and I came away buzzing.Image

The #UKRunChat tweetup dinner at Strada was a great success and it was fantastic to meet so many likeminded people, with a great sense of humour and a genuine love for running. We compared nerves, stories, tips and finally wished each other good luck for the following day.

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And so, after a very broken night of sleep, race day was upon us. I got up at 6am, unable to lie there with the nerves anymore. My kit, gels, throwaway warm clothes and drinks all prepared the night before, I took my time getting ready and headed out into the clear, crisp morning for the tube and exchange tension filled glances with the packed carriage. A few stops and a trudge through the unknown streets of London and I’m there.

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Upon entering Greenwich Park the place opened up to hoards of people bathed in glorious sunshine. Alzheimer’s Society had laid on a fab do for us at a tea pavilion in the park, so I made good use of the quiet time and clean loos then headed off to hand my bag in. I made my way to the start area and over to my pen, and stood there nervously with Batman and Robin! We hear the elite men set off and the tape is cut. Inching forward it’s a few minutes until we go over the start line and I’m already instantly overwhelmed by the amount of runners and supporters on the route, but focus on my race and my pacing.

The first 4 miles go by  in a flurry of coloured vests, heartbreaking causes and surprising fancy dress! I manage to find a comfortable pace and my gels and water plan go well. The sun was beating down but I’d done 19 miles in heat of the Algarve…this was nothing! Remembering the words from my coach, I stopped myself weaving too much and reined in the pace to save enough for later.

9 miles in and I was feeling really steady, a comfortable pace and fuelling going well. It was still really busy, the runners hadn’t thinned out as I thought they would and the crowds were at least 4 people deep at nearly every part of the course. With my name on my vest I was getting a lot of encouragement, which was great, but dodging the walkers and people dropping like flies in the heat was taking its toll.

Advancing to Tower Bridge was all I’d dreamed of and looked incredible. I kept my head high, taking it all in, just remembering exactly how amazing we were to be there. I hit the half-way point at just under 2 hours, bang on time. Just after that, blade runner, Richard Whitehead, was heading back on the same stretch at 22 miles, and the crowds and runners went wild. He looked so strong.

They say the marathon starts at mile 20. You’ll never feel this so much as at mile 20! Miles 18 and 19 saw me feeling weaker, despite my bang on gel strategy and catching glimpses of friends and family amongst the huge crowds. Miles 20-22 were hideous, a dark dark place. I tried to channel the words of my coach and keep my head up. Almost the whole field in my view were walking, I was still running…just!

I found a second wind at mile 23 and, although it wasn’t particularly quick, I was feeling stronger and happier. The Houses of Parliament, 800 metres to go, I picked up the pace, 200 metres and I could see the finish. I sprinted and passed practically everyone in view (my legs weren’t my own at that point) and through the finish line! 4:15:12, a 42 minute PB. What an amazing feeling! On top of that, I could still walk afterwards, a miracle in itself! Collecting my medal was a moment I won’t forget, and everyone around me congratulating each other.

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I’m full of pride and am so grateful to everyone that got me here. I really want a sub 4 finish this year, London wasn’t it, but I tell you, it’s taught me some amazing lessons. The next 5 months are focusing on Berlin and that illusive sub 4. I know I can do it, so I’d better crack on hadn’t I!

Thanks so much for all your support, you’ve been amazing, and have helped more than you’ll know in my journey.

LRG x

 

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p.s. also found out I’d been on the BBC London Marathon coverage opening segment after being interviewed at the expo….my 0.5 seconds of fame!

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Saucony Kinvara 5 Launch

Last week I was lucky enough to receive an invite to the launch of the new Saucony Kinvara 5 at their amazing pop up store in Neal St, Covent Garden.

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The store itself is there for the spring marathon season, and celebrates the history of running with a fantastic retro theme, an exhibition of the Saucony running and racing shoes of the past, the Saucony Originals that are available (I never thought I would be into retro fashion trainers but these have changed my mind!), marketing and posters from yesteryear, running nostalgia and, of course, the latest Saucony running range too.

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The staff were fantastic, very knowledgeable about the range and the technology, and we were given our amazing new Kinvara 5 LONDON Limited Edition trainers. This red, black and gold version will be available in limited numbers from the Neal St. store and at the London Marathon Expo, 9th-12th April. The full range will go on sale in May.

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Previous Kinvara models have won critical acclaim and a number of awards, as well as being a top selling all over Europe and the US. The Kinvara 5 boasts various new developments:

  • Pro-Lock lacing system to hold the foot in place comfortably and securely and lock the foot to the Powergrid midsole.
  • The collar fabric and padding have been upgraded to give a better, more comfortable fit around the ankle.

The weight of the shoe remains the same as the previous model, and it keeps it’s award winning characteristics.

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As I’m running the London Marathon in 6 days I’ve had to delay the road test until afterwards! I have no doubts that the Kinvara 5 will be amazing, but I would wrap my feet in cotton wool and bubble wrap this week is I could! So review to come.

Once we were all in our beautiful new footwear, we were treated to some details about the history of the brand and design from Jonathan Quint, EMEA Marketing, as well as a brief running technique workshop and Q&A with England Athletics, Running With Us and RunLounge coach, Nick Anderson. It’s safe to say there was some great information for us all there, especially those of us undertaking a marathon in the next few weeks.

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RunLounge are putting on 2 further Q&A sessions with a training run, going from the Saucony shop this week. You’ll learn loads from Nick and the team, and someone at each session will win a bundle of Saucony gear, RESULT!

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The pictures speak for themselves. It was an amazing evening, the shop is fantastic and the guys really know their stuff. The history there is phenomenal and it’s crazy to think of some of the trainers people used to run in, especially when you looks at what we have nowadays.

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I’m super excited to test out the Kinvara 5’s next week…actually more than likely the week after! I’ll let you know how I get on. In the meantime, get yourself down to Covent Garden and join the RunLounge coaches for some top running.

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I’m off to go and hug my amazing trainers again now!

LRG x

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Saucony Sonic Vizi Jacket

A little product review for you courtesy of RunLounge & Saucony

Saucony Sonic Vizi Jacket Review

Women's Sonic ViZi JacketWomen's Sonic ViZi Jacket

 

 

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