The Romsey Beer Race 2018

The Romsey 5 Mile Beer Race is probably one of my favourite races of the year. I’ve done it three times before and it’s hands down always a good day.

It’s helped I’ve done well each time I’ve run it – and it hugely helps that at the end you get a slice (or three) of cake. Each time I’ve somehow managed to get a podium place each time. Actually this isn’t that much of a mystery as the three times I’ve previously run it there was another league race happening on the same day (the D Day 10k) and this attracts a lot of the local club runners, many of whom are super speedy and would almost certainly have beaten me had they been running at the Beer Race.

But anyway, after a couple of years not running, this year I’d entered and the league race was on a different day. My friend Sarah, who is also a second claim Southampton runner and runs at the track with me, was doing it and she’s super fast and won it last year. I knew straight away I wouldn’t be able to beat her (I’m not sandbagging here, she is literally minutes fast than me over all distances). But that was OK. I just wanted to give it a good crack and see where I was at fitness-wise and time-wise. I hate 10ks, but a quaint five mile race with cake at the end is far more my thing.

Happily I didn’t have to get up early for the race either. I got up at 8am, and herded my parents, like cats, to the car to leave for 8.40am…only ten minutes later than planned. My dad, who was driving, apparently knew how to get there, having driven there three times before. Hmmm. Despite this I found myself immensely stressed when he started getting confused and lost. He won’t admit he was lost, but we were lost. It’s times like this when observe how my parents do things and it gives me a great understanding of how I end up in a pickle in so many areas of my life. We are not an organised bunch. We have no contingencies. We do not think before we leap ahead. We’re fairly happy-go-lucky people. And this has been my downfall many times in life. It’s a fun but chaotic way to live, I can tell you.

[Side note:  I spotted that Romsey was twinned with the German town of Battenberg…ironic really considering this race is all about the cake to me.]Thankfully we were only ten minutes later than planned and actually I had plenty of time to pick up my bib and queue for a wee. I spotted a number of Hedgies and did a nice one(ish) mile warm up with my Hedgie friend, Jim. I have to say, he did crack the pace a bit on the warm-up though. I was surprised to find us running 7.30 pace! This is neither of our easy paces! I had a second wee as the portable loo toilet queues were fast moving, it being a small race, and the run director even came over to say he wouldn’t start without us. Very nice of him.It was hot though. No cloud in the sky, sun beaming down, sticky hot. After my warm-up I was sweating already and a little thirsty. I looked enviously at other people’s water bottles but convinced myself I’d be alright. I was also heavily suffering from hay fever. I’d taken tablets, had eye drops and my nose thing but I was still sneezing and struggling. Not a great omen!

My parents wandered off to where they were going to stand (my dad a pro, having supported three times before, had a few different positions he’d be moving around to during the race. My mum, after seeing me once, would then wander off to a café. The difference between my parent’s support levels is stark I tell you). I headed to the start.Since the last time I ran this race it’s upgraded significantly. Now we had a proper blow-up start arch thing. The race was also chip-timed. Things were very fancy. I found myself lining up fairly near the front. This concerned me greatly and I attempted to inch back a bit. I should not be near these people! I saw my friend Sarah and decided to put myself a couple of line behind her.

