Jersey Marathon Relay Race 2018 – 7 October 2018

The Jersey Marathon took place today, and as well as the full race there is a five person relay event, with mixed distance legs which really makes it accessible for both new and experienced runners.

I managed to get a team together in my office, which was pretty amazing as there’s only 35 of us, and there’s only really two regular runners. Our entry was funded by the company, and I was really proud to run in our branded running vests, the first time we’ve ever entered a team in the relay.

Our team consisted of myself and another lady who also runs half marathons, together with three guys who are newbie runners – aside from football and the occasional treadmill run. It’s been fun encouraging them to train, and hearing about how their running’s been going over the last couple of months.

Anyhow, I was on the third leg, which is my usual one, and the longest at 7 miles. I last did it two years ago, in a time of 51:56, and I was aiming for 50 mimutes this year.

The leg starts in a field in St Ouen, and I got there with plenty of time (as I’m always paranoid about not being there on time) and had a nice time chatting with various running friends and ex-colleagues. The weather was beautiful, blue sky and sunny, although a strong wind – thankfully the rain from Saturday had gone away!

My teammate arrived a good 5 minutes before I expected him, which meant we were off to a great start! It was pretty cool waiting, with a strong wind, and so when I started running my legs actually felt a bit numb! I started off at a crazy sprint, and did my first mile in 6:43, way faster than what I was aiming for.

I eased back and found my pace, a good fast race pace, but I only had to keep it up for 7 miles! There’s so many people taking part in this race, there’s such a good atmosphere and support, I just flew along.

The route is mostly rolling hills, and includes sections that I run along all the time, so it was familiar, and I knew where to push on and where to give myself a break. I hit 6 miles at just over 43 minutes and thought that I might have a 10K PB as well, so I really picked it up and did my last mile in 7:03, an awesomely strong finish.

I missed the PB by about 10 seconds, but finished my leg in 50:39, hitting my 50 minute target and doing it a minute faster than previously – amazing!

My team finished in 3 hours 37 minutes, coming 72nd out of 251 teams, which was amazing! So proud of my colleagues.

I had a few friends taking part in the full marathon as well, and some of them got PBs, which is amazing. A great day for Jersey runners!

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September activity

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I genuinely can’t believe it’s October already! We’ve had such an amazing summer (yay!) it seems weird to be thinking about adding layers and cosy night in. But here it is.

September run distance: 109.74 miles

September was a good month of running! I had so many events, I got a new 5K PB, and we did the Disneyland Paris Magic Run weekend. The only slight disappointment was my half marathon – I did not run it sensibly, and found it so, so hard for the last few miles.

I feel like I started the month on a really good, quite strict, training plan, and then once the events were over, I’ve eased back again and just started running for fun. I need to start integrating some serious hill work again, for the Durrell Dash at the start of November, but I think I have time.

The highlight of the month was definitely getting my 5K PB (20:53) as I’ve been trying for two years to get it under 21 minutes, and I finally achieved it! Also, crossing the finish line in the final Canaccord Corporate Cup 5K Race and coming first lady, which was amazing! I’m still slightly in disbelief over that.

Other races for the month were the  Jersey Spartan Athletics Club Half Marathon, which was not so great, but a learning point. And, of course, the RunDisney Disneyland Paris 5K, the RunDisney Disneyland Paris 10K, and the RunDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon, which was just the most fun, with great friends.

August swim distance: 14,000 metres

I’ve stuck to adding a kickboard/drills session into my weekly swimming, and hopefully it’s having a positive effect! I don’t find swimming as motivating as running, even though I know it’s a good cross-train, and so mixing up what I’m doing really helps to keep me going.

I’ve been enjoying the relatively quiet pool in the mornings, as I know it’s going to change soon when the sea-swimming gang come in for winter!

Other sports

Other than weekly yoga, I haven’t actually done any other sports this month.

