Rants and Raves #40

I am in a very happy place right now. Life is good. I mean, a marathon PB does do that to you, but life in general asides from that is going well too. Here are some bits and bobs I’m loving and ranting about lately.

Rave: I had literally one of the best Mondays. My work had organised a bake sale to raise money for Stand Up To Cancer and it just so happened to be on the day after I’d run the Brighton Marathon. Usually the day of the marathon straight after you don’t feel like a whole lot (despite having dreamed of all the food you’ll eat). Though I did refuel well, I was more than ready the NEXT day to celebrate with a lot of sugar.Literally I was the first one at the cakes when the email was sent around and I loaded my plate up. For my first round, I had a slice of Victoria sponge (heavenly. Normally I’m not that big a fan as I find it a bit dull but my god this was a good one), a salted caramel cupcake and a white chocolate cookie.The salted caramel cupcake was very gooey and so delicious. Post lunch I had round two, another salted caramel cupcake (it was just so good the first time), another slice of Victoria sponge and a salted caramel crepe (which I heated in the microwave). And in the afternoon, PURELY to be polite to my friend, I tried his chocolate cake… gahhhh so good.So I definitely think I’ve caught up with what I burnt the day before 😉

Rant: Still on the subject of cake… Right each to their own and all that, but it hurts my soul that Victoria Beckham had a watermelon cake for her birthday. Not a cake in the shape of a watermelon but a cake made of watermelon (some may argue that that’s not even a cake).She’s always been rumoured to not eat much and be super conscious of unhealthy food (and is super slim) so I’m not entirely surprised but COME ON. Just have a slice of cake. (Obviously I’m making a snap judgement here purely on what she projected to social media and have no idea if she did eat cake in her own time blah blah blah so this might be an unfair comment, but whatever).

Rave: OK this is one for the ladies predominately. I’ve recently downloaded Clue. It’s a period tracking app.Now I am a big fan of apps that track stuff. I track my running, my steps, my sleep, sometimes I’ll have a mosey on MyFitnessPal if I want to know the nutritional value of something (I don’t track meals or food though – that would probably trigger me to become overly obsessed, which I certainly don’t want to be). But anyway, I like stats and data.

I love this app because you can fill in lots of lovely detail about your cycle (god I hate that word) – I won’t go into the specifics, but you know what I mean. Lots of things are affected by your hormones and period so you can fill out this data and then after a few months it can help forecast and predict things for you. It also tells you when you’re most fertile and ovulating and uses the data you put it to learn and predict. It’s also FREE and someone else can track your cycle too if you share it with them (yeah bit weird but hey whatever floats your boat).

Rave: I love movies. I love food. I LOVE the sound of Taste Film. Basically there’s a monthly film experience where the audience eats the food that’s served within the film (or basically relates to the themes of the film). Oh my god how good does this sound?? Apparently they did Bridget Jones’ Diary and actually had blue soup. The food looks amazing. I would so love to do this at some point. My only issue is it’s only in London… standard.

Rant: The London Marathon have changed their Good For Age Entries. GFA is basically the way that some (UK based only I believe) runners can get into London ‘guaranteed’ by achieving a certain time. I was able to get into London last year through this method as my marathon PB was sub 3:45. Anyway, they’ve changed some of the criteria.Mary wrote a great blog post highlighting the changes and her own opinion on this so check that out as it’s a good read. My opinion is this. OK it’s a very over-subscribed marathon and I imagine they needed to re-asses and readjust the times (well, the men’s time mainly) because of the demand. I personally don’t think the current ballot system is the best approach (it’s not really explained how the ballot system picks people and some people believe it could be down to the London Marathon wanting a spread of different people etc. etc. so some people who have entered like five times still can’t get in). It’s VERY hard to get a place. So the GFA was one way for certain runners to get in.Now that’s fine. They can set whatever criteria they like – it’s their race. What I object wholeheartedly to is that they changed these times mid marathon season. It’s like changing where the goal posts are half-way through a football match. For example, James was aiming for a sub 3:05 at Brighton so he could then do London next year. If he’d have gotten 3:04:59 he’d have been super pleased – as of Sunday the GFA still stood that his age group with a sub 3:05 could get in. Then a day or so later, the times changed and suddenly he needed a sub-3. Luckily for him he did get a sub 3…but how devastating for people who didn’t but were momentarily happy thinking they had qualified? Or that they’re entire training had been focused on sub 3:05 and NOT sub 3? Five minutes is quite a chunk!

