Friday 22 November 2013

London Royal Parks Foundation Ultra

I've just done the craziest thing and signed up for my first ultra!

As you may know I was pretty upset about not getting a London marathon place again so have been looking for another way to run London.

As soon as I read about the London Royal Parks Foundation Ultra I knew it was something that I really wanted to do! I tried to get into the London Royal Parks half marathon last year but that was also a lottery. There are only a few public entries open for the Ultra so I've been keeping an eye on the site all month waiting for the entries to open and they did so this evening :-)

The route is fantastic as I will be running through parks, over many bridges crisscrossing the River Thames and then following the Thames many kilometres out of London!

It's a 50k Ultra so I should be able to manage it as it's only 8 kilometres more than a marathon and when I ran Copenhagen Marathon 2013 nice and slowly I could have easily kept on going for a while after I finished so I believe I'm ready for this Ultra!

And if not, I have until October 12th 2014 to get ready :-)

Woohoo London here I come!!!

Monday 4 November 2013

Rock 'n' Roll Dublin Half Marathon 2014

I have bought myself a great birthday present for next year.....I have a place in the Rock 'n' Roll Dublin Half Marathon 2014 :-)

It's on the 4th August so is just after my birthday. I've never been to Dublin before so I also get to add another city to my European tour :-)

This will be my third Rock 'n' Roll race unless I run another before then, of course. I did have my eye on Nice in February 2014 but I'll be running Barcelona and Rome marathons in March!

I also have my eye on either New York marathon 2014 or London Royal Parks Ultra race in Autumn 2014. (that's if I can get a place in one of them).

There are so many places I want to run! Unfortunately I can't travel every month! (even though I really want to)!

Sunday 29 September 2013

Valencia Marathon 2011

31st Edition of Valencia Marathon 2011!!

My official Valencia Marathon time was 4 hours, 31 minutes and 55 seconds! (I had run 44k)
My official Copenhagen Marathon time was 4 hours, 43 minutes and 33 seconds

I stopped my watch after marathon distance (I was only at the 40k marker when my watch said 42.2k) and it said 4 hours, 21 minutes and 13 seconds.
It's the 'official' time that counts though.

MY VALENCIA MARATHON FINISHING VIDEO (around 1 minute in) I look finished quite literally!!

 Setting up before the marathon

 Setting up the finish before the marathon

On marathon morning I woke up, had some breakfast and an espresso. Then I put on my usual Running Copenhagen orange t-shirt, black shorts and pink trainers. At 8.30am I made my way to the start line 10 minutes away. The weather was around 12 degrees with some light cloud. I didn't like the look of it as I could see that the sun would be out later!

Once at the start line I queued for the toilets and took in the atmosphere. It was fantastic, even better that Copenhagen Marathon. There was a 10k race starting at the same time as the marathon. The marathon runners were starting on one side of the bridge and the 10k runners were on the other side. We would run around the first 4k together but on different sides of the road. 

I started almost at the back and then heard the fireworks which meant the marathon had started. It was much quicker to get over the start line and only took 4 minutes.

The photo below shows how great the start was:-
 Valencia Marathon Start

 Just before 3k a really cool Spanish guy started talking to me. It was his first marathon. He was running with a video camera on his head and wanted to interview 42 different runners about a dream they have for the future. I thought this was a fantastic idea :-)

In my interview at the 3k point I told him that I wanted to run a marathon in every city in Europe before the age of 50!

While he was doing his interviews at every kilometre mark I ran with his sister. It was also her first marathon. More and more of the people that had given interviews to her brother started running with us. There was a really cool family of 5 that were having the best of times :-)

I really enjoyed running with all these people but started dropping back from them at 19k. This was when the weather started getting a lot hotter!!

I did the same as I did during Copenhagen Marathon which was to walk through all the water stops. Valencia had better stops in some ways and worse in others. The water was in a bottle so you could run with it and take sips all the way until the next stop but there was only water there. No oranges! No bananas! No energy drinks! From 20k onwards I started taking 2 bottles, 1 to throw all over me and 1 to drink. I was very glad that I had 9 energy gels with me this time instead of just 6.

From 7.5k and then every 5k (12.5, 17.5, etc) there were 'firemen?' hosing the runners down with water if they wanted it. I ran through everyone of these and enjoyed being cooled down, if only for a little while.

I started really beginning to struggle with the heat from 28k onwards. By then the temperature was around 20 degrees. It was around 22 degrees when I hit the 38k marker. I just looked at the green marathon line on the floor, listened to some Justin Timberlake and kept on running!
I had planned to only walk at the drinking stations but at 38k I walked for a minute and just took my extra energy gel that was for emergencys!

At 41k I began to speed up as I knew I was nearly there :-)

Just before I started to run on the platform on the water I got the crowds on either side to cheer really loud for me :-) That was a great moment! It was like I was in front of everyone and was about to get my gold medal!!

Once I crossed the line I was so happy! It was a harder run than Copenhagen had been simply because of the sunshine. I always knew if the sun came out I might be in trouble. I hadn't expected the weather to be quite so hot as everything I had read said it would be between 12 and 17 degrees.

 Me and my Medal

 The finish line

 With all my Valencia Marathon gear

My Official Time

To sum it all up I would say that this is a fantastic marathon, very well organised and certainly worth running! The Spanish crowds are great and really get behind you. Their cheers really helped me along and gave me such a boost each time :-) This is a marathon that I would run again :-)

Friday 27 September 2013

Two Marathons in One Week!

And so I'm out of the running for a London Marathon place again! I found out yesterday and was pretty sad so I automatically began looking for some other running goal to cheer myself up.
I am already signed up for Rome on 23rd March 2014 so started considering running Madrid marathon again as that's in April. Then I realised that if I also run Copenhagen in May I would have run 3 marathons in 3 months which will mean I can become a Marathon Maniac!

There were two problems with this idea though; 1: I've already run Madrid and, even though I loved it, I'd like to run somewhere else, 2: I've run Copenhagen marathon twice now and really I'm not that interested in running it again! I only did it the second time because I got a free race number.

So I started thinking about what other marathons I wanted to run. While I'm doing this my older son is watching TV and sees a Barcelona football advert. He shouts 'Barcelona' at the TV and I type Barcelona marathon into google.
I can see it's on 16th March 2014, only one week before Rome. I really like the idea of running two marathons one after the other. But it's not just two marathons, it's two that have been on my bucketlist for a REALLY long time. My husband says it's fine for me to be away for two weekends in a row and I'll just travel out on the Saturdays and back on the Mondays.

So I sign up for Barcelona marathon 2014!!!

I am very excited about this challenge and know that I have to prepare and train properly this time. My plan is to train for a 4:30 Barcelona marathon and then run it in 5 hours. This way I won't be working myself to the limit and should have a nice easy time in Barcelona. My plan for Rome is and always has been to treat it like a tourist run around the city with my camera so I don't care if this takes me 6 hours to finish :-)

Because I will be running two marathons so close together I can still join the Marathon Maniacs!!

What have I got myself into this time :-)