Archive | February, 2011

First Race Since Heart Surgery

22 Feb

So, after much training, heartache and frustration, the day finally arrived for me to race again. The Brighton half marathon was my first ever race when I was very new to running back in 2007. It seemed a fitting race to aim for this year, given that I had to cancel my place last year.

I felt my training had really come on in the last few weeks when I had commited to regular runs, upped my long run mileage and had been back to my triathlon club runs once a week. If I wasn’t ready for the half marathon now, I never would be. On a recent study day, I was coached by a fellow coach who is also a runner / triathlete. He made me think about my nerves about racing, address my limiting beliefs about achieving my target goal and put together a strategy for the big day. This involved visualising the finish line, taking my iPod with me, running with a friend to pace me, amongst other things.

The day before the race, I spent the day in Brighton with friends, trying very hard not to get nervous. Butterflies were flying everywhere in my stomach and I just couldn’t relax. After an lovely pasta meal, we headed back to our hotel for an early night. I struggled to get to sleep and when I did, I dreamt I died and was floating round as a ghost! Disturbing!

All went to plan in the morning, with a good breakfast and arrival at the start line in time. My focus was on maintaining a steady pace – 9 minute miles for the entire course. I was determined to say the least.

Once the gun went off, I held back slightly, not being tempted to lurch forward with the crowd of eager runners. Running with my friends, we soon found our pace and I felt surprisingly comfortable at 8:50 min/miles. Around the course, I had several moments where I battled with tiredness but I soon shook these off when friends waved at me in the crowd. Knowing the course and area helped me and I reminsced about running in Brighton whilst training for my first London marathon. I felt overwhelmed at how much things have changed in the last 4 years.

At 12.5 miles, fatigue really kicked in. The first doubts about not finishing strongly came over me. My friend pep talked me to the max and I somehow continued my pace…all the way to a 1:57:04 finish. I couldn’t have been more pleased! It was the most incredible feeling to have achieved my goal, having never experienced this before. Whilst I had completed a marathon and felt ok, I had never achieved a time I was proud of. Until now!

A day later, I am still glowing and get little bursts of happiness when I think of what I’ve done. 8 months after heart surgery, I am feeling stronger than ever. I just can’t wait for the London marathon and an exciting summer of triathlons. I am now the proud owner of my ellasport outfit and can’t wait to try them out – photos coming soon!

Bring it on!!! :)

Brighton half marathon

Brighton half marathon

Brighton half marathon

Brighton half marathon

Brighton half marathon

Brighton half marathon

ellasport – My Lovely New Sponsor!

9 Feb

After my exciting news last week, I thought I’d share a little about my sponsors – ellasport and founder Pamela Oelerich. Pamela explains her mission behind the women’s athletic brand is to provide every woman with athletic apparel that is designed to complement her body and make her feel good about herself’.

From writing this blog and my recent life experiences, I found many similarites between ellasport and my mission in life. Pamela says “I want to empower women to find their inner confidence and motivated self – the one that knows no limits – so they can reach their health and fitness goals.” This is something I am focusing on myself and want to share my experiences with other women, regardless of their current fitness levels.

A little about ellasport by Pamela:

“Though ellasport was officially founded in 2006, development began when I kicked my first soccer ball at age 6 and complained to my mom, “my shorts fit funny”. Frustration with the fit of my athletic apparel started early in life and was an issue as I grew up and shopped for apparel in different sports. I thought there was something wrong with my body because the apparel didn’t fit me properly. The whole experience made me feel terrible about myself! However, I noticed that when I wore the one tank and Capri pants that fit me well and that I feel good in, I always had an amazing workout no matter what I was doing! I thought to myself, if only all my workout clothes made me feel this good about myself, I would workout so much more! On that day, ellasport was born and my mission made clear.”

I can’t wait to get my new ellasport outfit – pictures coming soon! As a woman, it is important to both feel and look good when exercising. Take a look at the ellasport website and read about the collection. The Power Capris even have compression, meaning your bum will look great! With my first race – the Brighton half marathon – in less than 2 weeks, I’m looking forward to running my first race as an ellasport athlete :)