The race runs around the lovely quintessentially British village of Braishfield. It’s undulating, but there are some nice downhills to help compensate. You start with a lap around the cricket field, then onto the country roads. It’s a lovely scenic route, but it is not flat. As we got going I tried desperately not to get carried away trying to keep up with people I most certainly should not.Having refreshed my memory that morning of the course elevation and my previous paces from the last time I ran it, I knew the first mile would be the steepest and where my pace (if all went to plan) would be the most slow. I was prepared, but it was still tough going. I knew my pace for the first mile last time was 7 minutes. I kept pushing up the hill and my watch beeped 6:50 and I was off on a lovely downhill. Amazing. I was on track to doing better than last time.It was hot but surprisingly I felt OK. I knew Sarah was far ahead and I could see another girl just ahead. I was pretty sure she was second. My pace was good. The second mile is very deceptive though because it’s basically all downhill, so you should feel pretty good.Then the next hill hit and it was a fairly sharp one, though thankfully not as long. At this point I’d managed to catch up to the second female and as I overtook her she said “I thought you’d get me as some point, Anna”. She was actually a girl from my club but as she wasn’t wearing a Hedgie vest I hadn’t recognised her. For the rest of the race I imagined she was right behind me. Whether this is accurate or not, it was a good motivator to keep me going.I saw my dad as I came back round past the finish area (not time to finish yet though) and lots of people cheered me on which was nice. I smiled but inside I was starting to fade. I told my dad, as I ran past, I wasn’t having a good race. I like to keep him updated so he knows not to expect anything magical at the end. I had some water (paper cups, excellent) and then was told by a marshal there was a sprinkler round the corner if I wanted to run through it. I replied, “hell yes!”. It was blissful.I was now hot, tired and struggling. The way the course goes, looping onto one section twice, means that you get to see the 4 mile marker when you’re around 3ish miles in. I remember this being demoralising the other times I’ve run it and it was equally so this time. To think I’ll eventually be back here and then I’ll have a mile to go shouldn’t be as disheartening as it was to me.

The marshals, as always, were super supportive and cheered us on. I was told I was second female and I started passing people on their first lap of that loop as I came back round to the four mile marker. I tried to cheer people on as I passed but it got harder and harder as I began struggling more and more. I found I was getting a stitch on and off and my breathing was becoming harder. My chest felt like it was restricted and my sports bra felt far too tight weirdly.A lovely Lordshill runner, Ben, started running next me and he helped push me along. I told him I wasn’t aiming to speed up or a sprint finish, I was now just aiming to maintain my second place position. I was on the pain train and I was not happy. I was so hot and my breathing so laboured. As we came back round to the finish area I couldn’t even raise a smile to anyone cheering me on. I hate ignoring people but I honestly couldn’t. I was just desperate to finish and desperate to breathe properly again. I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything like that before. I was literally gasping and grunting to breathe. It wasn’t like I was running super duper fast, I just couldn’t seem to get oxygen inside my lunges quick enough.The final stretch is a lap round (another) cricket pitch. At this point I honestly thought I was going to have to walk.
I had a sneaky look back to see if the third female was about but she wasn’t but decided to save face I couldn’t walk the final stretch. I kept going. I saw my mum and dad and they cheered me on and then FINALLY I finished. My mum said later she’d never seen me so laboured during a race and was genuinely worried.I literally had to sit down straight away after I finished. I was not in a good way immediately after the race. A lovely lady rushed over and made sure I was OK and handed me some water. I just needed to sit and breathe in the shade for a few minutes.
Blimey that was tough. I checked my watch… 33:47.Great, four seconds off my PB. But, on the plus side, second female. Another podium finish for the Beer Race! A happy streak to maintain. And then, of course, I took my cake and beer tokens straight to the cake and beer tents and got myself a happy reward.
The memory of the hard race quickly disappeared as I surveyed the selection. I imagine this is what child birth is like…Again, it was clear that things had upgraded with proper branded plastic glasses.I gave my beer to my dad (he deserved it with his stellar support as always) and then perused the cake selection. I had a MINT millionaire shortbread which was delicious.The beer was provided by the cool guys at a local brewery called Flack Manor.I also managed to find another cake token on the floor! Can you even believe that?? Only me eh! Ha! I got myself a beetroot brownie (gluten free apparently), which was very tasty. I also went back and donated some money to get a cookie as well… in for a penny, eh!

We also cheered the lovely Rebecca in, who was running this for the first time and the furthest she’s ever run! She smashed it. I’m so proud of her. She really is a legend.I then got to collect my second place prize. I’m very pleased to add another tankers to the collection. I’ve given them to my dad so he now has four – a lovely even number!It was a lovely day. Hard and hot but always a good atmosphere and a lovely set up. I even got a free sports massage at the end. Happy days! Definitely be doing this race again next year 🙂

Are there races you like to do every year?

Do you suffer from hay fever?

Do you like a race without a medal but something quirky like this?

Daventry parkrun – another one off the Alphabet list!

These past few days have been a bit crazy busy. I had a work conference in Birmingham on Wednesday so headed down to the NEC stupidly early that morning.