There were a lot of sad people on social media who had this exact issue. That said, I don’t think London is the be all and end all of marathons. Yes it’s easy for me to say that having done it, but I only really did it because it was a Major and I’m trying to do them all. Obviously it depends on your experience, but though I did have a good experience I wouldn’t say it was the best marathon – not even top three for me. It’s a faff. It’s super busy. It’s expensive to get to and from (don’t forget, they don’t send out the bibs either so you need to go to London twice). And most importantly, there are SO many other good marathons in the UK and outside the UK – better than London, in my opinion. London IS NOT the only marathon.

What do you think about qualifying times for races?

Have you ever done London?

Do you like health tracking apps?

13 Replies to “Rants and Raves #40”

  1. Well, with my best (and only) marathon time, I’ll be an old lady by the time I qualify for a GFA according to that chart! You guys have nothing but my highest admiration, so it sucks that they’ve moved the goalposts midway through the season – I can imagine there’s lots of disappointed people. But I think your advice is spot on – there are always other races. Just out of interest what are your top 3 marathons?! I have only done London and I loved it and would do it again tomorrow if I could get in but I have tried for a ballot plaec every year since 2013 and been unsuccessful…I guess as I’ve run it before I can’t be too upset! Got to set my sights on something new 🙂

    I also use Clue – it’s very handy! Getting more informed about my cycle has transformed my health, physically and mentally!

    Congrats on your Brighton PB! Can’t wait for the race report! xx

    1. Right top three marathons? Brighton, Portsmouth Coastal (I had great weather), Cheddar Gorge for the views and chilled atmosphere… but worthwhile mentions: Berlin (crowds, flat and lots to see) and Boston because it’s so iconic. AVOID DUBAI!

  2. I miss working in an office environment for the cake! I do love that watermelon cake I’m afraid as I’m a massive watermelon fan, but it would have to come in a bowl alongside a regular slice of cake for me.
    Until Dan and I decided to have children I was on a pill which meant I didn’t have any periods at all. I came off the pill in Summer 2015 and my first period after several years of not having any was during the middle of Mablethorpe Marathon that Autumn. What great fun that was(!) I do track my period using an app and am lucky as my periods have always been very regular so I know when to expect them – getting it right pretty much to the hour! The app helped me plan my races for this year though. I don’t want to be on during my 100 mile attempt!
    Thanks for the shout out to my blog too. 🙂
    Mary recently posted…Summer has finally arrived and changes to my race plansMy Profile

  3. I remember they changed the GFA times a few years ago and it was a similar situation – one day people thought they had their time and the next day didn’t. So hard since it’s such a difficult race to get into.
    I’m lucky enough to have run it through a running club place, but would love to go back and it will have to be through the ballot so the chances are tiny. As far as GFA is concerned I need to either get faster or older before I have a chance
    There are plenty of other marathons, but something very special about London.
    Allison recently posted…Friday Finds – 20th AprilMy Profile

  4. That GFA thing seems really confusing- especially the bit about if too many people qualify they will gradually reduce the times- so you might get the new qualifying time and still not get in if they reduce the times further.
    London has never appealed to me- although I went to a parkrun thing last night and lots of people had their medals and they are pretty good. But it looks too busy and stressful and I don’t think I’d enjoy it as much as a slightly quieter one.
    All that cake looks so good- what perfect timing!
    Maria @ Maria runs recently posted…Easter holidays part 2 including number 100 at number 100!My Profile

    1. Yes it’s so confusing about the times. My friend worked out that based on last year’s times he’d need 2:57 at least not just a sub 3. It’s tough.
      But yes London is crowded and there are so many other good ones out there.

  5. I’ve failed about 8 years in a row in the ballot- I only want to do London because I live in Greenwich so it’s basically my local race and it goes past my house so it would be super easy for me. Maybe one day…
    Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) recently posted…SDW50 2018My Profile

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