I did take part in the Dragon Boat racing with work – 50 teams take part racing huge rowing boats in a tournament throughout the day. It was the most beautiful hot day, and it was fun hanging out with the team, but also exhausting!

Life stuff

I seem to have got my head back under control during September, and whilst it started out tough, I now feel back to normal (well, my normal) again. It’s such a crazy, delicate balance sometimes, just the tiniest thing can set it off.

We also celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary on 8th September! We spent the weekend doing cute things like picnicking, going out for cake, and visiting our zoo, which was very enjoyable. It always blows my mind a bit when I think about how long we’ve been married!

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RunDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon 2018 – 23 September 2018

Today was the big day! The guys’ first ever half marathon! We were very excited for them. And, there was also the promise of not one, but three medals at the end of the race – Half Marathon, 31K Challenge and 36K Challenge – as we unexpectedly were going to receive both challenge medals.

We walked out of our hotel and discovered it was raining! But thankfully only lightly, and it was quite warm as well, so not too much of a disaster. I really didn’t want our costumes to get ruined – I was super excited to run as Cinderella and Prince Charming with my husband.

It was fine once we got going, and began the first 10K running through the two parks and backlot areas – the best part was running both down and then back up Main Street in Magic Kingdom, and high-fiving all of the people out supporting.

The theme of the half marathon was villains, and we did actually get to take a few pictures this time! Although again, the villains were all quite obscure, and there were hardly any characters out anyway (our biggest complaint!). We did see Darth Vader and started queuing to take a picture with him – only to be told he was leaving and would be replaced with someone else. Oh well.

We soon left the parks behind and started the long trek around the outside of the parks, through the neighboring village, around a lake and back. We kept up our spirits by cheering each time we passed a kilometer marker (only the French would mark a mile-measured course in kilometers…) and looking at everyone else’s costumes. I’m pretty sure it was the same route as last year, although I’d definitely forgotten a few bits!

The guys were going well, and we actually picked up the pace a bit as we re-entered the park via the hotels. The finish line was definitely in sight! I started to get a bit emotional, as it was such a huge achievement for my husband to go from a non-runner to running a half marathon! I took his had as we came up to the finish line and almost burst into tears! But I couldn’t have ugly-cry face for the finish line and managed to pull myself together – we had done it!

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What’s even better is, the timing chips placed Chris as coming over the line before me – so he beat me at a half marathon! He was overjoyed.

RunDisney Disneyland Paris 10K 2018 – 22 September 2018

Saturday morning of our RunDisney Paris weekend brought the 10K! It was a beautiful morning, which meant it was chilly again, but we huddled together in the corral and kept warm whilst we waited.

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The four of us decided to do a group costume for this race, for the first time (after sticking to couples outfits for all of the other races) and went with Scrooge McDuck and Huey, Duey and Louey. Such an easy costume (apart from Scrooge, which was a bit of work!) and quite effective.

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The route wound around both parks and the backlot areas, dipping in and out of each park – I had no idea where we were most of the time! But unlike the 5K you got to run through the castle in Magic Kingdom – which is always the best part!

The theme of the race was evil sidekicks, and whilst there were a few characters around the course (again, nowhere near as many as last year), we didn’t actually recognise many of them! They were all a bit obscure… The lines were super crazy again, so we didn’t end up waiting for any pictures – other than the official one in front of the castle.

The race started out in the dark, and by the time we had finished the sun had come up – running around Disney is definitely the perfect way to start your day!

RunDisney Disneyland Paris 5K 2018 – 21 September 2018

I had been waiting so long for our RunDisney weekend in Paris, and it had finally come around!

The 5K race was again on the Friday night, but the start area had changed – a good move after the congestion and slow start around the lake last year. The corrals had been expanded to 5, and all had a great view of the stage and start line, which was an improvement. Disappointingly though, we were in Corral E! Such a long wait to start.