The conference was great. Really interesting and genuinely insightful for my job. I got to see s lot of talks, take a lot of notes and just generally get my geek on. I was like a sponge. What was nice was that Wiggle were a VIP company so that meant free beverages all day, an area to chill in and free buffet lunch. Well, if you know me at all you know buffets are a nightmare…the fear of food running out means I over-compensate and just eat far too much. It was worth it though, very tasty!Handily James (fellow Marathon Talker) lives in Birmingham too so I took Thursday and Friday off and so we could hang out a bit. We planned to get some good running and eating in, which made the trek up norf so much more worthwhile.

On Thursday we had a solid eight mile run. James kindly slowed down for me as normally he’s rapid. It was an “easy” day for him – he trains properly, not like my randomness. The run was great, I felt strong and it was nice running with James as he obviously knew the area and I could leave the navigations to him (essential, I’m sure you agree).After the run we freshened up and then went to Birmingham city centre to play mini golf at a place called Ghetto Golf. Birmingham just seems to have so many cool places and just the walk there from the train station was cool with all the cool shops, restaurants and graffiti. So much more exciting than Southamptom ha!Ghetto Golf itself was so good. I mean, it was bat shit crazy but it was such a laugh.The different holes had crazy themes and were just a bit mental. Lots of old school themes like a Blockbuster video shop, a pool table and inside a bus to name just a few (as well as some rather risqué objects to navigate round!).I lost, though I’d like to stress, just but it was just such a laugh I didn’t care. I allowed my competitiveness to cool a bit 😉We even treated ourselves to a few beers. Neither of us are huge drinkers but the odd one or two now and again is quite nice. I’m quite liking beer as well…albeit only the lighter stuff.
Then we headed to the Meat Shack for some incredible burgers and sides. I had one with blue cheese and bacon with some cheesy fries and then shared halloumi fries and frickles. Oh my gawwwwd so good.It was a great restaurant – super friendly and great service and the food amazing. I’m never normally a burger person but when a restaurant just does burgers you know you’re in for a treat.I mean, ideal pre-parkrun food right? Easily burnt off after 5k…ha. James was kind enough to take me to Daventry parkrun to get my ‘D’ for the parkrun Alphabet Challenge.It was drizzly and cold but finally t-shirt temperature. Though annoyingly probably not warm enough to not wear gloves as I found out during the run and finding my fingers very chilly indeed.The parkrun is fairly small with under 200 people. It had a clever line-up area at the start with the paces lined up (35 mins, sub 30, 25 mins etc.) so people could position themselves nicely at the start without having to overtake a lot of get overtaken. The course is a mix of compacted trail and mud. It was good during the times on the compacted trails where I could stretch it out a bit (for me anyway) but in the mud and on corners it was a bit precarious. I could only imagine James finding it all too funny if I’d fallen over and was covered in mud…The course was a one lapper which is quite rare in the grand scheme of parkrun. Usually there are at least two laps as generally parks aren’t big enough to have 5k’s worth of running available. The course was pretty, running through lots of trees and scenic paths as well as a nice stretch alongside the lake. It was lucky that it wasn’t that windy but I can imagine that stretch being quite hellish in the wind. I was trying to push the pace as much as I could and managed to overtake all the females bar one in front of me, who was running with a dog. (Photos from Daventry parkrun Facebook)At mile three I felt myself flagging a bit and as I came round the corner to the finish it was a steep short incline that just killed my legs at the final push.I got 20:52 and 16th place (2nd female) and I am more than happy with that! I wanted to see a 20 and I’m glad I managed it, even if I did just squeak it. James smashed his PB with 18:17 which just makes me wince thinking about it. So fast.So I now only have J (which I’ll do in June in Jersey), Y, I, V and Z left! All the hard ones really! Yeovil will have to be a bit of a day-trip I think 

After parkrun we headed to the nearby American diner-themed restaurant, Buddy’s, for brunch. The restaurant was really retro and had lots of crazy decor, like retro signs and posters. It was really quirky.We both ordered the Seattle breakfast (they had lots of American themes). I swapped the hashbrowns for toast and added black pudding. It came with grilled gammon, beans, eggs and mushrooms. I was going to share the pancakes with James but in the end I didn’t fancy them. I’m not a huge pancake fan unless they’re covered in ice cream and chocolate… 
Anyway it was delicious and served with unlimited tea. Perfect post a soggy run! I was covered in mud and felt a bit gross but to be honest the need for food won out of social etiquette. It always does for me 😉

That evening James had worked his magic and found a local half marathon race for us to do the next day. We’re both training or the Brighton Marathon so we’re in the market for a long run. Having a half would be a great way of getting in some solid miles – we could run before and after to make up the distance we needed.

