Tag Archives: Jessica Ennis

The One Where I Reminisce Before London …

As I approach the final few days before the London Marathon, my mind has been busy[insert montage music fade in]. A lot of my thoughts have involved complex toilet calculations, last minute spray tan appointments and a crippling fear of looking fat in photographs and not being able to untag them on Facebook before everyone on my friend list has seen them. And some thoughts have been looking back at my running journey.  And it’s been eventful! 

Learning to Run, London 2012

I started running during the London Olympics because I was inspired by the amazing athletes and really, really wanted a six pack like Jessica Ennis. I was joined on those early morning runs in Victoria Park in Hackney by the Kenyan Olympics running team. Admittedly I saw them for half a second before they disappeared and I was left screaming at my iPhone trying to get the camera to work.  But that brief glimpse was enough inspiration for me to carry on running. 

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The photography skills of a Ninja

Secret Tuesday Running Club, 2012

I started a running club at work with two friends, B and H. We all agreed it would be a secret as we didn’t want to be seen in our running kit. The secret lasted about four seconds but we kept the name, going out shouting STRC around the streets of London every Tuesday and Thursday lunchtime. Long live STRC.

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Hadleigh Olympic Mountain Bike Course, 10km run, 2013

Okay, so I learnt a few valuable lessons here – when booking a race always read the terrain details, never run down a muddy hill with an iPhone in your hand and if you say you want Jaffa Cakes enough, they will appear.

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Where’s Wally 10k run, 2013

Another triumph of my race planning for STRC. This was the first time this event was staged and who was to know it would be snowing and minus temperatures in March, but having no bag drop meant we all had to turn up in running kit, no coat, wait around in the cold for an hour till our core body temperature was lower than that of someone stranded at sea for three days and then run six miles, all whilst dressed as Where’s Wally. Where’s Wally? I couldn’t give a f*** where Wally is. Where’s my god damned fleece?

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Croydon Half Marathon, 2013

So I decided the best way to train for a half marathon was to run a half marathon. Genius. It nearly killed me. At one point I was crying and hyperventilating whilst continuing to run. This is my version of a triathlon – cry, hyperventilate and run.

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Great North Run, 2013

Crossing the finish line of the Great North Run whilst my family watched on was a scene I carried in my head during all of those early runs. When I was struggling to run for ten minutes, I kept reminding myself how amazing it would be to run the Great North Run with my family cheering me over the finish line.  At no point did I imagine I would be involved in a collision with Bagpuss as I ran to the finish banner. I somehow managed to hurdle the poor sod and didn’t look back. No way was I adding seconds onto my time to help him up. I had a PB to get!  

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Three days to go …

 

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The One Where I Run Like the Wind. And Turn Into Mystic Meg …

It’s happened. It’s only bloody happened. Let me take you back to the start …

After a few drinks and some seriously booze-filled dreams on Saturday night  – the kind you wake up from and daren’t open your eyes in case it’s all real  – I had an epiphany. I dreamt I could run without pain again. The dream was amazing. I was running fast, training for my marathon with a smile on my face and a spring in my pain free step.

And then I woke up and remembered that I’ve been injured for five long weeks and the dream was probably not a premonition. Or was it?

Reluctantly (I had a hangover) I got my running kit on – having to dance my way into my now rather tight running leggings – and laced up my trainers that have sat taunting me at the bottom of the stairs for weeks.

I didn’t want to run on the roads so I waited until I got to a patch of forest about five minutes away, hoping the soft ground will be better for, what I hoped to be, a recovering knee injury. One last check of my kit – still way too tight – before I took my first few steps. And I RAN! I ACTUALLY RAN. WITHOUT PAIN.

The feeling was euphoric. I remember thinking I’m running, it doesn’t hurt, I’m going to make the bloody marathon after all, and I possibly have a gift for the occult. Life was great.

My euphoria was only briefly interrupted by my over-analyzing why a man might be walking around a forest on his own, if not just to murder a female runner. I’d love to say this made me run faster, but it didn’t. After five weeks of no training, my fitness level has dropped considerably. I managed two miles before the dull ache in my knee got too much and I was struggling to breathe because I’m about as fit as a newborn baby. But it’s a start.

Tonight I’m going to dream that I have abs like Jessica Ennis. Can’t wait to wake up tomorrow.

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The one where I don’t look like Jessica Ennis …

When I started running I wrongly assumed that within a few months I would have the exact same physique as Jessica Ennis. This did not happen. At first I put this down to the fact Jessica’s training was slightly more sophisticated than running two miles, vomiting behind a tree and crying all the way home. So I gave the ‘Get Jessica Ennis’ figure plan’ a longer scope. It’s now 17 months since I laced my trainers up for the first time and my figure still resembles a beer keg on legs. Stumpy legs.

That’s not to say my body hasn’t changed since I started running. No, thanks to pounding the pavements my toes look like a bag of Twiglets, I’m missing a couple of toe nails and during the summer months  I had so many bites on my legs I looked like I had bubonic plague. And that’s not to mention the bags under the eyes thanks to those early morning Pilates sessions. It was not mean to be like this.

I’m now 24 hours away from my Christmas party and instead of Googling party dresses I’ve been Googling the lighting in the venue to make sure my bubonic legs won’t be on show too much. If needs be I’ll nip behind the chocolate fountain and only come out once I’ve drained the thing. 

 

What I thought I would look like … 

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What I actually look like …

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