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Still, my friend had bought us all light-up shoelaces after we’d seen so many people wearing them last year, and they looked so cool! I was also loving our outfits! My husband and I were Minnie and Mickey, and our friends were Princess Leia and Han Solo – we all looked awesome.

It was super cold waiting around, but when we got going the course was great fun, with some good light-up areas. It went so quickly though! The theme of the race was Marvel, and the idea was that Thanos was chasing us, and we had to find the infinity stones – which were posted on big banners as you went round the course. There were superheros around the course to take photos with, but the lines were soooooo long! And there were actually not that many photo opportunities – much fewer than last year.

It was a good fun evening, but we were all definitely glad to grab our snacks and drinks and head back to our hotel to get some good sleep before the 10K the next morning!

Canaccord Corporate Cup 5K Race series 2018 – Race 6 – 20 September 2018

The Canaccord Corporate Cup is a series of 5K races, one a month from April to September at lunchtime. Companies submit teams of four people, or individuals, everyone runs the race and then there’s a points system that determines the standings.

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a team together at my new workplace, but they kindly submitted me as an individual so I’m excited to still be able to take part.

The final Corporate Cup race of the season is an evening one, and it was the one to decide the individual winners… Thus the only one that counted for me!

And I smashed it! I was first lady, and finally broke the 21 minute barrier for my 5K, with a new PB of 20:53. So, so happy!

It was a warm, windy evening, but the advantage of the course is that it changes direction many times, so you don’t have a headwind for too long.

I set off fast, racing through the first mile with the wind at my back. At the first switchback I saw that I had a good lead over the next lady, so took it a bit easier for mile 2 against the wind. I still couldn’t breathe, and my stomach was cramping!

I picked it up a bit for the next half mile, but at each turn saw that lady 2 was getting closer. I really pushed it down the pier to try and increase the gap, and after the final turn I gave it everything. It was an all or nothing moment, and I blocked the pain and went for it.

From the small slope of the pier I went into sprint finish mode and could hear my boss (who had come out to support with some of my other colleagues and my husband) shouting “she’s on your tail!” which really sped me along. That race was mine!

I passed the finish line in first, and it felt amazing! I’ve been trying to win for 3 years now, always coming second, and I’ve finally done it.

And after years of being 21 minutes or just over, I’ve made a sub-21 5K. Awesome!

I managed to briefly make it to prizegiving, as we’re on a plane tonight to get on out way to Disneyland Paris, and picked up my huge trophy (which I will get to keep for the year after engraving) and my cute tiny keep trophy.

Bring on next year!

Jersey Spartan Athletics Club Half Marathon 2018 – 9 September 2018

This morning it was the Jersey Spartan Athletics Club Autumn half marathon, and for the first time since I’ve been running it, it was a nice day! Almost too nice, as it got pretty hot in the sun, and I seem to run better in horrible weather.

I wasn’t feeling as nervous as usual, which was nice, and I chatted with a friend before we headed to the start line. The course has changed slightly, and rather than do a lap and a half of the running track at the end of the race, you now do it at the start, which was unexpected but so much easier at the end.

I went off too fast (as usual) and did the first, mostly flat, mile in just over 7 minutes. I then really pushed it up the next two hill miles, which was my next mistake! I was definitely not running a sensible race. The next couple of miles, through rolling hills were slower, as I was tired, and then I got my second wind really early, and raced through miles 6 and 7, finishing mile 7 with a long downhill stretch.

Things started to get extra tough from there, and my legs were just aching. I made it to mile 10 alright, and then I just had nothing. I forced myself to keep trying, as I really wanted a PB! But after a little bit, I knew I had to ease it up a lot, or I wouldn’t make it to the end.

By the time I got to the track again I was so glad that it was only one lap to go! I pushed for the last 200m, and made it across the line in 1:40:42. Not a PB, but I made it!

It was definitely a learning experience for running a more sensible race, so I will stick to a plan more rigidly next time! And I came 8th lady, so not too shabby.