For fun on the doorstep, think local.

Race report: Prestwood 10K 

 

Local races often get over looked. They can be smaller, with less impressive bling than some of the big ticket events – and with less participants, there is always the worry that you could come last, (well for me anyway – I still worry about being dead last!)

For the past 13 years Prestwood village (in the Chilterns) has been host to the Chiltern MS Society Prestwood 10K which brings together a community of club runners, beginners and most recently, children’s races. The route is pretty easy – taking in country lanes and residential roads with a couple of inclines in the first half. It’s a route tried and tested by me as I often use it in training. Over the past seven years since we moved here, I’ve probably done the event a handful of times and always enjoy seeing local friends and neighbours along the route and cheering outside their houses. This year I also met up with new running friends Steve and Pete from UKRUNCHAT who live locally too!

Yesterday, I joined the start line with a bit of a sore head!  Not the best plan. We’d had friends up for the weekend, so the inevitable BBQ and sunshine drinks ensued. For morale support (and to stop me from wimping out) my friend Chaz decided to run with me, (I think he was suffering too and wasn’t in the mood to try a PB). I set out to run it under an hour and be back in time to see my son race with the 10 year olds. It was quite tempting half way to just pop home – since we passed my house!

It was great having my own personal pacer – as if I naturally slowed down, Chaz was always there to remind me to pick my knees up or ‘man up’! As I was feeling under-par, I probably wouldn’t have pushed myself at all. So with a bit of encouragement from Chaz (who barely broke a sweat), we got home in 58:39 (official Gun time). Quite possibly a ‘course recor for me – as I seem to remember previous attempts at this 10K just scraping in under an hour with a few seconds to spare. However, yesterday was not about the PB or the medal, I was just pleased to be participating in something so local, as well as encourage familiar faces and congratulating friends.

Local races need the support just as much as larger races. Often there is a running club or local charity organising the event, making it more pressing to raise funds or improve facilities. It’s a great way of making new friends too, or find running buddies.

A village or town event also sets a great example to children to watch their mums, dads, aunties or teachers running in a local event. Three years ago, the organisers of the Prestwood 10K decided to introduce children’s races for age five and upwards, which were popular yesterday with many local school children taking part – although perhaps not as many as there could have been.

Two of my sons ran – one only aged three, but insisting he wanted to ‘run like Mummy’ – and made us very proud wearing their race bibs and collecting their fun run medals at the end.  I hope that I have passed on the attitude of ‘it’s good to try’ through my own running journey. I’ll never be an amazing runner, but that’s not the point of it. Having a go and enjoying yourself is just as important, if not more so, than winning. It’s all about just getting out there and having a go whether it takes 30 odd minutes to do a 10K or 2 hours – having something so motivating on the doorstep is a great opportunity to try running events. And yes, you may come last. In all my worry I never have – and even if you do – who actually cares!? They always get the biggest cheer anyway 🙂

Have a look on Runners World for your local events – you might meet new people and discover new running routes! Or if you know of any good smaller events please comment below.

Happy Running!

Let the training begin…

Luxury Landmark Health Club
I could get used to this

Now that I’ve got all the kit and kaboodle and  have Googled ‘how to run a marathon’ several times, I feel ready as I’ll ever be to start my training in earnest. This weekend took on some ‘posh’ marathon training as I was fortunate enough to have a lovely spa day booked in at London’s Landmark Hotel, Marylebone.

Aside from the gossiping with friends, a 45 minute ‘essential’ jacuzzi session, a pool-side salad and various other pampering activities, I did actually hit the treadmill and clocked up some decent training mileage. That’s determination in my book, as the temptation of the tranquil quiet zone calling me with its couches and herbal teas, was akin to breaking out a box of Krispy Cremes at a Weight Watchers meeting. The cocktail menu didn’t look too shabby either!

Rocking the Mo'
Rocking the Mo’

Needless to say I found the treadmill seriously boring. I’m a ‘road runner’ usually and used to taking in some scenery along the way, so running in a gym was pretty dull by comparison. Road running is quite relaxing as I find I zone out listening to the repetitive beats of my ipod whilst breathing in the fresh air of the Chiltern countryside. The treadmill had me fidgeting with the gradient, speedometer and checking the clock every few minutes – those kms seemed to take forever. The air con, or lack of, made me so hot and bothered that I felt like doing a Freddie Mercury impression – as in ‘I want to break free’ , not growing a Mo for Movember).

I feel very much a newbie to Marathon training and find myself still a bit overwhelmed that I’m actually planning this. I’ve been really lucky to have some great support so far with friends and family matching my enthusiasm for the challenge. If I’m honest I’m probably more nervous at the moment of hitting the £2k pledge amount for my chosen charity – Tommy’s.

Thank you to all my early supporters and those that have agreed to help me fund raise for the event. If you would like to support me through my London Marathon challenge visit www.uk.virginmoneygiving.com/clairegermain . My first charity deadline is £1k by the end of this year – not long to go at all. Together with help, sweat and probably a few tears along the way I’m sure I can do it! Either that, or I’ll hope that Santa adds a little extra to my stocking this year.

 

Woop! I’m in…

Claire germain marathon 2015

It’s official! I have finally been accepted for a place in the 2015 London Marathon. I am so excited, although I know there is literally a tough road ahead. Unphased, I am already preparing for the run. One trip to John Lewis later and a 25% discount on Adidas gear, I’m all set! I’m sure I have plenty of adequate training gear, but it’s nice to have a fresh start. Besides I had nothing to co-ordinate with my brand new Asics which help prevent my flat feet from rolling in – or in technical terms, over pronating! Get me, I even speak the running lingo.

However, jesting aside, its not really a case of ‘all the gear and no idea’. I’m not a complete novice to running. To marathons, maybe.  I have previously completed the Royal Parks half Marathon a few years ago (beating the Cheeky Girls to the finish line I’ll have you know).  I now just need to focus on doubling that distance.

marathonapproved

Having my place written in black and white ,(well more a pink and grey) is fantastic. Not only do I have proof of the challenge for fundraising purposes, (I’m not planning to jet off to the Bahamas honest), but it makes everything seem very real. 26.2 miles is quite a long way to drive in the car…running it will be a great challenge.

Training is going quite well so far. I’ve read loads of blogs on running, ‘liked’ several running pages on Facebook and I’ve done some actual running too. Hills and everything. Currently up to about 14.5K on my longest run…that’s about 8 miles in old terms. So time to up my game.

I’m looking forward to documenting my journey in this little bloggette. I’m sure there will be ups and downs, but the main thing is to accept the challenge ahead and hopefully raise lots of money for Tommy’s the baby charity. They do amazing work with pregnancy – helping people cope through miscarriage, premature births and sadly still births.

If you would like to sponsor me visit www.uk.virginmoneygiving.com/clairegermain

Please follow my blog for more updates.

Jogging on now,

Claire x