However the half he’d found, the Ironbridge Half Marathon, was sold out. But James emailed the race organiser to ask if anyone was dropping out and if there were two places available by any chance. Amazingly there were! After some back and forthing he secured us two places. We’re super grateful to the organisers for letting us slip in last minute! I was super chuffed because I’d been gutted about Reading being cancelled last weekend and I’d been to the Ironbridge quite a few times as child with my grandparents and parents as my grandparents live in Stoke, not too far from there. It was going to be a blast from the past! And having s race to do is always a nice way to mix up the drudgery of long run training.

So an early night of solid sleep and up early bright eyed and bushy tailed for the half the next day!

Have you been to Birmingham before?

Have you ever entered a race last minute?

What’s your essential item in a fry-up/breakfast?

Romsey 5 Mile Beer Race

This weekend was pretty awesome! (<—I really hope I can be saying a similar sentence next week after my marathon…).

My university friends came down to see me on Saturday for my birthday, which is on the 19th. One of them popped down on the Friday night because she was coming straight from work in London (that crazy girl commutes from London to Brighton in the week…that’s a lot of trains!) I picked her up from the station and we indulged in a lovely evening of Indian take-away and the film Pride. I heartily recommend Pride. It’s such a good film with some truly lovely moving moments and is very funny.

In an awkward state of events I needed to do my last long run on the Saturday morning rather than the Sunday as I had the Romsey 5 Mile Beer Race (more on that later). So I planned on driving to parkrun early and doing seven miles beforehand, doing parkrun and then zooming back home. The other girls were arriving around 10.30am which gave me just enough time. They all know how running mad I am so it was fine thankfully.

The pre-run felt alright but wasn’t amazing. I felt a bit “bleurgh” and *wshipers* my shin that I had issues with last year has ever so slightly started niggling a tiny bit during my runs that week. It would be ironic that an injury springs up literally the week before my marathon. BUT like I said, it was ever so slight and more of a tightness than anything. I was only worried because I was scared it was going to develop into something further. To be honest, it’s highly likely that the previous high mileage weeks I’ve done made it grumble and the fact that my shoes are getting older. So I swapped them for my new ones (exact same version) and foam rolled and stretched a lot.

Anyway I got to parkrun in good time and continued a similar pace, enjoying running with people and the lovely sunshine.Netley parkrun June

Photo credit: Kookie51

I literally had to grab a token, get it scanned and race back to the car and head home straight away.

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Photo credit: Kookie51

I felt bad for leaving my friend at my house, but we’re very close and she knew to make herself at home.

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I got showered, dressed and breakfasted all in time for the other two friends to arrive. It’s always nice seeing them as we just slot back into place like old times and have a good old giggle. They bought me some lovely birthday presents. One of my friends works at Superdry (as part of the audit/accounting bit…or something) and gets 50% off clothes or 70% off in the sample shop!! I got a very nice gilet (<— not an affiliated link!) and T-shirt. SOO chuffed as usually I avoid Superdry as it’s ridiculously expensive.

We decided to have afternoon tea for lunch. We did try my favourite tearoom, Elsie’s, but it was rammed so we went to my second favourite in Lee-On-Solent, The Tea Rooms.

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It was delicious. I got roast chicken sandwiches, a fruit scone and a slice of red velvet cake. It does make me slightly concerned that I have absolutely no problem polishing off my afternoon tea while the other girls seemed to struggle…I guess my sweet tolerance has also enjoyed marathon training!

Later we enjoyed a nice walk through Manor Farm with Alfie.IMG_1340

It was a lovely, lovely day. And then we said farewell and I thoroughly depressed myself by watching The Lovely Bones. A good but morbid watch (the book is better though).

The next morning was time for one of my favourite local races of the year, the Romsey 5 Mile Beer Race. I’ve done this race twice before and I love it. The course is undulating and tough but it’s a pleasant route through country roads and the Romsey Road Runners, who organise the race, are so friendly and supportive. It’s always a good day. And you get a free beer and slice of cake afterwards. So yeah it’s pretty good!

My parents came to pick me up and my mum said why didn’t we take Alfie too as they could look after him and it was so sunny and lovely. What a great idea as otherwise Alfie would be home alone for the morning and it was lovely having his furriness there with us.IMG_1346

We arrived in good time and saw lots of people from my running club. The running club was fairly split that day as there was a popular 10k (flat and fast) going on as well somewhere else. I love the beer race even if the course is hard work and would much prefer to do that race than the flatter 10k which, let’s be honest, had no cake offering. Plus the pressures of a flat 10k are just not what I want right now before my marathon!

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I honestly had no idea what to do for this race. It’s a week before my marathon but it’s only five miles. My shin felt pretty alright after my foam rolling so I wasn’t too worried about that (but obviously I did worry because hi I’m Anna and always injured). The last time I did this race I wasn’t in great shape and was coming back from a hip niggle, and the time before that I did really well as I was right in a good phase of fast running and PB’ing.

I also knew if I did push it there could be a chance to place well. Previously I’ve achieved second and third place, respectively, out of the females. I took the pressure off by just wanting to enjoy it, seeing how I felt and not smashing myself to bits because Liverpool is the goal race.

Just before the start I needed another pee and the loos had a long queue. So as part of my warm-up run I ran down a country lane to see if there were any good bushes. I turned around a corner and found a lot of stinging nettles…hmm. There was a couple walking away from me a distance away but no one else around. I thought if I was super fast I could quickly just pee on the side of the verge, away from the nettles, but potentially in full view of anyone who appeared. Mid-pee I heard the sound of a man running up the road to my corner, I yelled out panicked “Stop!! Wait there!” and, as a fellow runner, he knew what was going on and yelled that he wouldn’t come round. When I’d finished and came round the corner I thanked him profusely. He laughed and said he was trying to find somewhere too.

We lined up and then off we went. I got into a good rhythm and found myself with the other lead ladies.

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I honestly felt comfortable 95% of this race. I just seemed to find a good speed. There were several hills but also good down hills as well. I managed to overtake a lady at around mile two and pushed on. As I came up to some marshals a while later they shouted that I was the first lady. I didn’t realise! I thought there was at least another lady ahead. This resolved me to maintain the lead. I think maintaining a lead is harder than gaining one as you have no real control and can’t see where the others are or know if they’re going to suddenly out-sprint you later. It’s mentally tough.

My pace was really good for me but I didn’t feel flat-out. I remember how I felt in the previous years where it was a pain train the entire time. Last year I almost considered just pretending I was sick so I could stop running (pathetic, yes) as I found it so hard. It felt very good to know I was in better shape. A good confidence boost for the marathon!

I didn’t even miss not having music (it’s not allowed as the roads aren’t closed). I just focused on my running and gave myself milestones. It honestly just felt good.

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At four miles I still felt good. I kept pushing and got to the end bit where you have to run around a cricket pitch before the finish (somewhat soul-destroying). With everyone cheering I pushed harder and that’s when I felt the pain train happen.

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I somehow managed to smile for the camera and then got round the corner for the sprint finish.

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My time was 33:43 (a PB by almost 40 seconds) and first lady. Finally I’d managed to get the first lady position on my third attempt!

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(Bit of Strava geeking out…comparing my race to the other two)

IMG_1391I wasn’t completed destroyed after the race either which was great! Just a bit pooped.

Alfie had a great time as well, though he barely noticed me when I ran past him despite me shouting to him. That’s love for you!Romsey (1) Obviously I got my cake ASAP (a slice of moist ginger cake) and got my dad his well-deserved beer.

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My parents were fantastic supporters, as were the running club. It was just such a great day.

IMG_1356It’s definitely more of an overall love for the event than simply the race itself, you know?

I got two beer tankards as my prizes (first lady overall and first senior lady) and took a couple more slices of cake home for the freezer (gluten-free brownie and lemon sponge).Romsey (2) You only get one cake token but if you donate money at the end (once everyone has had their slice) you can get more. And my mum was happy as I gave her a cake token someone else had given me…apparently I’m known as a cake monster or something…? My dad also got another beer as well. So everyone was pretty happy!

Overall I’m over the moon with this race. I felt good, my shin feels fine (though I’m considering just cross-training this week to be certain. Or am I being paranoid!?) and I feel like I’m back to where I was.

Romsey beer race, I’ll definitely aim to be there next year!

IMG_1394Three years of the beer race!

How was your weekend?

Do you have a race you always go back to?

Beer after a race, yes or no? I’m not a beer fan in general so it was a no for me (much to my dad’s delight).

5 Mile Beer & Cake Race

Hi guys, so as I mentioned previously I ran a 5 mile race at the weekend. It was another fairly small race (just over 300 runners) with lots of members from local running clubs – in fact it was hosted by the Romsey Road Runners running club. So there were lots of friendly and familiar faces about.

On the morning of the race, my parents, Di (MIL) and my granddad came over ready for us all to convoy together as they were going to support and cheer us on. In the kerfuffle to get out of the house I realised en route I’d forgotten water. PANIC. OK I don’t need water to run with but I could feel the heat and sun already and knew I needed something before the race.

We judged we had enough time too quickly veer off our route to get to a shop (at that point we were very close to the race). But we soon found that being 9.50am it meant nothing was open! The race starts at 10.30am. Anyway we found an Aldi and I waited outside until it opened then dashed inside and bought a drink. Then dashed back out to the car. 10.05am

Then we headed to the car park. Obviously we then got stuck in temporary traffic lights as you do when you’re in a rush. 10.10am

Get to the car park, find Ben and head to the loos for absolutely necessary last pee (how ironic, I’m late to fill my body with liquid, then even more late to empty myself). 10.18am.

Still queuing 10.25am. I just wanted to shout, PEOPLE, PEE FASTER!! I guess it was some relief that others were in the same situation.

Pee 10.28am. Get out and RUN to the start where the organisers have just started addressing the runners. OMG. How stressed am I at this point! My heart is going and we haven’t even started!!

Then we’re off. It was some relief that I was running as at one point I thought I wouldn’t make it. Several ladies overtook me and this panicked me a little (stupid I know). But this motivated me to keep them in my sights.

The first mile was great. I looked at my watch and was happy with the pace and happy with how my legs felt. And also my left foot as since Thursday’s run it’s been painful on the inner side (just under the arch). I’ve been doing lots of ‘bottle rolling’ (as my foam roller is too big) on it and this has provided a bit of relief but not entirely.

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The second mile and I’d manage to overtake some of the ladies from the start and I was feeling good. It was tough as races always are, but I was confident that I could keep going at a good pace. Depressingly though I past the ‘Four Mile’ sign as we were due to loop back later (don’t you just hate that??).

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The third mile a few hills appeared. Head down, keep going.

The fourth mile I caught up (gradually) with a guy from my running club and we swapped gasping pleasantries, as you do. We pushed each on past a few people and then hit another hill. He told me to go on as he was slowing down.

The last mile I was starting to feel the heat and it was becoming tough. But I was still feeling strong.

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The finish was off on a cricket pitch and deceptively looked closer than it was. I prematurely started to sprint then realised I was too soon and held back until it was more sensible. And then finished! My official time was 34.21, and I came second female overall. I’m over the moon with this as I wasn’t sure how well I’d do after my long run the day before.

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Ben also did amazingly. He did it in 41.09, which was better than he expected too!

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Love my family’s support!

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Aaaaaand the best part of the race? The runners get a little token to get a slice of cake and a beer!!

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Ahhhh-mazing. I was literally dancing around waiting for Ben to finish so I could drag him to get cake. I couldn’t get a slice of cake without him!

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I chose a big slab of raspberry sponge. I decided to save it till later as food straight after running never does me any favours. But I’m glad I got there when I did as the raspberry sponge was one of the popular ones and ran out quickly!!

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I gave my beer to my dad and my granddad to share (though my cheeky dad managed to wrangle another glass of beer himself later).

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Though saying that, I managed to wrangle another slice of cake… I’d sensibly brought a little box with me from home as I knew I wouldn’t fancy the cake straight away (nor did Ben) so we both put our cake stash in the box safely to take home and scoff enjoy.

Then we hung around chatting to other runners and running club members and I found out there were prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. I hadn’t even realised! I also spoke to the first girl and she had a time of 32 something. That’s amazing!! There’s no way in hell I could have beaten her but I was very inspired.

In the end I got a little trophy.

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And I even managed to get in the local papers as our running club was only started last November so this is great result for them.

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This was a brilliant run. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Really well organised, lovely atmosphere and such a great novel idea of the cakes and beer.

Compared to last week’s 10k it was miles better (though around one mile less…haha sorry, lame). Psychologically I think it helped to think it was one mile left. Suddenly 3 miles wasn’t half way but only 2 miles from the end. That kinda thing.

And this weekend? Well…maybe I’ll squeeze in another cheeky 10k. It would be rude not to! Winking smile Though first off I’m in for a sports massage this afternoon. All in effort of injury prevention!!

What are your plans for this weekend?

Medals or cakes: what would you run for?

What’s your preferred racing distance? Mine is still a half marathon. It’s longer but you have more time to ‘get into it’.

Do you panic if you’re late to a race? I need like 30 minutes beforehand to chill and collect myself. Not 2 minutes!!

Also, (as a reminder as GoogleReader is dying very soon!): Follow my blog with Bloglovin 😀

Hello Reality

Hello! I’m going to do a couple of recaps of the holiday as well but I need a bit more time as it requires sorting through hundreds of photos (yep, I got that holiday feeling of MUST TAKE A PHOTO OF EVERYTHING). So please stay tuned, I hope to have the first one rocked out by the weekend Smile

As jet-lag goes, it didn’t affect me too bad. I fell asleep stupidly early Sunday and Monday night and now I’m back into the rhythm of UK bedtimes and mornings. Though it was a horrific shock of the alarm going off a 5.30am Wednesday to get me up for my first run post-holiday. Though we did get up relatively early during our holiday (I think the latest we stayed in bed was 8am) it was still horrible. No consolation of  IHOP for breakfast or roller-coasters in a few hours. Nope, just the cold dark British weather and slug-dodging. Anyway, it was tough (to be expected I suppose). I like to think we didn’t massively indulge on the holiday and we kept fairly active. But it was still tough.

Run 10.10

Just over 2 miles. Not my best time. But I congratulated myself on getting out there anyway. I also did some ab work afterwards which wasn’t so tough. I guess general fitness declines quicker than muscle.

I’m thoroughly enjoying our normal meals again though. Don’t get me wrong, eating in America was AMAZING. But the portion-sizes are quite hefty and I’m a starter and a main girl so it was heavy going. Oh, here’s a question for any Americans out there, why do the waiters/waitresses bring out the main meal when you’re still eating your starter?? We were quite baffled.

And the sweets….and FRO-YO. Seriously, Britain, get your act together. We don’t have enough fro-yo places around.

Fro yo love

Yogilove…self-serve. Disaster. Eyes waaay to big for the stomach (toppings including). Not that I left any! Pinkberry was definitely the best though. So creamy.

You get that holiday feeling of “I’ll never get to eat this again!”. So as you can imagine, by the end of the holiday we had over-dosed a bit on food and eating out. I just wanted some normal Anna-friendly food. Also, I think I’ll definitely be holding back on Diet Coke for a bit – free refills!! Monster glasses. Heaven.Black-eyed pea

Anyway, so eating our normal meals (easy salads, chicken with roasted veg, omelettes) is great. Though one thing that I will try and continue that I picked up from America is drinking Bud Light. I’m not a beer drinker but I tried some of Ben’s and it was so refreshing! Definitely be on the look out for that.

So in the spirit of a new era (sort of), I’ve signed up to the Reading Half-Marathon! It’s in March so ages away to worry about just yet. But it’s something I can now work towards and dread look forward to. And I’ve signed up to Pilates on Saturday mornings! I get a one-to-one session to begin with (in a couple of weeks time) and then I get to join the ‘proper’ group. I’m so excited. Things are a-changing! Well, they’re mildly different.

Hope you’re having a good day! Bit of rambling post I’m afraid.

How do you recover from a holiday?